Public Interest Anthropology
Instructor: Peggy R. Sanday
Office phone: 215-898-6988
This is an experimental course designed to bring graduate and undergraduate students together to introduce them to the social and public uses of anthropology. The course looks at the intersection of anthropology, the academy, and society in asking about the personal/professional relevance to the American public of the anthropological approach. Students will be encouraged to think about this intersection in their own intellectual development and future career choices. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to interact with one another on common problems as members of the American public seeking to understand how anthropology provides a new perspective on public interest issues.
The course stresses the foundational principles of anthropology as an intellectual discipline, namely its “holistic” and its interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. The holistic approach means placing a problem in its sociocultural and historical context. The interdisciplinary approach means working with others (or using their work) to understand a problem from all angles, which means being aware of how biological, linguistic, and historical parameters may (or may not) interact with the sociocultural.
Anthropology is unusual among the social sciences in counting among its subdisciplines the diverse approaches recognized broadly as Physical Anthropology, Human Biology, Sociocultural, Linguistics and Archaeology. Due to the specialization required to conduct scientific research in the various subdisciplines of anthropology, it is rarely possible for one anthropologist to research a topic from all angles. Nevertheless, sensitivity to the interdisciplinary and holistic perspectives means that anthropologists can bring a “way of seeing” that might otherwise have been overlooked.
In recognition of the interdisciplinary approach, the course includes guest lecturers who because of their involvement in action research or public interest issues can be identified as public intellectuals or public interest anthropologists. Coming from the various subdisciplines of anthropology and including one lecturer from sociology, the guest lectures demonstrate how discipline focus affects not only the issue selected but also the nature of the theory and approach that is applied.
Although much of the class will involve students in the exploration of anthropology as a basic tool for addressing public issues, students are encouraged to view the classroom arena as a public sphere for “rational, critical debate.” This conceptualization of the classroom as a public sphere, however, comes with one important restriction. Students should not bring past agendas and ideological baggage to class. When entering into rational, critical debate in the class room setting students are asked to do so from an anthropological perspective. This means that they should “think anthropologically” before they speak, in other words to debate in terms of anthropological concepts and theories.
There is no prerequisites for this course, only that students subscribe to the principles enunciated above.
TOPICS AND READINGS
Week 1 September 9: Introduction
—- Selected Readings from Sophocles, Antigone (read aloud in class.)
—-“Eroding Executive Privilege.” Washington Post. May 8, 1998. A-30 (handed out at first meeting.)
—-“Discussion Group Offers People the Opportunity to Learn Together.” Chincoteague Beacon. May 6, 1998. Page 6
Week 2 September 16: Anthropology, the Academy & Society:What is Public Interest Anthropology?
—-Sanday, Peggy R. 1997. “Public Interest Anthropology: A Program for Research,
Teaching and Action” http://www.sas.upenn.edu~psanday/public.html
—-Sanday, Peggy R. 1976. Introduction, (pp. xv-xxvii) In P. Sanday, ed. Anthropology & The Public Interest: Fieldwork and Theory. New York: Academic Press, 1976.
—-Wallace, Anthony. 1976. “Some Reflections on the Contributions of Anthropologists to Public Policy,” (pp. 3-14). In P. Sanday, ed. Anthropology & The Public Interest: Fieldwork and Theory. New York: Academic Press, 1976.
—-Goodenough, Ward. 1976. “Intercultural Expertise and Public Policy, ” (pp. 15-24) In P. Sanday, ed. Anthropology & The Public Interest: Fieldwork and Theory. New York: Academic Press, 1976 .
—-Benson, Lee & Ira Harkavy. 1995. “School & Community in the Global Society.” Discussion paper, The National Conference on Community Service and University-Assisted Community Schools. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.
(To be presented to class by a selected student):
—-Hymes, Del. 1972. “Introduction: The Uses of Anthropology: Critical, Political, Personal.” (pp3-79) in D. Hymes, ed. Reinventing Anthropology New York: Pantheon.
