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Anthropology and Allied Arts

It is often said about the discipline of anthropology, that it seeks to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. The arts often seek to do the same. In this course we will put anthropology in conversation with allied arts, to examine questions that lie at the heart of the human condition. After reading a series of selected ethnographies, we will explore anthropology's relationship to narrative non-fiction through reading Jay Griffith's Wild; we will explore the discipline's relationship to visual art through engaging with works such as Guillermo Gomez Pena and Coco Fusco's The Couple in the Cage, and the design-work of Thomas Thwaites; we will explore the relationship between anthropology and fiction through reading Leo Tolstoy's Hadji Murat -- which Tolstoy wrote in part based on his readings of Russian 'anthropological' reports of uprisings in the Caucasus. This course is open to advanced students, across disciplines, who are interested in how anthropologists, and artists, do the work of making the strange familiar, and the familiar strange. Students who enrol in this class should be prepared to read a fair amount; be prepared to write one in-depth essay, and be prepared to produce a creative piece of work in an allied art form -- whether visual art, photography, film, performance, narrative non-fiction, or even fiction.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka