ANT 391 • Cultural Analysis: The Case of Race
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
The purpose of this seminar is to assess current uses of cultural analysis across a range of disciplines. The particular focus of this assessment concerns how race is accounted for in a variety of invocations of culture. The seminar will commence by briefly surveying what counts as cultural analysis in anthropology, history, literary criticism, sociology, and cultural studies. We will additionally trace a critical genealogy of the culture concept and its various trajectories in political and popular discourses, attending particularly to the co-construction of ?race? and ?culture.? In this regard, we will consider contrasting efforts by scholars and activists to privilege one order of explanation over the other?race or culture?assessing the political and intellectual ramifications of such choices. This will be accomplished by reviewing an assortment of current works that grapple with the problems of simultaneously maintaining a social constructivist perspective on race while also asserting its stubborn reality. Works that examine whiteness, historically and ethnographically, will be featured in this assessment.
Readings will include, Paul Gilroy, Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line; Aihwa Ong, Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality; Jon Cruz, Culture on the Margins: The Black Spiritual and the Rise of American Cultural Interpretation; and Mary Weismantel, Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes.