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The Politics of Nature: Modernity and Its Others
ANTH 397
Spring 2010
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: SISP 397

This course desconstructs the cultural uses and misuses of the concept of "nature" and the "natural" in the relations between modernity and its others. Our larger query will concern cosmology and ontology--the worldviews and worlds we inhabit--and what happens when there is basic disagreement as to what counts as "real." For example, do glaciers, mountains, rivers listen as many indigenous peoples claim? Or are they just objects passively governed by natural forces? Can biological and animist worldviews reconcile? Are technologies, like humans, sentient? If so, how? What about the spirits of nature or the spirits of the dead? Do they count in the commons? What is "nature's" political and cultural authority in deciding these questions? We'll read across the history of science, philosophy, cultural studies, science studies, and of course anthropology (medical, feminist, and of religion) as well as bring an ethnographic sensibility to our study of what has been one of the fiercest tensions in EuroAmerican modernity, namely this opposition between the so-called scientific and pre- or non-modern.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
First, students will read inter-disciplinarily and thus learn a range of analytical approaches; second, through peer collaborative projects, students will engage in interpretive exercises with each other.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-22-2024
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