Anthropology | Proseminar Cultural & Soc Anth
E500 | 0483 | Royce
This seminar focuses on contemporary theories and practices in cultural
and social anthropology. It assumes a familiarity with the history of the
field. Because human behavior and thought is the central focus,
anthropology has to pay attention to those changing contexts in which
people craft their lives. At the same time, the field is shaped by the
transforming processes of disciplinary change. We go back and forth
between theory and ethnography, between looking for general patterns
across cultures and documenting difference, between being academic and
being applied. We have developed concepts for talking about what we know
and what constitutes the discipline. Some of the most persistent include
culture, history, comparison, and ethnography, and we will examine their
trajectories as well as their utility in today's world.
Authors whose work we will read include Anderson, Cohen, Colson, the
Comaroffs, Geertz, Gellner, Mintz, Ortner, Rosaldo, Wolf.