ANTHRCUL 458 - Topics in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology
Winter 2021, Section 002 - The Sensorium: Art, Life, and Online Worlds
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Junior and above.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/19/21 - 4/21/21 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This class examines sensory perception—hearing, smell, sight, taste, and touch—as a mode of ethnographic inquiry as well as an object of cultural analysis. The class begins with an investigation of vision in the history of Western philosophical traditions and proceeds to examine the legacy of a hierarchy of the senses in the study of diverse cultures and everyday knowledge practices. By analyzing the historical, cultural, and political valences behind sensory experience, the class will rethink classical modes of participant-observation outside of a visualist paradigm, as well as engage in ongoing anthropological debates about the senses as an area of shared, cultural knowledge. We will explore multimedia, experimental forms of representation and consider how anthropological investigations of the senses may be re-configured through genres such as graphic novels, podcasts, food blogs, video games, and other hybrid forms. As this course will be taught online, students will reflect on the sensorial experience of remote learning, investigate ways to conduct digital ethnography, and formulate research methods that reframe sensory studies in a time of social-distancing.

Intended Audience:

This course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

Class Format:

As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning. The course will be conducted synchronously during the scheduled class time in the form of seminar discussions. Assessments include group-based projects (conducted online), individual projects, and written assignments.


ANTHRCUL 458 - Topics in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Tu 1:00PM - 4:00PM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21
002 (SEM)
W 4:00PM - 7:00PM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)