Moral Ecologies and the Anthropology of Vitality|
Spring 2019 not offered
|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 nonhuman 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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Ron Barrett, AGHOR MEDICINE: POLLUTION, DEATH, AND HEALING IN NORTHERN INDIA
Michel Foucault, THE ORDER OF THINGS
Val Plumwood, ENVIRONMENTAL CULTURE: THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS OF REASON
Vicky Kirby, QUANTUM ANTHROPOLOGIES: LIFE AT LARGE
Marcel Mauss, THE GIFT
John Grim, ed, INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS AND ECOLOGY: THE INTERBEING OF COSMOLOGY AND COMMUNITY
Deborah Bird Rose, REPORTS FROM A WILD COUNTRY
Leela Prasad, POETICS OF CONDUCT: ORAL NARRATIVE AND MORAL BEING IN A SOUTH INDIAN TOWN
Sienna Craig, HEALING ELEMENTS: EFFICACY AND THE SOCIAL ECOLOGIES OF TIBETAN MEDICINE
Frederique Apffel-Marglin, SUBVERSIVE SPIRITUALITIES: HOW RITUALS ENACT THE WORLD
We will also read selected essays and chapters from Michel Taussig, Bruno Latour, Isabelle Stengers, Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Marisol de la Cadena, Viveiro de Castro, Philippe Descola, Marilyn Strathern, and others.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Students will write weekly response papers, one analytical midterm paper and design/create a final research project of their choosing.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Students are to email the instructor during pre-registration a one page single space statement explaining why this course is of interest to them and what background and questions they will bring to it. The instructor will select 15 students from the pool.