Dr. Clarence C. Gravlee
The culture concept is foundational to anthropological theory, but it is also contested. Much of the debate over culture revolves around its methodological implications — how are we to know when culture is there, and what exactly does that mean? In this seminar, we approach this question using theory and methods from cognitive anthropology. Our effort hinges on two key developments over the last several decades: (1) the specification of a cognitive theory of culture and (2) ongoing refinement of systematic ethnographic methods for studying the shared and distributed nature of culture. Much of our work will focus on methods, and you will walk away from the course with new skills in data collection and analysis. But you will also grapple with the theoretical foundations and implications of the methods.