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Development and Beyond: Living and Imagining Alternatives
ANTH 242
Summer 2016
Section: 01  

This four-week intensive course will examine radical challenges, in theory and on the ground, to mainstream development strategies promoted by international organizations like the World Bank and the IMF that seek to end poverty and promote growth. After the 1980s, considered by many as "the lost decade" of development, some scholars and practitioners declared the development enterprise as fundamentally wrong: it was a misguided and violent neocolonial project that could never provide the answer to inequality and poverty. These radical critics argued for imagining and building a "post development" era. In this course, we ask: What is "postdevelopment" as a concept, how does it emerge out of and materialize on the ground among dispossessed communities, and to what effect? We will focus on lived and imagined alternatives to development. We spend the first week at Wesleyan, pouring over the conceptual and political underpinnings of mainstream development discourse as well as its critics. After a quick overview of modernization theory and neoliberal development policies, we will focus on post development critiques and alternatives coming out of in Latin America, in particular. We will then encounter lived alternatives in Oaxaca, Mexico. We will spend three weeks conducting in-depth research and work with marginalized communities that are rejecting capitalist development and building and experimenting with living a "good life" (buen vivir) on their own terms.
Credit: 2 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAR-04-2024
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