Bilinda Straight

Moore Hall 1003; Tel: 387-0409                                

Email: Bilinda.Straight@wmich.edu

Web Page: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~bstraigh

 

ANTH 604: Integrating Anthropology—Objectifying the Human

 

This course is an introduction to your graduate experience here at WMU meant to offer you a thematically integrated perspective of anthropology’s four fields. This year’s theme, Objectifying the Human, demands a critically reflexive reading of anthropology’s approach to its own subject/object—the human. Thus, we will read about anthropology’s own history of objectifying humans, as well as consider how anthropology has created the categories through which it produces knowledge. In addition to considering anthropology critically however, we will also consider the many ways that humans have and continue to objectify themselves—including forms of objectifying created through new technologies. Some hands-on participant-observation, oral history, or other form of original research will be an integral and required component of this course, and a draft MA thesis proposal will be the course’s end product.

 

Required Books

 

Į Crary, Jonathan and Sanford Kwinter. 1992. Incorporations (Zone 6). Zone Books.

Į Lynn Meskell and Rosemary Joyce. 2003. Embodied Lives: Figuring Ancient Maya and Egyptian Experience. Routledge.

Į Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine. 1991. Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Į Catherine Waldby. 2000. The Visible Human Project: Informatic Bodies and Posthuman Medicine. London and New York: Routledge.

 

Selected Articles—On reserve until coursepack is ready.


Grading (See Grading Key for complete instructions)

 

            Attendance/Participation        15%                 Reading Abstracts       20%

            Annotated Bibliography         20%                 Facilitation                  15%

            MA Thesis Proposal Draft    30%

                                                                       

Attendance/Participation (15% of grade)

 

In a class of this kind and size, your presence and participation are essential to the quality of the experience for others as well as yourself. Your attendance grade will be based on the number of days you are absent, calculated as points missed on a one-hundred percent scale. Participation will weigh in here but no one will be penalized for shyness.

 

Reading Abstracts (20% of grade)

 

For each week of readings, you will select two readings to write a 250 word abstract on. These will be quantitatively graded according to the grading key. (20% of grade). If you do not know what an abstract looks like, look at American Ethnologist articles, which include abstracts. Your reading abstracts must be typed and handed in each Tuesday for that day’s readings—beginning with the second Tuesday of class (the first day for which there are readings). Also, you must keep an e-file containing all of them to be turned in as an email attachment at the end of the semester in order to get full credit.

 

Annotated Bibliography (20% of grade):

 

This will be an annotated bibliography of sources you feel are pertinent to your own interests as a scholar. Write a 250 word abstract for each of 10 sources. Preface the annotated bib with a summary statement of why these sources are useful to the project you are contemplating. Include full bibliographic information for each of these sources. NOTE: Course readings do not count towards the 10 sources for this assignment unless you did not do/are not doing an abstract for them as part of your required weekly abstracts. Web sites are not acceptable.

 

Facilitation (15% of grade):

 

Everyone will co-facilitate half of one class, as partners. You will be responsible for readings, discussion questions, and some analysis of the readings.

 

MA Thesis Proposal Draft (30% of grade): 

 

So, you want a Masters degree. You will have to write a thesis proposal as one of the preliminary steps. We will be talking about these proposals throughout the semester, including some ideas concerning length and form. Do note for now something about citing references: When you cite, quote, or paraphrase in text, put an in-text citation in parentheses (author’s last name, date, page number if a direct quote).  It looks like this:  (Straight 1997) or (Straight 1997: 37). The bibliography can take any variation of Chicago Style but must be consistent throughout. Look at articles in American Anthropologist or other anthropology journals for samples.


Bilinda Straight’s

Grading Key

 

All letter grades are converted into a quantitative grade (see key below).  All quantitative semester grades are multiplied by the percentage of the spread they represent.  Thus, if attendance is worth 20% of the grade, it would be calculated as follows:  If you were absent 3 times out of 30 total class days, 3 out of 30 is 10 percent absence, or 90% presence. So you have a 90 on attendance, multiplied by 20% of the spread, gives you 18. All grades thus calculated are added together to equal the total percentage out of one hundred.  Your semester grade is then calculated as per the key below.

