UGRD > ART > 269L
Anthropology of the Objects and the Objectified: an Interdisciplinary Approach to Things
We have all heard of, or used the term object to refer to things outside ourselves: the object of one's desires, the objectification of other cultures and peoples, works of art vs. ethnographic objects. In this course we deconstruct familiar discourses about things through an examination of the world of material possessions, places, people, ideas, and space in cross-cultural perspective. Our aim is to gain more nuanced understanding about the apparent human tendency to create our identities through assigning personal and cultural significance to objects around us. Course readings will be drawn primarily from anthropology, art history, art criticism, cultural studies, and curatorial/museum studies. We will also share our observations, experiences, and reflections of particular object worlds through museum site visits, class discussions, and individual projects. Our own milieu of the Western museums will offer valuable case studies about the historical and political implications of particular histories of collecting, classifying, displaying, and interpreting the wider world as a collection of objects.ANTH 269L and ART 269L are the same course.