Richard Handler headshot
RH

Richard Handler

Professor
Director of Global Development Studies Program
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Anthropology
Office location and address
Global Grounds, One West Range
161 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Education
Ph.D. University of Chicago 1979
Biography

I am a cultural anthropologist who studies modern western societies. My initial fieldwork was in Quebec (1976-1984) where I studied the Québécois nationalist movement. This has led to an enduring interest in nationalism, ethnicity, and the politics of culture. Upon coming to Virginia in 1986, I pursued the latter topic by looking at history museums. Beginning in 1990, I worked with Eric Gable (Ph.D. Virginia 1990) and Anna Lawson (Ph.D. Virginia 1995) on an ethnographic study of Colonial Williamsburg, which is both an outdoor museum and a mid-sized nonprofit corporation. In addition to examining the invention of history and tradition, our study focuses on corporate culture, class, race and gender.

A different interest is the intersection of anthropology and literature. I have written on Jane Austen's novels, on the literary bent of such noted anthropologists as Ruth Benedict and Edward Sapir, and on the difficulties of writing the ethnography of nationalist movements. Finally, I have had an ongoing interest in the history of American anthropology - in particular, in anthropologists as critics of modernity, and the relationship of our discipline's critical discourse to other intellectual trends.  I am currently writing a series of essays on the great mid-century sociologist and social critic, Erving Goffman.

I am currently directing an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Global Development Studies, for which I teach several courses.  I am also teaching graduate anthropology courses in the history of theory and in nationalism.

AS-ANTH An Ethnographic Study of Religion and Secular Affinity Groups in Shanghai
Source: UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME DU LAC
April 01, 2017 – May 15, 2018
Doctoral Dissertation Research: "Me and My Huoban": New Modes of Friendship in Urban China_CLOSED
Source: U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
October 02, 2017 – October 02, 2017
ANTH 1010: Introduction to Anthropology
Credits: 3
This is a broad introductory course covering race, language, and culture, both as intellectual concepts and as political realities. Topics include race and culture as explanations of human affairs, the relationship of language to thought, cultural diversity and cultural relativity, and cultural approaches to current crises.
COLA 1500: College Advising Seminars
Credits: 1
COLA courses are 1-credit seminars capped at 18 first-year students, all of whom are assigned to the instructor as advisees. They are topically focused on an area identified by the faculty member; they also include a significant advising component centered on undergraduate issues (e.g., choosing a major, study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research, etc.). For detailed descriptions see http://college.as.virginia.edu/COLA
PLAP 2030: Politics, Science and Values: An Introduction to Environmental Policy
Credits: 3
Introduces a wide variety of domestic and international environmental policy issues. Explores how political processes, scientific evidence, ideas, and values affect environmental policymaking.
ANTH 2250: Nationalism, Racism, Multiculturalism
Credits: 3
Introductory course in which the concepts of culture, multiculturalism, race, racism, and nationalism are critically examined in terms of how they are used and structure social relations in American society and, by comparison, how they are defined in other cultures throughout the world.
GSGS 2559: New Course in Global Studies
Credits: 1–6
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in Global Studies.
GDS 3010: Global Development, Theories and Case Studies, Part One
Credits: 3
Theoretical approaches to global development from anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, history, politics, and sociology, and analysis of selected case studies. Prerequisite: the student must be a GDS major in order to enroll. Instructor permission.
GDS 3020: Global Development, Theories and Case Studies, Part Two
Credits: 3
Theoretical approaches to global development from anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, history, politics, and sociology, and analysis of selected case studies. This is the second course in a two-semester sequence. Prerequisite: GDS 3010 AND the student must be a GDS major in order to enroll. Instructor Permission.
GDS 4952: University Museums Internship
Credits: 3
This is the second semester internship at either UVA Art Museum or Kluge Ruhe. Students will work approximately 100 hours per semester in the museum, and will participate in three training sessions and three academic seminars. ARTH/GDS 4951 and instructor permission, by application; deadline May 1. Please see information at www.virginia.edu/art/arthistory/courses and www.artsandsciences.virginia.edu/globaldevelopment
GDS 4991: Fourth-Year Seminar
Credits: 3
In this seminar, GDS majors complete their GDS research paper. Prerequisite: Instructor permission AND the student must be a GDS major in order to enroll.
GDS 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent Study. Prerequisites: Instructor permission.
ANTH 4993: Independent Study in Anthropology
Credits: 1–6
Independent study conducted by the student under the supervision of an instructor of his or her choice.
ANTH 4998: Distinguished Majors Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Independent research, under the supervision of the faculty DMP thesis readers, toward the DMP thesis. Prerequisite: Admission to the Distinguished Majors Program in Anthropology.
ANTH 4999: Distinguished Majors Thesis Writing
Credits: 3
Writing of a thesis of approximately 50 pages, under the supervision of the faculty DMP thesis readers. Prerequisite: ANTH 4998.
ANTH 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
ANTH 8999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
ANTH 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
ANTH 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.