Cultural Anthropology 2018

For my Cultural Anthropology 2018 course, I am adopting a package of books by Kenneth J. Guest:

The price as a package is around $83, which seems like a good value in relationship to other textbooks and readers. It also seems like less money than trying to buy as three used books.

This approach is a significant departure from my 2016 course in Cultural Anthropology. That course concentrated on reading full-length anthropology books as we traced the trajectory of the concept of culture within and outside of anthropology. While there was much that was useful about that course, finding our way in what Guest calls “a Global Age” means concentrating on the contemporary anthropological toolkit. We of course want to remember global history and the history of anthropology, but I feel we need to foreground the future, especially in a basic undergraduate class.

In the May 2018 What is troubling anthropology?, Matthias Teeuwen puts this bluntly as “I think that there is an overarching sense that anthropology has failed to live up to its promise to ‘make the world safe for human difference’–as Ruth Benedict famously set the task for anthropology.” Detailing that failed promise was exactly the premise of my Cultural Anthropology 2016 course. In this course, I attempt to turn more to what anthropology might possibly do to re-address that promise.

A. What is Cultural Anthropology?

1.

2.

  • Edith Turner, “There are No Peripheries to Humanity”

3.

  • Nancy Scheper-Hughes, “Mind(ing) the Body: On the Trail of Organ-Stealing Rumors”
  • Fieldwork: “Anthropology in a Global Age: Making a Can of Coke Unfamiliar”

4.

  • Chapter 2, “Culture”
  • Horace Miner, “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”

5.

  • Lila Abu-Lughod, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?”

6.

  • Lucas Bessire, from Behold the Black Caiman
  • Fieldwork: “Creating Culture: College Students and the Culture of Consumerism”

7.

  • Chapter 3, “Fieldwork and Ethnography”

8.

9.

  • Sienna Craig, Portrait of a Himalayan Healer
  • Fieldwork: “Mapping a Block”

10.

  • Chapter 4, “Language”

11.

  • Laura Bohannan, “Shakespeare in the Bush”

12.

  • Laura Ahearn, “Literacy, Power, and Agency: Love Letters and Development in Nepal”
  • Fieldwork: “Language and Gender in the Classroom”

B. History, Culture, & Power

13.

14.

  • Keisha-Khan Perry, “‘If We Didn’t Have Water’: Black Women’s Struggle for Urban Land Rights in Brazil”
  • Fieldwork: “Exploring Human Origins in the Museum”

15.

  • Yarimar Bonilla and Jonathan Rosa, “#Ferguson: Digital Protest, Hashtag Ethnography, and the Racial Politics of Social Media in the United States”
  • Fieldwork: “Initiating a Classroom Conversation about Race”

16.

  • Chapter 6, “Ethnicity and Nationalism”

17.

  • Paul Farmer, “‘Landmine Boy’ and Stupid Deaths”

18.

19.

  • Chapter 7, “Gender”
  • Evelyn Blackwood, “Tombois in West Sumatra”
  • Emily Martin, “The Egg and the Sperm”

20.

21.

  • Deborah Gould, “Life During Wartime: Emotions and the Development of ACT UP”
  • Fieldwork: “Creating a Code of Sexual Conduct”

22.

  • Chapter 9, “Kinship, Family, and Marriage”
  • Melvyn Goldstein, “When Brothers Share a Wife”
  • Dana-Ain Davis, “The Troubling Case of Nadya Suleman”

23.

24.

  • Chapter 10, “Class and Inequality”
  • Philippe Bourgois, “From Jíbaro to Crack Dealer: Confronting the Restructuring of Capitalism in El Barrio”
  • Karen Hansen, “Helping or Hindering? Controversies around the International Second-Hand Clothing Trade”
  • Fieldwork: “Ten Chairs of Inequality”

C. Making Sense of Change

25.

26.

  • Julie Y. Chu, “The Attraction of Numbers: Accounting for Ritual Expenditures in Fuzhou, China”
  • Fieldwork: “The Global Economy: Tracking the Travels of a Chocolate Bar”

27.

28.

  • Chapter 12, “Politics and Power”
  • Margaret Mead, “Warfare is Only an Invention–Not a Biological Necessity”

29.

30.

  • Melissa Checker, from Polluted Promises
  • Fieldwork: “Exploring the Balance of Power in Human Relationships”

31.

  • Chapter 13, “Religion”
  • George Gmelch, “Baseball Magic”

32.

  • Daromir Rudnyckyj, From Wall Street to Halal Street

33.

  • Kenneth J. Guest, “Liminal Youth among Fuzhounese Chinese Undocumented Workers”
  • Fieldwork: “Visit to a Religious Community”

34.

  • Chapter 14, “Health, Illness, and the Body”
  • Didier Fassin, Frédéric Le Marcis, and Todd Lethata, “Life and Times of Magda A”
  • Michele Friedner, from Valuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India
  • Fieldwork: “What Do You Do When You Get Sick?”

35.

  • Chapter 15, “Art and Media”
  • Brent Luvaas, “Designer Vandalism: Indonesian Indie Fashion and the Cultural Practice of Cut ‘n’ Paste”

36.

  • Aimee Cox, “The BlackLight Project”
  • Fieldwork: “Conducting an Ethnography of Art”

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