An Ethnographic Exploration of Personhood

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Anthropology

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Ethn. Exp. Personhood
Spring 2023
Taught By: Miranda Rosa Fiammetta Tuckett
Section: A

CRN: 13464

Credits: 4

This class will be split into three modules which explore what personhood is, and how it can be approached ethnographically. In the first six weeks of the semester, we will read a range of anthropological literature, both classic and contemporary, which approaches the topic of representation. Students will explore the kinds of questions anthropologists ask, and how they answer them. From suicide among the Inuit in Canada, to addiction along the Rio Grande, to Queerness in the Black American South, we will ask what ethnography is and how to render different conceptions of personhood on the page. Moving on to module 2, we will explore cross cultural examples of “self-making”. Topics of Memory, Labor, Law, Medicine, and Indigenous ontologies will guide us as we explore the ways people are constituted through social relations embedded in larger structures of power and domination. In the final module of the class, we will turn to the lifecycle. From the individual to the collective we will ask: where does personhood begin? Where does it end? And, how is it shaped along the way through rites of passage and differing regimes of truth? In this seminar, with particular attention to how the Western, autonomous individual has been naturalised, students will develop knowledge of theoretical debates across anthropology on personhood, relationality, and representation. For the final paper, students may choose between an ethnographic research project which relates to the themes explored in the class, or, a theoretical essay on the topics of “ethnography” and “personhood" .

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Anthropology (LANT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

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: 3:12am EDT 6/4/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 10:00am - 11:40am
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 1001
Date Range: 1/23/2023 - 5/15/2023