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History of Anthropological Thought
ANTH 383
Spring 2011 not offered

The theory of the gift, taboo and transgression, secrecy and power, ritual and transformation--readings in these and other important topics in the history of anthropology will guide our study of the main theoretical traditions from which the contemporary practice of anthropology arose and against which much of it defines itself today. These topics exemplify the Euro-American fascination with so-called primitive cultures and, at the same time, the role primitivism played in the self-making of what we call Western civilization. Our approach to anthropology's most important theoretical traditions (i.e., evolutionism, relativism, functionalism and structuralism, feminism, Marxism) will be to treat them as cultural narratives in which the relationship between past and present, the "primitive" and the modern, and the ethnographer and his/her subject matter take on specific forms to explain cultural identity and difference. We will explore ways in which the study of other peoples' worlds makes one's own culture seem strange; the question of how one comes to understand oneself through others will be an important focus in this seminar.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: None
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: ANTH201
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)

Last Updated on JUN-14-2024
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