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Anarchist Anthropology and Militant Ethnography
AMST 319
Spring 2020 not offered
Crosslisting: ANTH 315

Today, anthropology is better known as a discipline that still grapples with its colonial past more than as a discipline that has an affinity with anarchy. In Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, David Graeber suggests that anthropology shares a particular affinity with anarchist theory because of its history of with working within "stateless" societies and how it accounts for the range of human possibilities in terms of social organization, power, and authority. Thus, he calls for the need to create a body of social theory gravitating around anarchism. This includes developing methods for radical critical engagement with and understanding of social processes. Anarchist thought and practice has left its mark on a series of high-profile social movements over the past few years, such as the uprisings in the Arab world, indigenous autonomous zones in Latin America, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter. In turn, some anthropologists have taken up militant ethnography, a burgeoning approach to qualitative research that is consciously politicized, enabling activist-researchers to engage directly with radical social movement(s). We will explore: anthropological theories and practices of democracy; the power of the state; social movements; and the anthropology of politics, culture and power. Topics include: collectivism, autonomy, solidarity, anarcho-primitivism, anarchist ecology (including non-hierarchical connections with the natural world), non-market productions, relationships, ethics, political insurrections and revolutionary movements, experimental societies and utopian communities, power structures, democracy and horizontal power. As the study of domination is informed by the legacy of slavery and the enduring structures of settler colonialism, the case studies for this course will be drawn primarily (though not exclusively) from the Americas.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUL-23-2024
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