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Moral Ecologies and the Anthropology of Vitality

ENVS 305
Spring 2014
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: SISP 305, ANTH 303
Certificates: Environmental Studies, Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory

What is vitality? How is vitality nurtured? What hinders vitality? How might we participate in the flourishing of all life? This course will explore the "anthropology of vitality" to designate a body of emerging literatures in anthropology, science studies, religious studies, human geography, and ecological humanities centered on questions of the health, wealth, and vitality of communities understood to include both the human and the non-human worlds. Much of this literature is emerging in response to the intertwined global crises of social and environmental justice and a corresponding and urgent call for a new ethics. We will approach these concerns as an issue "moral ecology" in response to Michel Foucault's point in THE ORDER OF THINGS (1970) that "modern thought has never been able to propose a morality." The authors we will read work across the nature-culture ontological divide by expanding modes of reasoning to bring together, for example, medicine and ecology, ritual and environment, nature and morality, politics and religion, cosmology and pragmatism, gift-exchange and the production of wealth, regeneration and death, knowledge and ethics. Topics include: the meanings of prosperity and vitality, moral idioms of nature, animism, epistemologies of embodiment, ecological and cosmological reasoning and systems of classification, relational ontologies, death, waste and pollution, ecology and healing, ritual and world-making.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ENVS
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-25-2024
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