Theoretical Perspectives

School of Consciousness and Transformation ANTH 6195 3.00

Theorists have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it. Fair enough, but what is radical theory? What concepts and relations among concepts will facilitate our understanding of the modern world in the effort of changing it? What does radical theory tells us about societies and history? This two-part seminar traces the development of radical social theory from the classical ideas of Marx and Bakunin, through 20th-century debates in post/decolonial, neo-anarchist, autonomous/critical Marxist, queer, gender, feminist, and critical race theory, to an accessible review of contemporary theoretical controversies. Rather than giving a history of Great Thinkers, this seminar will introduce students to radical theory through a critical exposition of key concepts: nature, autonomy, hope, authority, identity, insurgency, war, orientalism, coloniality, community/commons, enclosure, dignity/desire, epistemology, composition, and biopower/biopolitics. We will not impose a radical canon of ideas and towering figures as much as collectively discover a complex history of competing conceptualizations and applications through the lens of our own struggles. Priority to ANTH students

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