ANTHRCUL 158 - First Year Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
Section: 002 Tales from the City: Narratives and Urban Life
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
Other Course Info:
May not be included in an Anthropology concentration.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Cities, with their complex concentrations of people and capital, foster tales of movement, conflict and social transformation. City stories testify to personal experience, collective history, community organization, and institutional constraint. Who speaks about city life and what do they say? As Ruth Finnegan (1998) suggests, what are some of “the multiple ways in which we …formulate our ideas and experience of urban life” through “stories heard and told in a particular town”? In this course, we will examine how city life is narrated by a variety of protagonists. Over the past few decades anthropologists such as Kenny and Kertzer, James Holston, Setha Low, and Michael Herzfeld have presented arguments and offered models relevant to the ethnographic study of cities, with Holston and Appadurai going so far as to claim that cities have trumped nations as the primary sites of belonging and citizenship. Additionally, the city has been a critical backdrop in films, works of fiction and historical monographs. Taking advantage of a variety of sources, we will train our attention on accounts of lives and experiences in Johannesburg, Paris, Rome, São Paulo and Fez, among others. The pioneering work of the Chicago ethnographers around the turn of the 20th century as well as a range of developments in other cities — Bangkok, Mumbai, and Detroit — will serve as important touchstones. Evaluations will be based on class participation, weekly response papers, and midterm and final take-home exams.

ANTHRCUL 158 - First Year Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
Th 3:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: (Held in Couzens CLC) Seats in First Year Seminars are opened gradually during Summer Orientation. Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may register. All others need perm
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