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Infrastructure Matters: Power, Protest, and the Grid
ANTH 305
Spring 2017
Section: 01  

This course is an anthropological exploration of infrastructure: the material grids that exist beneath society, economy, and culture. Infrastructures are the foundation upon which everyday life rests and depends; they also materialize foundational political ideals like freedom, progress, equality, and nature. Infrastructures like ports, rails, and roads embody the connections and disconnections of the globalized world. While meant to remain invisible, out of sight and out of mind, diverse infrastructures - from Michigan's corroded pipes to mega-dams on the River Nile - have become lightning rods for political protest and demands for justice, rights, and a good life. Taking an anthropological perspective, this course asks: why has infrastructure taken on vital importance to the modern nation-state? How is infrastructure implicated in the reproduction of racial, gendered, and classed identities and inequalities? What happens when infrastructures fail? Through multi-disciplinary readings and a course-long visual research project, this course challenges students to see the world beneath their feet in new ways and to trace the material connections that define and sustain modern life itself.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: ANTH101
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUN-04-2023
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