ANTHRCUL 632 - Comparative Analysis of Kinship
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing and permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course will examine current theoretical and methodological issues in the analysis of kinship and religion, using case studies from Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Melanesia, Europe, and North America. In the words of anthropologist Robert McKinley: "Kinship itself is a moral philosophy. It answers the question of how it is possible for one human being to be morally bound to another. The strength of a kinship system is based on its ability to draw people into this framework of mutual trust." Yet kin relations may also be fraught with violence, ranging from sacrifice to murder; some would argue that kinship and racism are simply different dimensions of the same phenomenon. This course will focus on the social processes through which people define, create, extend, limit, sever or transform their relatedness with others within and over generations. We will explore how people conceptualize who is, or is not, their own "kin" or "kind" and why; the moral imagination involved in working through the contradictory loyalties characterizing even the most intimate, small-scale relations; where, how and why people draw the lines between themselves and other forms of organic life; how generative relations are expressed in forms ranging from substances like blood, milk, or semen, to new reproductive technologies and genetic genealogies; and the significance of places in creating, shaping, containing, transforming relations over time.

ANTHRCUL 632 - Comparative Analysis of Kinship
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Tu 4:30PM - 7:30PM
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