Problems in Anthropology
Fall 2012 – The New School for Social Research, New York
Problems in Anthropology (GANT 6065)
This core course serves as an introduction to contemporary anthropology and is strictly limited to masters students of the NSSR anthropology department. The seminar addresses two kinds of problems inherent to the practice of anthropology today: 1) the epistemological, ethical, and political issues that have haunted the discipline ever since it has come to reflect on its colonial past, the predicament of the culture concept, or the supposed illusion of human nature; 2) the conceptions of human life and ways of dealing with it that have become problematic due to, for example, historical developments or scientific findings. By exploring the latter kinds of problems, the course will introduce graduate students to some of the most fruitful fields of anthropological inquiry,which will provide ample opportunity to address disciplinary controversies. The goal of the seminar is to provide an outward orientation that will prepare students for both innovative anthropological research and an engagement with the world beyond the confines of the academy.