Not available in 2021/22
AN269      Half Unit
The Anthropology of Amazonia

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Harry Walker OLD 5.06B

Availability

This course is available on the BA in Anthropology and Law, BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in Social Anthropology, Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Cape Town), Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Fudan), Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Melbourne) and Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Tokyo). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Pre-requisites

Unless granted an exemption by the course teacher, students taking this course should have completed an introductory course in anthropology.

Course content

The course will introduce students to selected themes in the anthropology of Amazonia. It will provide a grounding in the ethnographic literature of the region while seeking to engage with current theoretical debates, highlighting their potential importance to the discipline of anthropology. Topics to be covered include history, indigenous social movements; sexuality and gender; trade and inter-ethnic relations; politics and power; illness, well-being and death. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the broader relationship between ethnography and theory, to challenge common stereotypes of Amazonia and its inhabitants, and to explore ways in which the region has inscribed itself on the imagination of anthropologists and laypersons alike.

Teaching

10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

This course has a reading week in Week 6 of MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

Clastres, Pierre. 1987. Society Against the State: Essays in Political

Anthropology.

Overing, Joanna. & Alan Passes (eds). 2000. The Anthropology of Love and

Anger: The Aesthetics of Conviviality in Native Amazonia.

Walker, Harry. 2012. Under a Watchful Eye: Self, Power and Intimacy in

Amazonia.

Descola, Philippe. 1994. In the Society of Nature: A Native Ecology in

Amazonia.

Gow, Peter. 2002. An Amazonian Myth and its History.

Fisher, William H. 2000. Rainforest Exchanges: Industry and Community on an

Amazonian Frontier.

Seeger, Anthony. 2004. Why Suyá Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian

People.

Gregor, Thomas. 1985. Anxious Pleasures: The Sexual Lives of an Amazonian

People.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1984. Tristes Tropiques.

Conklin, Beth. 2001. Consuming Grief: Compassionate Cannibalism in an

Amazonian Society.

Assessment

Take-home assessment (100%) in the MT.

The take home exam will be held the week following the end of the MT.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information