Sareeta Bipin Amrute
Delineation and analysis of a specific problem or related problems in sociocultural anthropology.
Introduction to Social Theory: Subject, Person, Place will cover work of some of the most important contemporary critical thinkers in the discipline. We will read Giorgio Agamben on bare life, Frantz Fanon on race and recognition, Judith Butler on embodiment, and several others on capitalist cultures and new forms of political and social life. We will pair these thinkers with a work of anthropology that makes use of and is in conversation with those ideas. The goal of the course is to understand how anthropology employs critical theory to understand particular cases and general developments.
Student learning goals
understand how contemporary theory frames society, bodies, and the law
develop critical analysis skills
develop critical writing skills
engage in group discussion
understand the use of critical theory to anthropology
General method of instruction
This course will be run as a seminar. Each class, students will help lead class discussion on the assigned readings. Discussions will stay close to the text, asking how the text constructs its object of study, what underlying principles help guide what is said, and what might be left out of focus in the process.
Students should come prepared with a grounding in close reading of texts and some background in analysis of main concepts and categories of the humanities and social sciences.
Class assignments and grading
Students will be asked to post each week to the class discussion board and to lead 1 course discussion during the quarter. Students will have a choice between writing 2 short or 1 long paper.
Grades will be assigned according to class participation, discussion leadership, and written assignments.