Anthropos and the Archive|
Fall 2008 not offered
COL 338, HIST 299, FGSS 338, ANTH 310, AMST 338, ENGL 338|
This course will address various theories of the archive and how the idea of the "human" comes to figure within them. Can the human be equated with a "subject" or a "self"? How does subjectivity emerge in relation to the knowledge-body that is the archive? In what ways does this subjectivity encompass both the agent doing the archiving and the very subject that is being archived? By examining key critical works on the nature of knowledge and the archive, we will begin to uncover the various methodologies of knowledge production and the way that these form how we think of and define ourselves. The class will look at accepted notions of history and the way that history materializes in the collection of things deemed worthy of preservation in the narrative that emerges from the archive itself. As we shall see, neither the narrative nor the act of preservation can claim neutrality. In the face of this, we will be looking at our own accepted versions of truth and of the possible Real. The course is structured around a longer, more sustained research project of each students' own choosing. While exploring the theory of archives, students will perform their own archival research within the Wesleyan University Archives and Special Collections.
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|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
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First-year students and sophomores may be admitted during drop/add if spaces remain and the instructor finds them adequately prepared. Students must be comfortable with theoretical discourse and composition, but no previous archival experience is necessary. Majors that offer the best preparation are: Anthropology, Art & Art History, (Studio Art students are encouraged to participate); Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies; and Philosophy. Because the course is structured around archival research of each student's own choosing, however, students from other majors are encouraged to enroll if they are interested in performing their own research using primary sources. Such majors may include (but are not limited to) American Studies; College of Social Studies; English; Film Studies; German Studies; Government; History; Neuroscience and Behavior; Psychology; Religion; the Science in Society Program; Sociology and Theater.
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