Critical Foundations of Anthropology II

Term: Spring 2009

Subject Code: GANT

Course Number: 6062

This course, required for incoming Anthorpology MA students, will focus on contemporary theoretical and philosophical debates on the nature of the social and assess the impact of these debates on recent ethnographic writing. The course focuses on some of the core conceptual domains critical to our practice of anthropology such as society, language, the market, historicity and difference. Questions of ontology and temporality will be raised around these conceptual domains through the social philosophical works of authors such as Bataille, Derrida, Deleuze, Bakhtin and Fanon among others. By situating the work of these post-metaphysical thinkers in relation to the classical canon of social and moral philosophy and its liberal underpinnings, the course will encourage students to think speculatively about the future directions of anthropological practice. A final assignment, in the form of a research exercise will stress critical readings of contemporary ethnographies and the ways in which they reflect these new ways of theoretical framing.

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