 

                                    Grade Scale for Final Grades

 

97-100                 A+

 

94-96                   A

 

87-93                   BA

 

84-86                   B

 

77-83                   CB

 

74-76                   C

 

67-73                   DC

 

60-66                   D

 

below 60              E

 


Reading Schedule

 

Weeks 2/3 (9/7 & 9/14) Fetishizing the Other: Anthropological Foundations

 

Peter Wagner. 2000. “‘An Entirely New Object of Consciousness, of Volition, of Thought’: The Coming into Being and (Almost) Passing Away of ‘Society’ as a Scientific Object.” Pp. 132-157 In Lorraine Daston (ed.) Biographies of Scientific Objects. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. (On Reserve, Anthro Office)

 

Sahlins, Marshall. 2000. “‘Sentimental Pessimism’ and Ethnographic Experience; or, Why Culture is Not a Disappearing ‘Object’.” Pp. 158-202 In Lorraine Daston (ed.) Biographies of Scientific Objects. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. (On Reserve, Anthro Office)

 

Patricia Spyer. 1998. “Introduction” Pp. 1-11 In Patricia Spyer, Ed. Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces. New York, NY: Routledge. (On Reserve, Anthro Office)

 

Emily Apter. 1993. “Introduction” Pp. 1-9 In Emily Apter and William Pietz (eds.) Fetishism as Cultural Discourse. Ithaca, NY: Cornell U Press. (On Reserve, Anthro Office)

 

Rabinow, Paul. 1994 [1986] “Representations are Social Facts. Modernity and Post-Modernity in Anthropology” In Rabinow, Essays on the Anthropology of Reason (originally in Clifford and Marcus Writing Culture) (CP)

 

Tambiah, Stanley Jeyaraja. 1990. Chapters 5 and 7 in Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (CP)

 

Kapferer, Bruce. 2003. Introduction: Outside All Reason—Magic, Sorcery, and Epistemology in Anthropology. Pp. 1-30 In Bruce Kapferer (ed.) Beyond Rationalism: Rethinking Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery. Oxford, UK: Berghahn. (On Reserve, Anthro Office).

 

LŹvi-Bruhl, Lucien. 1926. How Natives Think. London, UK: George Allen & Unwin. (On Reserve, Anthro Office).

 

Radin, Paul. 1937. Chapter 13 (Pp. 268-288) in Primitive Religion: Its Nature and Origin. New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc. (CP)

 

Recommended: Ulin, Robert. 2001  Understanding Cultures: Perspectives in Anthropology and Social Theory. Second Edition. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. (On Reserve, Anthro Office)

 
Weeks 4/5 (9/21 & 9/28) Humans as Categories: Race and Anthropology (9/28

 

Proctor, Robert N. 2004. “Three Roots of Human Recency: Molecular Anthropology, the Refigured Acheulean, and the UNESCO Response to Auschwitz.” Pp. 466-490 In Lorraine Daston and Fernando Vidal (eds.) The Moral Authority of Nature. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. (CP)

 

Smedley, Audry. 1999. Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Read the first four chapters. (On Reserve at Waldo)

 

Statements on Race (On Reserve at Waldo) You CANNOT do your abstracts on these, so this week, you MUST do one abstract on Proctor and one on Smedley.

 

Recommended: Baker, Lee D. 1998. From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896-1954. University of California Press. (excerpts TBA) Online: http://www.netlibrary.com/EbookDetails.aspx (You can download it for 6 hours—if this link doesn’t work, go to WestCat, search the title, and click on the electronic version.)

