Political Anthropology

This course explores major themes in the subfield of political anthropology. How do anthropologists locate “the political” and study it the ethnographically – that is, through the long-term fieldwork they conduct? Throughout this course, we will delve into anthropological approaches to power, authority, and domination; statecraft and transnational governance; everyday forms of resistance and collective action; violence and disorder; and the politics of care and abandonment, among other themes. We will consider the animating questions that helped consolidate the subfield during the 1940s and 1950s, and trace anthropology’s growing concern with (post)colonialism and global capitalism. Finally, we will explore questions of labor restructuring, activism, caregiving, and life itself in an era that is often characterized as “neoliberal.”

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Ellison

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered