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OSEA Winter Courses

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Contemporary Maya Peoples, Cultures and Histories
Culture Concepts and Theories
Seminar in Ethnography
Fieldwork Forum and Ethnographic Research
Spoken Spanish and Maya for Ethnographic Fieldwork

OSEA Winter Quarter Seminar in Anthropology
Culture Concepts and Theories

This course offers students the basic conceptual and theoretical tools of contemporary cultural anthropology. The course is taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate course consists of six sessions, each of three hours, that introduces core ideas to the major and non-major at a “junior” level. The graduate course has an additional component of four sessions, each of two hours, as well as a more advanced reading list. Evaluation of student success is determined through active participation in seminar discussions as well as short written essays dealing specific concepts that can either be a conceptually driven explanation of ideas or an elaboration of ideas in relation to the diverse ethnographic and historical materials being presented throughout the broader course of study in Yucatán.

Schedule of Topics

Unit & Wk Culture Concepts and Theories Hrs
1 Concepts of Religion: Ritual, Myth, Symbol, Spiritualism 2.5
2 Concepts and Theories of Culture 2.5
3 Concepts of Identity, Sex/Gender and Subjectivity 2.5
4 Concepts of Discourse: Knowledge, Ideology, Dialogue 2.5
5 Concepts of Polity: Nation, State, Ethnicity, Public Sphere 2.5
6 Concepts of (Cultural) “Fusions”: Acculturation, Transculturation, Hybridity
  Total hours (Undergrad Level Course) 15

Entails additional four seminars listed below

Unit Wk Culture Concepts and Theories Hrs
G1 3 Performativity: Time, Body, Space, Staging of Self, Practice 2.5
G2 4 Textual Analysis: Tropes, Rhetoric, Narrative, Semiotics 2.5
G3 5 Power: Governmentality, Resistance, Hegemony, Power/Knowledge 2.5
G4 6 Modernities: Alternative, Peripheral, Traditional, National and other types
    Total hours (Graduate Level Course), based on / 10 + 15)

This course will be based on a collection of carefully chosen articles, chapters and essays by diverse authors. The following table is a provisional Listing of Authors and/or Readings according to Topic.

Concepts of and from Religion Ritual, Myth, Symbol, Spiritualism
Geertz, Religion as Cultural System
Turner, chap. From Forest of Symbols
Concepts of Culture Geertz, Thick Description
Rosaldo, ch in Culture and Truth

Concepts of Identity, Subjectivity, Sex/Gender, Desire, masculinities and feminities in cross-cultural frames
Donna Haraway, intro to Primate Visions plus selections
Connell, Masculinities book, selection
Eve Sedgwick, selection
Omar Castañeda, “Guatemalan Macho Oratory”

Concepts of Discourse
Knowledge, Ideology, Dialogue Althusser, Ideology and State Apparatus (part)
Bakhtin, selection from Dialogical Imagination
Tedlock, ch 10 from Emergence of Dialogical Anthro.
Foucault, “Truth & Power” “Two Lectures” in Power/Knowledge

Concepts of Polity
Nation, State, Ethnicity, Public Sphere Nugent & Joseph, Everyday State Formation, Selection
Guibernau & Rex, Ch. 1 Ethnicity Reader
Eley, essay on Habermas’ Public Sphere

Concepts of Cultural “Fusion”
Transculturation, Hybridity, Mimicry, Syncretism, Acculturation Ortiz, pages from Cuban Counterpoint
Coronil, Introduction to Ortiz
Pratt, Introduction to Imperial Eyes
Robert Young, selection from his Colonial Desire
Herskovits, 1940 Am. Anth. Essay on Acculturation
Redfield, Herskovits & Linton, Statement on Accult.

Grad Readings
Concepts of Performativity
Time, Body, Space, Practice, Staging of Self Judith Butler, intro to Bodies that Matter
Michel DeCertau, chaps in Practice of Everyday Life
Marcel Mauss, essay on the body
Goffman, Presentation of Self in Everday Life, selections

Textual Analysis
Semiotics, Tropes, Rhetoric, & Narrative Turner, Chapter from Forest of Symbols
Francis Yates, ch. 1, Art of Memory
Kenneth Burke, “4 Master Tropes”, Grammar of Motives
Paul Ricouer, “Model of the Text” & ch. Narrative

Concepts of Power
Resistance, Governmentality, Hegemony
Foucault, History of Sexuality, vol. 1: 81-102
Ortner “Resistance & Ethnographic Refusal” CSSH 1995
Foucault & Colin Gordon’s Intro in The Foucault Effect
Mitchell Dean, Governmentality Ch 1-2 Basic Concepts
Laclau, Hegemony & Social Strategy, pp.7-29, 65-71, 134-145, 159-171

Peripheral, Alternative, and other forms Bruce Knauft, intro to his edited Critical Modernities
Trouillot & Friedmen, chaps. in the B. Knauft collection
Enrique Dussel, ch 1 & Appdx, Invention of America
Nelly Richard, “Peripheral Modernities”