 

Groebner, Valentin. 2004. “Complexio/Complexion: Categorizing Individual Natures, 1250-1600.” Pp. 361-383 In Lorraine Daston and Fernando Vidal (eds.) The Moral Authority of Nature. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. (CP)

 

Hinsley, Curtis. 1991. “The World as Marketplace: Commodification of the Exotic at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893.” Pp. 344-365 In Karp and Lavine (eds.) Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

 

Vogel, Susan. 1991. “Always True to the Object, in Our Fashion.” Pp. 191-204 In Karp and Lavine (eds.) Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

 

Orser, Charles E. Jr. 2004. “The Prehistory of Race and Archaeological Interpretation, Part I.” Pp. 39-74 (Ch. 2) In Orser’s Race and Practice in Archaeological Interpretation. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. (CP)

 

Gosden, Chris. 2001. “Postcolonial Archaeology: Issues of Culture, Identity, and Knowledge.” Pp. 241-261 In Ian Hodder (ed.) Archaeological Theory Today. Malden, MA: Polity in association with Blackwell.

 

Recommended: Ybarra-Frausto, Tomas. 1991. “The Chicano Movement/The Movement of Chicano Art.” Pp. 128-150 In Karp and Lavine (eds.) Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. (Read with Vogel.)

 

Weeks 6/7 (10/5 & 10/12) Humans as Owners: Anthropological Approaches to Humans Through Their Things

 

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s “Objects of Ethnography” In Karp and Lavine (eds.) Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

 

Boon’s “Why Museums Make Me Sad” In Karp and Lavine (eds.) Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

 

Brown, Michael F. 2004. “Heritage as Property.” Pp. 49-68 In Katherine Verdery and Caroline Humphrey (eds.) Property in Question: Value Transformation in the Global Economy. New York, NY: Berg. (CP)

 

Nassaney, Michael. In Press. “Native American Gender Politics and Material Culture in Seventeenth-Century Southeastern New England.” Journal of Social Archaeology. (On Reserve at Waldo).

 

Tilley, Christopher. 1993. Introduction. Pp. 1-27 In Christopher Tilley (ed.) Interpretative Archaeology. (CP)

 

Pauketat, Timothy R. and Thomas E. Emerson. 1991. “The Ideology of Authority and the Power of the Pot.” American Anthropologist 93(4): 919-941. Available on JSTOR (Go to Westcat, click on American Anthropologist as an electronic resource, and follow the appropriate links).

 

Weeks 8/9 (10/19 & 10/26) Humans as Bodies: Another Anthropological Object

 

Mauss, Marcel. “Techniques of the Body.” [1934] Pp. 455-477 In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Varela, Francisco J. “The Reenchantment of the Concrete.” Pp. 320-340” In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Lock, Margaret. 1993 “Cultivating the Body: Anthropology and Epistemologies of Bodily Practice and Knowledge.” Annual Review of Anthropology 22:133-155. (CP)

 

Yates, Tim. “Frameworks for an Archaeology of the Body.” Pp. 31-72 In Chrisopher Tilley (ed.) Interpretative Archaeology. Berg. (CP)

 

Lynn Meskell and Rosemary Joyce. 2003. Embodied Lives: Figuring Ancient Maya and Egyptian Experience. Routledge.

 

Morris, Christine and Alan Peatfield. 2002. “Feeling Through the Body.” Pp. 105-120 In Yannis Hamilakis, Mark Pluciennik and Sarah Tarlow (eds.) Thinking Through the Body: Archaeologies of Corporeality. New York, NY: Kluwer Plenum. (CP)

 

Pluciennik, Mark. 2002. “Art, Artefact, Metaphor.” Pp. 217-232 In Yannis Hamilakis, Mark Pluciennik and Sarah Tarlow (eds.) Thinking Through the Body: Archaeologies of Corporeality. New York, NY: Kluwer Plenum. (CP)

 

