Anthropology of Violence

ANTH 622 Anthropology of Violence

This graduate seminar deals with the anthropological analysis of violence. Recent anthropological theory on violence will be central to the course. We will consider violence in many of its forms, including but not limited to structural violence, symbolic violence, gender-based violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, criminal violence, and state-sanctioned violence (i.e., policing, incarceration, armed conflict). Feminist approaches to the study of violence and the political economy of violence will also be considered.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will demonstrate that they are able to do all of the following:

  1. Articulate at least four anthropological or feminist approaches to theorizing violence and its effects on agents and subjects.
  2. Explain and apply fundamental concepts such as culture, violence, structural violence, subjectivity, gender, and sexual violence,
  3. Distinguish between various types of violence, including political violence, structural violence, domestic violence, state-sanctioned violence, gender-based violence, sexual violence.
  4. Analyze, interpret and evaluate scholarly writing on anthropological and feminist approaches to the study of violence in diverse cultural contexts around the world.
  5. Demonstrate their mastery of the course content by participating in class discussion on a weekly basis, by submitting annotations of readings to the instructor before the class meeting, by writing response papers and questions over the required and recommended reading for the class meetings selected and submitting them to the instructor and all enrolled students at least 24 hours before the class meeting, by leading class discussion, and by either (1) undertaking autonomous research and writing a clear, precise, and accurate paper on a relevant question about violence approved the instructor or (2) writing clear, precise, and accurate essay exam responses.

CourseĀ Readings

Fassin, Didier, and Richard Rechtman (2009). The Empire of Trauma: an Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood. Princeton ; Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Hautzinger, Sarah J. (2007). Violence in the City of Women: Police and Batterers in Bahia, Brazil. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hinton, Alexander L. (2005). Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Soh, C. Sarah (2008). The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Das, Veena (2000). Violence and Subjectivity. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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