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The Anthropology and Theory of Enclosure
ANTH 321
Spring 2023 not offered
Crosslisting: AFAM 321, AMST 251

This course surveys the anthropology of a form--at once spatial and epistemological--that we will call enclosure. In this course, the historical process of enclosure--the process of expropriation by which common land and common wealth was privatized (literally hedged or fenced) and formerly "free" persons were brought into disciplinary institutions--will guide us conceptually and anthropologically. Aligned with domination and restriction, enclosure discloses much of interest to anthropologists: personhood, ownership, cartography, settler-colonialism, force, dispossession, difference. In order to manage the scale of our investigation, our primary ethnographic and historical examples will be drawn from the Black Atlantic and the Unites States. We will look to the production of actual spaces to study enclosure: the hold of the slave ship, the plantation, the factory, the ghetto, the household of the monogamous family, the prison. Such a list does not propose a historical sequence. We will however attend to social and anthropological forms that are overlapping, messy, and persist over time. We will ask questions about: the structures and logics of captivity, partition, separation, and possession; subjectivity and scarcity; and the ethnographic representation of enclosure and its disciplines. But we will also ask after possibility and the otherwise: attending to imaginative social possibilities of dis-enclosure, unbounding, openness. Is there a way to think and practice dis-enclosure that might bring us from a dying, privatized world to a more inhabitable, common, and liberated Earth?
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 JUN-23-2024
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