The Politics of Nature: Modernity and Its Others|
Fall 2013 not offered
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
This seminar explores the ways in which imaginations of nature-culture anchor particular regimes of living and power. Our larger query will concern ontology and cosmology--the worlds and worldviews we inhabit--and what happens when there is basic disagreement about what "nature" is. For example, do rocks, mountains, and glaciers "listen" as some indigenous peoples claim? Or are these claims a matter of cultural belief? Conversely, how do scientists listen to and relate to their natural objects? What social, historical, and intellectual practices make their visions of nature? And why do some visions appear more "real" than others? What circumstances decide? We will read across histories of science, philosophy, anthropology, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and feminist science studies to probe the politics, meanings, and materialities of "nature" and the "natural" in a variety of contexts, from natural history in the 18th and 19th centuries to current struggles over the management of natural resources and bioprospecting initiatives.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
LORRAINE DASTON, PETER GALISON. Objectivity. ISBN 9781890951795.
DEBORAH ROSE, Reports from a Wild Country: Ethics for Decolonisation, ISBN 0868407984.
JAKE KOSEK, Understories: the Political Life of Forests in New Mexico, ISBN 9780822338475
CORI HAYDEN, When Nature Goes Public: The Making and Unmaking of Bioprospecting In Mexico. ISBN 9780691095578.
Other readings include Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Lorraine Daston, Anna Tsing, Tim Ingold, Michael Taussig, Viveiros de Castro, Charis Cussins, and Stephen Helmreich, among others.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Ten weekly and substantive critical reflections on the readings, a midterm analytical paper, and a final research paper. In-class assignments on occasion.