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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sareeta Bipin Amrute
ANTH 369
Seattle Campus

Special Problems in Anthropology

Delineation and analysis of a specific problem or related problems in sociocultural anthropology.

Class description

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.

Recommended preparation

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.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sareeta Bipin Amrute
Date: 11/09/2010