Anthropology | Proseminar in Cultural and Social Anth
E500 | 1243 | Royce
Above section graduate standing or permission of instructor
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 academic contributions and application. We have developed
concepts for talking about what we know that define the field,
including culture, history, comparison, and ethnography. We will
examine their trajectories as well as their utility in today's world.
Finally, we will see how questions of agency, power, and voice as
well as new technologies have changed the discipline.
Authors whose work we will read include Anderson, Cohen, Colson,
Foucault, Geertz, Gellner, Mintz, Ortner, Rosaldo, Stoller, Wolf.
Course requirements include active seminar participation, an
intellectual biography of an established anthropologist, and an essay
on one of the major concepts or issues in the discipline.