ANTH 3601: Contemporary theory and anthropology
|Office:||Social Sciences Building 410 (A02)|
|Office hours:||Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 to 2 p.m.|
Like any field of scholarly inquiry, anthropology is a conversation among many people with different points of view. On the one hand, what brings us together is a set of questions about the nature of humanity. On the other hand, everything about these questions—including how to ask them, what kinds of information will help answer them, and what kinds of answers we should seek, and why anyone should care about these answers—are subject to intense debate. These debates are on some level neverending because the perspectives are on a certain level incompatible. Yet while the issues of controversy may never be completely resolved, the debates in anthropology have changed the way we think about human life, its diversity, and what it means to be human. In ANTH 3601: Contemporary theory in anthropology, we will discuss the recent history of anthropology in terms of a central debate, one that resonates with a larger conversation among social scientists between materialism and idealism. We will then explore some of the lines of inquiry which have emerged in later years in response to the changes in anthropology brought on by this debate. ANTH 3601 is a seminar, which means that you will draw on your past study in anthropology and participate in the central debates in anthropology in every class. Our goal is for each student to decide where they stand in these debates and be able to explain why.