Anthropological theory and practice, following the rest of the world, have been undergoing important restructuring in the past decade. The course is organized to reflect this fact. We will begin by looking at recent debates about the nature and purpose of anthropology. This will provide a starting point for reading a series of classic ethnographies in new ways as well as examining some dimensions of the current reseach agenda in cultural anthropology.
Required Texts (in the order of reading sequence):
Fortune, R. F. 1932. Sorcerers of Dobu. Waveland.
Evans-Pritchard, E. E. 1956. Nuer Religion. Oxford.
Lévi-Strauss, C. 1966. The Savage Mind. Chicago.
Durkheim, E. The Elementary Forms of the Religious life. Free Press (1965).
Bergson, H. Two Sources of Morality and Religion. Henry Holt (1935).
Sartre, J-P. Being and Nothingness. Philosophical Library (1956).
Foucault, M. 1988[1965/1961]. Madness and Civilization. Vintage.
Bourdieu, P. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge (1977).
Geertz, C. 1973. The Interpretation of Culture. Basic Books.
Ricoeur, P. 1981. Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences. Cambridge.
Comaroff, J. and J. 1990. Of Revelation and Revolution, Vol. 1. Chicago.
Jameson, F. 1991. Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Verso.
Haraway, D. J. Manifestly Haraway (Posthumanities). Minnesota (2016).
Descola, P. 2013. Beyond Nature and Culture. Chicago.
Calendar of reading:
Week 1 Intro.
Week 2 Fortune
Week 3 EP
Week 4 LS
Week 5 Durkheim
Week 6 Bergson
Week 7 Sartre
Week 8 Sartre/LS
Week 9 Foucault
Week 10 Bergson/Sartre/Foucault
Week 11 Geertz and Ricoeur
Week 12 Comaroff and Comaroff
Week 13 Jameson and Haraway
Week 14 Descola—and Conclusion
Note: we plan to skip Bourdieu, but his theoretical relevance we do need to discuss when we reach the second part of the seminar.