Colonial (and other) Histories of the Present

New School for Social Research: Anthropology

Liberal Arts
Graduate Course
Majors Only
Anthro: History of the Present
Spring 2023
Taught By: Ann Stoler
Section: A

CRN: 13640

Credits: 3

In 1950 don of British anthropology, Evans Pritchard warned that anthropology would have to choose between being history or being nothing. What did he mean by that statement? How prescient was he in charting the direction that anthropology would take in the 21st century? This course explores the changing form and content of historical reflection in the making of anthropology as a discipline, a set of practices, and mode of inquiry. It starts from the notion that anthropological knowledge is always grounded in implicit and explicit assumptions about the ways in which the past can be known, how people differently use their pasts, and what counts in different societies as relevant and debatable history. We will examine the range of forms in which the past is imagined to be know: the written and more general inscription of the past in written and visual documents, material objects, memory, and literary form and how ethnographers in historical pursuit draw on these forms of knowledge. We will look at how different understandings of the relationship between history, culture and power and the concepts that join them -- habitus, architecture, cultural debris, social memory, genealogy, tradition -- have given shape to critical currents in ethnographic method and social theory. This course draws on work from a range of disciplines and students from all disciplines are welcome to join. Please note this course will meet twice each week for the first half of the semester.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Anthropology (GANT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: January 29, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: March 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* 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: 6:52am EDT 9/29/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Thursday
Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 704
Date Range: 1/23/2023 - 3/16/2023