“Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept


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There will be opportunities for empirical investigation, whether historical or contemporary. Boddy return to timetable. Each provides a point of departure for exploring a range of ethnographic methods and theoretical models. Sanders return to timetable.


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This course aims to acquaint students with an intellectual history of socio-cultural and linguistic anthropology SCL. This is a large and multifaceted topic, and thus this course cannot pretend to be a comprehensive mapping of the subfield. Rather, it explores a set of key intellectual movements, controversies and concerns. Ultimately the course aims to equip students with the ability to conceptualize and frame a problem within the broader history of SCL. Paz return to timetable.

Agency and Anthropology: Selected Bibliography

This reading-intensive seminar focuses on ethnographic approaches to the process of mass mediation, with specific reference to critical theories of semiotics. Placing our understanding of media technologies within the more encompassing concept of mediation, this course asks what ethnographic accounts can offer to the interdisciplinary field of media studies.

Krupa return to timetable. This course examines anthropological approaches to the study of violence.

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Violence has long been a central focus for anthropological research. One of the overarching ambitions in much of this research has been to make violence meaningful in some respect. Violence can be given meaning in any number of ways. For example, it can be analyzed as being part of a system of exchange, a system of sacrifice, a system of debt, a system of law-making, or a system of signs.

More recently, however, studies of violence have started to emphasize the importance of failures in meaning. In this regard, it could be argued that violence describes the limits of the human capacity to give meaning to events. This course provides an overview of anthropological and related theories of violence. Some of the central theorists considered in the course are Benjamin, Arendt, Derrida, Foucault, and Agamben. The course then situates these theories within the context of ethnographic cases. The varieties of violence considered in these ethnographies range from forms of violence normally associated with small-scale societies circumcision, tribal warfare, headhunting, witchcraft killings, etc.

Satsuka return to timetable. The course examines capitalism as unevenly formed clusters of cultural practices and belief systems.

Background

In this seminar, we will analyze the social and cultural aspects of value and exchange, and compare various forms of capitalism. Some of the fundamental principles and practices of the capitalist system entail contradictions, tensions and enigmatic conventions. While these tensions generate debates as well as many social problems, in everyday life these foundational ideas and practices are often left unquestioned. For instance: How is the equivalence of exchange assumed in a market? How does money work? How does a thing become a commodity?

We will bring in anthropological modes of inquiry in order to analyze the social and cultural specificities of ideas and practices that support capitalism, and to examine how people engage and disengage with these ideas and practices. We will investigate how capitalist and other forms of social interaction co-exist, compete with, and transform one another. Specific attention will be paid to the social and historical context in which particular forms of capitalism have emerged.

Butt return to timetable. Infrastructures are socio-technical assemblages that ensure the movement of things, such as water, power, information, commodities, and people, across space and time. Though anthropological interest is relatively recent, infrastructures have been constitutive components of contemporary life since the global expansion of liberal democracy, the nation-state, and capitalism. What is the genealogy of infrastructures in the contemporary world? What do these infrastructures enable the movement of, and how?

What does an ethnography of infrastructures look like? How does studying infrastructure push our thinking of the political in liberal democracies and under capitalism? And what can these studies reveal about questions of violence, racism, and inequality on a global scale? Hartblay return to timetable.

This advanced graduate research seminar foregrounds the interplay of theory and method in interrogating what it means to study disability from a sociocultural anthropological perspective. Our readings will address a variety of types disability — sensory, motor, mental — and the specific concerns that each raise, and will engage with a diversity of global geographic, cultural, and political locations. Throughout the term, we will work to stake out the breadth of contemporary disability anthropology, an emerging subfield entwined with both queer and medical anthropology, informed by critical disability studies, yet distinct in its ethical-methodological concerns.

The course is particularly suited to graduate students who are interested in an ethnographic approach to making sense of disability as difference in social worlds. McElhinny return to timetable. Luong return to timetable. Napolitano return to timetable. Personhood, subjectivity and human nature lies at the heart of anthropology inquiry: the meaning and relationship of self and other; how representations of human nature have developed and have shaped an imagination of a Western anthropos; the tensions between universality, particularity and singularity; the exchange between humans and non-humans.

This course will be run as a seminar with evaluation based on participation, one oral presentation, weekly reports, and a final paper. Kalmar return to timetable. Maxwell return to timetable. This graduate seminar course brings anthropologists and indigenous studies scholars into dialogue, through reading ethnographies centred on Indigenous experience in North America alongside influential, recent theoretical interventions in indigenous studies.

We will contextualise this contemporary scholarship by reading critical histories of the formation of indigenous studies and anthropology as academic disciplines in the United States and Canada. Our discussions will span Indigenous sovereignties and kinship; settler colonialism as historicized and contemporary cultural and political formation; contributions and limitations of ethnographic research and academic critique; and the relationship between scholarship and activism.

It likewise considers the kinds of knowledge, ethics, and modes of both representation and analysis these different approaches approaches have demanded. Bozcali return to timetable. This seminar aims to assist doctoral students to develop thesis and research grant proposals.

Throughout the seminar, the participants will be guided step by step to produce effective proposals for anthropological fieldwork. The seminar is designed as an intensive writing workshop that is based on timely sharing of work and peer-discussion. Li return to timetable. The premise of the class is that the most effective way to learn how to do ethnographic research is by actually doing it, with guidance and plenty of opportunity for feedback.

The format of the class is collaborative. Each year the class has a common theme.

Person, Self, and Identity: Some Anthropological Retrospects, Circumspects, and Prospects

All students identify a research site related to the theme, usually a site within the University of Toronto where they will conduct primary ethnographic research, and bring issues of research design, ethics, theory and analysis to the weekly group session for collective brainstorming. Assignments include individual weekly blog posts, collective synthesis and writing for the website, and an individual final report.

The theme for is politics. Participants interested in the kinds of critical politics that challenge formations of capital or gender, or race, or nature … could select sites in which such a challenge is well advanced; or they might be more interested in sites in which a critical politics might be expected to emerge but is absent or interrupted, begging the question — why? Sites may include classrooms, locker rooms, dorms, clubs, unions, cafeterias — anywhere that groups of people might potentially identify grievances and act on them.

Bright return to timetable. In this course we consider contributions social theory can make to anthropological studies of science and medicine. Through readings, films, and discussion, we examine how theory can help us to freshly approach new and old anthropological objects such as colonial systems of science, genetics, organ transplant, mental health, chronic disease, biopolitics, fitness, health, and new biotechnologies.

By combining a study of several traditions of theory with a focus on how anthropologists have engaged them, this course aims to present theory not as a set of abstractions but a way of animating our study of science in everyday life. Cameron return to timetable This course is directed towards people who already have some knowledge of human osteology and will provide a comprehensive overview of how researchers analyze human skeletal remains.

Asked why Tehiya did not come to the center as an attendee, but received the symbolic payment of volunteer, the director replied:. Tehiya is not disabled. The organization we belong to does good deeds, and this is one of them. While Tehiya and Rafi may represent exceptions, their cases serve as useful markers of a more consistent, though subtle, rule.

“Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept “Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept
“Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept “Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept
“Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept “Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept
“Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept “Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept
“Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept “Personhood”: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept

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