Critical Foundations of Anthropology: Key Concepts

New School for Social Research: Anthropology

Liberal Arts
Graduate Course
Majors Only
Critical Found.of Soc Theory
Fall 2024
Taught By: Abou Farman
Section: A

CRN: 5381

Credits: 3

The very title, "Critical Foundations of Anthropology," calls for reflection. “Critical” may refer to one set of concerns, “Foundations” to another. Does the title, “Critical Foundations,” suggest a critical view on foundations? Is “critical foundations” an oxymoron, since the very purpose of critique is to question what we think we know, to question and destabilize received conventions of thought, to question one’s confidence in answers? Does it demand that we engage new questions? Not least we will ask what is included and excluded from that which was commonly asserted (and protected) as “the canon,” and not least to confront the “common” in “common sense.” In this seminar we will work neither to defend the principles, practices, and politics of an earlier anthropology nor reject and dismiss that work out of hand. The effort here is rather to situate what questions were being asked, why those questions were asked and not others, who was doing the asking, what constituted the proper domains of inquiry and what did not. Can we make sense of our present by understanding better what was the political and global landscape in which anthropology developed as a discipline, as a form of knowledge, as a knowledge-producing machine, one whose ‘winnowing’ practices filtered out its conditions of production and the politics, colonial and otherwise, that have allowed anthropologists to pursue what they once did and do today.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Anthropology (ANT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 25

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2024 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2024 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:38am EDT 6/17/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday
Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm
Building: TBD
Room: TBD
Date Range: 8/27/2024 - 12/3/2024