Anthropology. South Asia. Media.

Anthropology of Digital Cultures

Networks. Platforms. Affordances. Interfaces. Portals. Data. Our social lives are not only infused with new technologies, but along with these come new kinds of politics and ideologies that shape how we think about ourselves, society, and culture. Digital technologies continue to permeate and shape everyday life and continue to draw together people and ideas from across the globe. Yet, these realities are underpinned by complex political economies, ones that all too often reinscribe existing inequities and consolidate power and profit. This course takes a sociological and anthropological approach to media, technology, and society, drawing from different theoretical viewpoints and situated in different geographic regions. Topics include media publics, surveillance, platform labour, digital democracy and social movements, embodiment, infrastructures, design, and big data. 

Islam in South Asia

Students will critically analyze the history and influence of Muslim communities and Islamic institutions in South Asia. They will examine and analyze the broad historical currents of the expansion of Islam on the Indian subcontinent, the nature of Muslim political authority, the interaction among religious communities, and Islamic aesthetics and contributions to material culture. Students will also critically analyze the multiple engagements with and reactions of Muslims to colonial rule, as well as the partition of British India and the creation of Pakistan, the relationship between Islam and gender in South Asia, and the contemporary concerns of South Asia’s Muslims. (description taken from KPU course calendar – taught fall 2022)

Environment and/as Media

Ideas of environment and nature are mediated by human experience. We produce these ideas in concert with technologies and techniques of apprehending, altering, and acquiescing to our world. With this capacious view of both media and environments, this course calls on students to ask: how do our environments, built and natural, transmit and store culture? How do different media (including environments themselves) represent and alter our perception of the world around us? With growing impacts of climate change being felt globally, common distinctions drawn between nature and culture, or people and the planet, have come under increasing scrutiny. This course aims to make sense of changing conditions and trace a history of this boundary-making to chart new ways forward. 

Global in scope, students will engage a range of media and scholarship that take up the entanglements of environments and media, broadly construed, from a wide range of post- and decolonial perspectives. Students will have the opportunity to explore the physical world as a way of engaging and interrogating the boundaries between human and non-human. Students will engage in writing activities including ethnography, walking journals, exhibit descriptions, and a research essay.

Workshops and Seminars

Digital and Remote Methods for Ethnography

Digital Humanities In/And Anthropology, part 1 (includes Introductions, Mapping breakout room activity, and Wrapup)

Digital Humanities In/And Anthropology, part 2 (includes Artefact Analysis breakout room activity)

Digital Humanities In/And Anthropology, part 3 (includes Data Stories breakout room activity)