Courses of Study 2018-2019 
    Jan 31, 2023  
Courses of Study 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ANTHR 4478 - [Taboo and Pollution]

(GHB) (CA-AS)      
Spring. Next Offered: 2019-2020. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Co-meets with ANTHR 7478 

M. Fiskesjö.

This course is an in-depth introduction to the study of taboo, dirt, and cleanliness. The core concern is the relation between taboo and subjectivity, the making of persons and communities. We’ll examine a range of actual examples from around the world, including taboos around sexuality, hair, and blood; food taboos, and other taboos governing religious practices; disgust, fear, and avoidance; modern and contemporary conceptions of hygiene, filth, and waste treatment; as well as the ideas underlying racism and social purity, built on the logic of taboo. We’ll survey and discuss a wealth of writings, including the latest attempts to re-think and understand the classic topic of taboo. This is mainly through anthropology (Valeri, Douglas, Steiner, & other authors) and through crucial contributions from psychology and literary studies (Freud, Kristeva, and others). Students will engage in research and writing, including their own personal experiences of taboo and pollution.

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