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CS92PROD
Pure Filth: Anthropology in a World of Waste
ANTH 297
Fall 2016
Section: 01  

This course examines what the world looks like from the vantage point of its diverse waste streams. Waste is all around us. A product of everyday life, of economic activity, of regimes of bodily care and hygiene, waste is an inescapable aspect of contemporary culture and a central element in the constitution of cultural difference. Taking up classic and contemporary anthropological approaches to waste, the course asks where is "away" when we throw things away? How does the production, disposal, and management of waste contribute to the construction of social differences of race, class, and gender? Waste has also captured the imagination of contemporary artists, film-makers, journalists, activists, and humanitarians, becoming the subject of Oscar-winning films and large scale urban reforms. The course explores case stories--from the waste pickers in Rio de Janeiro and Delhi, to Food Not Bombs activists in New York, from Environmental Justice in the US South, to the Pacific garbage patch, from the sewers of 19th-century London to wastelands at the edge of empires--to animate the core concepts of discard studies: disposability, pollution, body-burdens, and externalities. Through readings, films, and independent research, students will explore and learn to critically analyze the diverse and dramatic worlds of waste.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUL-06-2022
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