Week 3 September 23: Historical Roots.
—-Boas, Franz. “Race, Language & Culture.” Chapter 8 in The Mind of Primitive Man, pp 137-148. New York: The Free Press. 1963 .
—-Benedict, Ruth, 1946. “Assignment: Japan.” In The Chrysanthemum and the Sword:Patterns of Japanese Culture.
—-Mead, Margaret, 1960. “Anthropology Among the Sciences,” (pp.3-14) and 1947. “The Role of the Scientist in Society.” (pp 85-91) in Anthropology: A Human Science.Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1967.
—-Mead, Margaret & Rhoda Metraux. 1970. “Unwitting Partners to Youthful Violence,” pp 110-114; “Student Power I,” pp 120-125; “Student Power II,” 126-131; and “Race and Intelligence, 132-137.” In A Way of Seeing. New York: McCall Publishing Company.
—-Wolf, Eric. 1972. “American Anthropology in American Society,” (pp. 251-263). In D.Hymes, ed. Reinventing Anthropology. New York: Pantheon.
—-Nader, Laura. 1972. “Up the Anthropologist–Perspectives Gained From Studying Up.” In In D. Hymes, ed. Reinventing Anthropology. New York: Pantheon.
(To be presented to class by selected students):
—-Stocking, George W. Jr. 1979. “Anthropology as Kulturkampf: Science and Politics in the Career of Franz Boas,” (pp 33-50) In W. Goldschmidt, ed. The Uses of Anthropology. Washington D.C. The American Anthropological Association.
—-Goldschmidt, Walter. 1979. “On the Interdependence Between Utility and Theory.” In W. Goldschmidt, ed. The Uses of Anthropology. Washington D.C.: The American Anthropological Association.
—-Sanday, Peggy R. and W. Goldschmidt. 1979. “The Present Uses of Anthropology: An Overview,” (pp. 253-267.) In W. Goldschmidt, ed. The Uses of Anthropology.Washington D.C.: The American Anthropological Association.
Week 4 September 30: Methodology: Ethnography of Public Interest Issues Readings:
—-Emerson, Robert M., Rachel I. Fretz and Linda Shaw. 1995. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
—-Geertz, Clifford. 1988. “Being There.” In Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
—-1983. “From the Native’s Point of View.” In Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. New York: Basic Books.
——–Spindler, George and L. Spindler. “Ethnography: An Anthropological View,” (pp 50-55) and “Cultural Process and Ethnography: An Anthropological Perspective.” In Education and Cultural Process: Anthropological Approaches. Illinois: Waveland. l997.
(To be presented to class by selected students):
—-Nader, Laura and Barbara Yngvesson. . 1973. “On Studying the Ethnography of Law and Its Consequences,” (pp 883-921). In J. Honigmann Handbook of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Week 5. October 7. Theory: What is the Public? Who are the Publics?
—-Fraser, Nancy. 1996. “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy.” In C. Calhoun ed. Habermas and the Public Sphere.Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
—-Dawson, Michael C. l994. “A Black Counterpublic?:Economic Earthquakes, Racial Agenda(s), and Black Politics,” (pp 199-227.) In The Black Public Sphere Collective, eds. The Black Public Sphere: A Public Culture Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Week 6 October 14: Multiculturalism:How Publics Merge or Stay Separate.
—-Sanday, Peggy R. 1976.”Culture and Structural Pluralism in the United States” (pp 53-73). In P. Sanday, ed. Anthropology & The Public Interest: Fieldwork and Theory.New York: Academic Press.
—-Gutman, Amy. 1994. “Introduction” (pp 3-24) In A. Gutman, ed. Multiculturalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
—-Turner, Terence. “Anthropology and Multiculturalism: What is Anthropology that Multiculturalists Should be Mindful Of?” (pp. 406-425). In David Theo Goldberg, ed.Multiculturalism:A Critical Reader London: Blackwell, l994.
