Asthetic Entanglements: Anthropology and Form
This course will examine anthropology's tangled relations with form and with aesthetic questions more broadly. While there is a prominent critical literature on writing as form, visual forms, sound, designed environments and other expressive media and mediations are often examined in a limited way and generally by scholarly communities concerned with theorizing these forms in all their rich particularity. Through ethnographic and theoretical readings, we will pick through the larger problem of contemporary theorizations of the relationship between aesthetics, ethics and politics and anthropology's engagement with those questions. Readings will include works by Roman Jakobson, Claude Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Steven Feld, Charles Hirschkind, Alfred Gell as well as Theodore Adorno, Jacques Ranciere, Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, Friedrich Kittler and others.