This seminar introduces PhD students to central concepts and practices, as well as themes and debates, in contemporary anthropology and sociology. Through class readings, discussions, and assignments, we will explore how research problems and questions are defined and articulated, how theory is constructed as well as its relation to empirically-grounded research. Students will have the opportunity to connect these inquiries to further the development of their own particular research interests. In doing so, we will take into account the ways that the current pandemic may affect research, and work together to explore research methodologies and design that enable rigorous and responsible research during these times. In addition to grappling with key themes and debates, the seminar seeks to foster a strong sense of social and intellectual community and peer learning amongst doctoral candidates, who will be an integral part of the ANSO community over the coming four years.