Graduate Students Only:
(To be presented to class by selected students):
—-Ornter, Sherry. 1991. “Reading America,” (pp 163-189). In Richard Fox, ed, Recapturing Anthropology. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press,.
—-Taylor, Charles. “The Politics of Recognition,” (pp 3-73). In A. Gutman, ed. Multiculturalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
—-Conquergood , Dwight. 1992. “Life in Big Red: Struggles and Accommodations in a Chicago Polyethnic Tenement.” Pp 95-141. In L. Lamphere ed. Structuring Diversity: Ethnographic Perspectives on the New Immigration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Recommended but not required:
—-Goode, Judith and Jo Anne Schneider. 1994. Reshaping Ethnic And Racial Relations In Philadelphia : Immigrants In A Divided City. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1994.
Week 7 October 21: Applied Anthropology and the Public Interest.
Guest Lecture.. Paula Sabloff
—-Tax, Sol. “Pride and Puzzlement: A Retro-Introspective Record of 60 Years of Anthropology.” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 17 (1988), pp. 1-21.
—-Wright, Susan. “The Politicaization of Culture.” Anthropology Today. Vol 14, No. 1 (Feb., 1988), pp 7-15.
—-Moran, Emilio F. 1996. “An Agenda for Anthropology,” (pp 1-24). In Emilio Moran, ed. Transforming Societies, Transforming Anthropology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
—-Dobyns, Henry F. 1987. “Taking the Witness Stand.” (pp 366-382). In Elizabeth Eddy and Wm. Partridge, eds. Applied Anthropology in America. New York: Columbia University Press.
—-Hill-Burnett, Jaquetta. 1987. “Developing Anthropological Knowledge Through Application,” (pp 123-139). In Elizabeth Eddy and Wm. Partridge, eds. Applied Anthropology in America. New York: Columbia University Press.
Week 8 October 28: Education and the Public Interest (Tentative Title)
Guest Lecture. Kathleen Hall
Week 9 November 4: Nutritional Anthropology In the Public Interest
Guest Lecture. Francis Johnston (BP 2)
Week 10 November 11: Medical Anthropology: In the Public Interest
Guest Lecture. Rebecca Huss-Ashmore
—-Farmer, Paul and Arthur Kleinman. 1998. “AIDS as Human Suffering.” (pp 333-342). In Peter J. Brown, ed. Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing.
—-Good, Byron J. 1994. “Illness Representations in Medical Anthropology: A Reading of the Field.” (p 25-64). In Byron J. Good, Medicine, Rationality and Experience: An Anthropological Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Week 11 November 18: Archaeological Theory and the Public Interest
Guest Lecture. Clark Erickson. (BP 2)
—-Erickson, Clark. 1998. Applied Archaeology in Crossing Currents: Continuity and Change in Latin America. Ed. M Whiteford and S. Whiteford. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
—-Vitelli, Karen D. ed. 1996. SELECTIONS. Archaeological Ethics. Walnut Creek. AltaMira Press.
—-Chippendale, C. 1986. “Stoned Henge: Events and issues at the summer solstice, 1985,” World Archaeology 18: 38-58
Week 12 November 25: Representations / Museums in the Public Iinterest
Megan Tracy, Paula Sabloff and Yvonne Teh
Week 13 December 2 Women and the Public Interest -Guest Discussant: Demie Kurz
—-*Sanday, Peggy R. 1990. Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood and Privilege on Campus. NY: New York University Press.
