This seminar examines anthropological approaches to violence through a close reading of 10 ethnographies. Readings span many of the theoretical, political,sub-disciplinary and area studies debates in anthropology and the larger fieldsof poverty, social inequality, international development, cultural studies, peace, and conflict research and violence studies over the past century. My hope is to bring the subjects of urban poverty, war, legacies of colonialism, violence, social suffering and a critique of neoliberal governmentality into the center of the disciplines of anthropology and public health specifically and the social sciences, humanities and medicine more broadly. In the seminar we will (hopefully) be bringing students from anthropology, and other social science and humanities disciplines in dialogue with students in public health, science studies, and clinical medicine.
Many of the readings and discussions will be concerned with the links between intimate suffering at the level of the individual and the political structuring of larger historical, political and cultural forces. This requires an understanding of the concepts of political economy, colonial/post-colonial history, the emergence of modern subjectivities, and the continuum of structural, symbolic, political and everyday violence. We will be reading primarily ethnographies based on qualitative participant-observation methods and driven by critical social science theory, but we will also explore the contrasts between anthropological vs. literary vs. testimonial vs. political journalistic vs. epidemiological forms of addressing the topics.
Section 401 - SEM
UNIVERSITY MUSEUM 330
Department of Anthropology
Museum, Room 325, 3260 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-7461 Fax: (215) 898-7462