Fowler, Chris. 2002. “Body Parts: Personhood and Materiality in the Earlier Manx Neolithic.” Pp. 47-69 In Yannis Hamilakis, Mark Pluciennik and Sarah Tarlow (eds.) Thinking Through the Body: Archaeologies of Corporeality. New York, NY: Kluwer Plenum. (CP)

 

Weeks 10/11 (11/2 & 11/9) Stuff and Desire: Anthropological Approaches to Commodities and Capitalism

 

Marx, Karl. 1977 [1837-1844] “On James Mill,” Pp. 114-123 In McLellan, ed. Karl Marx: Selected Writings. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (CP)

 

Mauss, Marcel. 1990 [1906] “The Extension of This System: Liberality, Honour, Money.” Pp. 19-46 and 100-102 In W.D. Halls (transl.) The Gift. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. (CP)

 

Douglas, Mary and Baron Isherwood. 1979. “The Uses of Goods” Pp. 56-70 In Douglas and Isherwood The World of Goods. (CP)

 

Ballard, J.G. 1992. “Project for a Glossary of the Twentieth Century.” Pp. 269-279 In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Cohen, Lizabeth A. 1986. “Embellishing a Life of Labor: An Interpretation of the Material Culture of American Working-Class Homes, 1885-1915.” Pp. 261-276 In Dell Upton and John Blach (eds.) Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. (CP)

 

Recommended (to be read with Cohen): Lupton, Ellen and J. Abbott Miller. “Hygiene, Cuisine and the Product World of the Early Twentieth Century America.” Pp. 497-515 In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Kopytoff, Igor. 1986. “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process.” Pp. 64-91 In Arjun Appadurai (ed.) Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (CP)

 

Schattschneider, Ellen. 2001. “‘Buy Me a Bride’: Death and Exchange in Northern Japanese Bride-Doll Marriage.” American Ethnologist 28(4): 854-880. (CP)

 

Holtzman, Jon. 2003. “In a Cup of Tea: Commodities and History Among Samburu Pastoralists in Northern Kenya.” American Ethnologist 30(1): 136-155. (CP)

 

Recommended: Straight, Bilinda. 2002. “From Samburu Heirloom to New Age Artifact: The Cross-Cultural Consumption of Mporo Marriage Beads. American Anthropologist 104(1): 7-21. (On Reserve at Waldo)

 

Weeks 12/13 (11/16 & 11/23) Piecing Humans, Post-Humans: New Human Commodities

 

Straight, Bilinda. N.d. “Resurrection.” Chapter 8 In Elusive Souls: Miracles and Extraordinary Experience in Northern Kenya. Book Manuscript. (On Reserve at Waldo)

 

Dumet, Joseph. 1997. “A Digital Image of the Category of the Person.” Pp. 83-102 In Downey and Dumit (eds.) Cyborgs and Citadels. (CP)

 

Deleule, Didier. 1992. “The Living Machine: Psychology as Organology.” Pp. 233 In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Haraway, Donna. 1992. “When ManTM is On the Menu.” Pp. 39-43 In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Rabinow, Paul. 1992. “Artificiality and Enlightenment: From Sociobiology to Biosociality.” Pp. 234-252 In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Waldby, Catherine. 2000. Visible Human Project. At least the first two chapters.

 

Poster, Mark. 1992. “RoboCop.” Pp. 436-440 In Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.) Incorporations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

 

Parry, Bronwyn. 2004. “Bodily Transactions: Regulating a New Space of Flows in ‘Bio-Information’.” Pp. 29-48 In Katherine Verdery and Caroline Humphrey (eds.) Property in Question: Value Transformation in the Global Economy. New York, NY: Berg. (CP)

 

Palsson, Gisli. 2000. “Genomes and Genealogies: Decoding Debates About deDode.” Available Online at http://dlc.dlib.indiana.edu/archive/00000322/00/palssong040800.pdf

 

Week 14 (11/30) Conclusions: Integrating Anthropology in the First Decades of the Twenty-First Century

 

Conslusions and Sharing of Student MA Proposals.