—-.1996Preface & Forward. A Woman Scorned. New York: Doubleday
Week 14 December 9: Public Intellectuals
THIS LAST CLASS IS DESIGNED TO GIVE STUDENTS A CHANCE TO PRESENT THEIR COURSE PROJECT TO THE CLASS AS A PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL. EACH STUDENT SHOULD BE PREPARED TO PRESENT THEIR WORK AS FOLLOWS: WHAT IS THE DEBATE YOU ENTERED THROUGH YOUR PROJECT? WHAT DATA DID YOU COLLECT? HOW WERE THE DATA COLLECTED? WHERE? WHAT DID YOU LEARN THROUGH YOUR OBSERVATIONS? HOW DID YOUR WORK CHANGE YOUR THINKING ON THE TOPIC? DO YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN MOVE THE DEBATE FURTHER? THE FOLLOWING READINGS ARE EXAMPLES OF PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS PRESENTING THEIR CONCLUSIONS AFTER THEIR WORK. YOU MAY CHOOSE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING READINGS AS A MODEL FOR YOUR APPROACH. [THE READINGS ARE NOT REQUIRED; THEY ARE PRESENTED BELOW AS A GUIDE]
Suggested Readings (choose any or none):
—-Sanday, Peggy R. “Skeletons in the Anthropological Closet: The Life Work of William S. Willis Jr.” http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~psanday/willis.html
—-Sanday, Peggy R. 1996. “Introduction” and “Conclusion,” A Woman Scorned. New York: Doubleday.
—-Gates, Henry Louis Jr.. 1992. “What Is Patriotism?” The Nation 253 (March 15-22, 1992):91
—-West, Cornell. 1994. Race Matters. New York: Vintage Books
(The entire book or: Preface, Introduction and Epilogue -17 pgs)
—-bell hooks and Cornell West.1991. Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life.Boston: South End Press. [Selections from this book can be found in the course bulkpak.]
There are three assignments, which should be completed during the course. These assignments are listed as follows:
ASSIGNMENT 1 [4-6 PAGES]:
1.Do a Lexis/Nexis or www search on the term PUBLIC INTERERST OR IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST. Write a 3-5 page description of the different ways in which this term is used. Categorize the different usages. Due OCTOBER 7.
ASSIGNMENT 2 [6-8 PAGES]:
2.Attend three community meetings inWest Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia, or somewhere else of your choice. Write a 3-5 page description of the following topics: describe the organization holding the meetings; the issues addressed; how this organization defines its public concerns. You may attend three meetings of the same organization. This paper should be viewed primarily as a descriptive, journalistic account. Due before last class.
ASSIGNMENT 3 [10-15 PAGES]:
3.Choose a public interest topic at beginning of the course. Write a paper incorporating the following: How does the media deal with the topic? How have anthropologists dealt with this topic? If anthropologists have not covered the topic, argue for why they should or should not. How would you as an anthropologist research the topic? Be prepared to present your topic during last class period. Due at end of class period.
GRADUATE STUDENTS [2 basic assignments]:
1.Do Assignment 1 above.
2.Assignment 2. [15-20 pages]: Write a research proposal to investigate a public interest topic of your choice. This proposal should include the following:
Statement of purpose; Review of media literature on topic; Review of anthropological literature on the topic;What theory bears on the topic; Develop a research strategy; Significance of your topic for defining a public interest anthropology.
ALL READINGS FOR THIS COURSE WILL BE PLACED ON RESERVE AT THE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM LIBRARY
COURSE PACKS CAN BE PURCHASED THROUGH WHARTON REPROGRAPHICS. Be sure to ask for the correct section of this course. Wharton does not allow refunds. Remember that there are additional readings for graduate students, which means that undergraduates should ask for Anthro216 and graduates should ask for Anthro516.
BOOKS FOR THIS COURSE CAN BE PURCHASED AT HOUSE OF OUR OWN BOOKSTORE, 3920 SPRUCE STREET
[For complete reference see chlass where assigned]
ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BUY:
Emerson, Fretz and Shaw. Writing Ethnogrpahic Fieldnotes
Sanday, Fraternity Gang Rape:Sex, Brotherhood and Privilege on Campus
ANTHRO 516 ONLY:
Calhoun, ed. Habermas and the Public Sphere
RECOMMENDED FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS BUT NOT REQUIRED:
Appadurai, A. Modernity At Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
Goode & Schneider, Reshaping Ethnic and Racial Relations in Philadelphia: Immigrants in a Divided City