***Title change from The Anthropology of Things & Time change***
Most ethnographic studies begin by focusing on a group of people. This course asks what the implications are of reversing such an approach and beginning with a specific thing. In what ways do things create culture? By carefully analyzing a series of classic and more current ethnographies, students will look at the relationship between theoretical approaches, how ethnographic data is presented to the reader and how the shape of the text determines how the material is being understood. Readings will include studies of sugar, cod, cell phones and colonialism, and authors will range from Marx to Wolf and Appadurai. Students will be required to participate actively in the analysis of each text as well as analyzing texts outside of class.