These blog-posts explore themes in Cultural Anthropology. One of the main ideas is how the anthropological idea of Culture was introduced and how it then problematically turned into plural cultures. Ultimately, I agree with Michel-Rolph Trouillot that anthropology must bid “Adieu Culture” (Global Transformations 2003). Although it now seems impossible to change the terminology of “Cultural Anthropology,” most of the blog-posts in this category are critical of the use of the term culture.
My 2016 course in Cultural Anthropology traced this trajectory, beginning with Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture (1934) and using Trouillot as a guiding text.
For Cultural Anthropology 2020, I took an approach that emphasized aspects of anthropology that are a “toolkit” for today’s times. In many ways it has become unavoidable to continue using the label of culture, but it seems worth attempting to explain what can be so problematic about it. In this course I used Kenneth Guest’s Essentials of Cultural Anthropology.