ANT 391 • Neoliberalism & Its Discontents
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
It is widely observed that national elites and global institutions the world over are substantively committed to neo-liberal economic and political doctrine. While shorthand and minimalist accounts of neo-liberalism abound, these generally raise more questions than they answer. This seminar will address a selection of such questions, focusing especially on those generated by the collective social actors actively engaged in resistance to neo-liberal policies and practices. We will begin by interrogating the liberal and the neo in neo-liberalism, and go on to explore the more challenging corollaries of neo-liberal ideology, such as the (apparent?) endorsement of collective cultural rights, gender equality, environmental sustainability and poverty eradication. Throughout we will try to tack back and forth between, on the one hand, an understanding of what neo-liberalism is and the work it does; and on the other hand, efforts to resist its effects, and the critical knowledge generated by such efforts. We will be especially interested in probing the general assertion that resistance to neo-liberalism generates a privileged understanding of its workings, opportunities and menace. While attempting to achieve global coverage, there will be a preference in the empirical for issues related to race and identity politics, and for the Latin American region.