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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sareeta Bipin Amrute
ANTH 569
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology

Delineation and analysis of a specific topic or set of related topics in sociocultural anthropology.

Class description

Global Science:

This course investigates the role played by science and technology in global flows, national development projects, and the creation of knowledge about human and non-human worlds from the 18th century to the present day. We will use histories, ethnographies and science studies of Latin America, India, Africa and Eastern Europe to investigate the dispersal and development of science in the modern world. General readings on progress and modernity will be used as a springboard at intervals during the course to discuss theoretical approaches to the study of science. We will ask, how has scientific progress depended on worldwide ‘laboratories’ outside Europe and the U.S.? And, how has the history of science and society shaped the global world we now inhabit?

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Global Science Anth 569 Tu-Th 1:30-3:20 Smith 309

Sareeta B. Amrute M32 Denny Hall amrutes@u.washington.edu office hours Wednesdays 3:30-5 or by appt.

This course investigates the role played by science and technology in global flows, national development projects, and the creation of knowledge about human and non-human worlds from the 18th century to the present day. We will use histories, ethnographies and science studies of Latin America, India, Africa and Eastern Europe to investigate the dispersal and development of science in the modern world. General readings on progress and modernity will be used as a springboard at intervals during the course to discuss theoretical approaches to the study of science. We will ask, how has scientific progress depended on worldwide ‘laboratories’ outside Europe and the U.S.? And, how has the history of science and society shaped the global world we now inhabit?

Throughout class, we will use three theoretical frames to guide our studies: ‘the political and progress’, ‘the human and the reasonable’, and ‘bodies and knowledge’. You should choose one of these frameworks early on, and read texts with your framework in mind. For 5th week, write a 5-page paper on how you understand your chosen framework in the context of the readings. Then, for the final session of class, you will divide into three groups, each group devoted to one of these frameworks. Your group will present a review of your findings on the topic presented in class and lead a discussion of your findings. A final paper of 10-12 pages using the readings to further explore your theme will be due at the end of term.

To get full credit for the class, you must do all the reading and participate actively in class.

Grade Breakdown: Participation: 30% Presentation: 30% Final Paper: 40%

March 31

Introduction

April 2 Philip, Kavita (2007). “Nature, Culture Capital, Empire”. Capitalism Nature Socialism. 18(1): 5-12.

Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century," Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York:Routledge,1991. http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/Haraway/CyborgManifesto.html

April 7 Helmreich, Stefan 2001 “After Culture: Reflections on the Apparition of Anthropology in Artificial Life, a Science of Simulation.” Cultural Anthropology 16(4):613-628. Ian Hacking (1986), “Making Up People” in The Science Studies Reader, pp. 161-171.

Latour The Politics of Nature, chs 1 and 2.

April 9 Ferguson, James (1994). The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 1-166.

April 14 Sivaramakrishnan and Agarwal, “Regional Modernities in Stories and Practices of Development” in Regional Modernities: the Cultural Politics of Development in India, Stanford, 2003.

Gupta, “Indigenous Agronomy” in Postcolonial Developments.

April 17 Salvatore, Ricardo Donato (2006). “Imperial Mechanics: South America's Hemispheric Integration in the Machine Age”. American Quarterly. 58(3): 662-691.

Escobar, Arturo (1999). “After Nature” Cultural Anthropology 40(1):1-30.

April 21 Heidegger, Martin. “The Question Concerning Technology”, in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell, trans. William Lovitt, New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

Jackson, Michael (2002). “Familiar and Foreign Bodies: a Phenomenological Exploration of the Human-Technological Interface”, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 8(2):333-346.

April 23 Petryna, Adriana (2002). Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

April 28 Petryna cont.

May 5 Lakoff, Andrew (2006). Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry. Boston: Cambridge.

May 7 Lakoff cont.

May 12 Langford, Jean (2002). Fluent Bodies: Ayurvedic Remedies For Postcolonial Imbalance. Durham: Duke.

May 14 Langford, cont.

May 19 Nelson, Alondra, 2002. “Introduction: Future Texts”, in Alondra Nelson, ed. Social Texts, special issue: Afrofuturism. pp. 1-15.

Nelson, Alondra “The Factness of Diaspora” unpublished ms.

Everett, Anna, 2002. “The Revolution will be Digitized: Afrocentricity and the Digital Public Sphere”, in ibid. pp. 125-146.

May 21 Butler, Judith (2005). Giving an Account of Oneself. New York: Fordham.

May 26 Ann Marie Mol, (2002). The Body Multiple. Durham: Duke.

May 28 Ann Marie Mol cont.

June 2

Class presentations


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: 03/31/2009