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ANG 6930 Historicities

Dr. Gillespie

HISTORICITIES is a 3-credit reading-intensive seminar focused on the twinned phenomena of the “historical turn” in anthropology: non-Western “historicities” and historical processes. Historicities, also referred to as “modes of historical consciousness,” “ethno-ethnohistories,” and “ideologies of history,” are dynamic processes involving the “continuous, creative bringing into being and crafting of the past in the present and of the present in respect to the past” (Lambek 2002:17), requiring “the ongoing social production of accounts of pasts and futures” (Hirsch and Stewart 2005:262). Historicities are inherently cultural, historical, and material, varyingcross-culturally and over time, especially in the contexts of colonization and globalization. Multiple media serve as performative vehicles of historicity, including narratives, rituals, objects, structures, images, and landscapes. Entwined with historical processes, historicities engage the dialectical interaction of short-term event with long-term structure and its consequences in time, co-implicating structure, event, agency, temporality, spatiality, materiality, sociality, and contingency. Methods introduced to analyzethe media of historicities emphasize Piagettian structuralism, with a major focus on the works of Marshall Sahlins, and Peircean semiotics. Case studies (ethnography, historical ethnography, and archaeology) draw primarily from Oceania, Latin America, and Africa. Readings include one or more paperback textbooks along with journal articles and book chapters on Canvas. An original research paper is required. For more information contact Dr. Susan Gillespie (