People and Things
This course is an experiment in imagination. Its objective is to produce a discipline of attentiveness and writing about relations among people and things. By reading within genres sometimes unfamiliar to anthropologists, the course isolates approaches of writing appropriate to imagining the specificity, multiplicity and depth of increasingly fundamental relations. The course builds anthropological tools that escape the strict conceptual concerns of the discipline and develops linkages with science studies, which itself has been built around anthropological premises. In addition to texts for anthropology and science studies, the course works through multiple other genres including biography, memoir, self-help, and science fiction as well as film. The purpose of the course is not simply to read and understand the books and films, but rather of working to find productive relationships with the texts and, subsequently, with objects, technologies, and natures. Assignments are built around writing exercises meant to explore these relationships.