Update from the classroom

After my first class meetings for HIST 290 and ANTH 289 this week, I am looking forward to the opportunity that I think both classes will allow for – namely to further develop my own lines of research inquiry but with some facilitation, guidance, feedback and support from the faculty and peers in a class structure. Both Kris and Kavita appear to be approaching their classes more like reading groups which suits my purposes perfectly since in the Anthro department, this year (Year 3) is supposed to be largely dedicated towards developing one’s own project and orals documents (more on that in future posts).

As part of Kavita’s HIST 290 course, we are expected to post weekly on what we are reading (related to science, race, gender, and empire) and to share annotated bibliographies and thoughts pertaining to these topics. As such, I’m roping off a corner of this blog for these regular posts and I invite both my classmates and also those who are not in the class to review and offer feedback and any suggested additional readings!

Next steps: I’m working on a first draft of my proposed reading list for the rest of this quarter and will post that shortly. I will also post the annotated bibliography at the end of the 10-week quarter together with a short document that hopefully has some synthesis on the literature and its relation to my project (i.e. a basis for one of my orals docs!)

I hope to do the same for the ANTH 289 class (although that is not an explicit requirement of the course). I’ve therefore also roped off a section of the blog for that, although, time pertaining, I may not post as regularly there…

And just like that, we are off: the start of a 10 week quarter begins! (for those of you who haven’t experienced the quarter system… it feels like doing a marathon at a sprint!)

Entering Fall 2017

Tomorrow marks the first day of classes (although my classes don’t technically start until next week since my classes are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). I’m really looking forward to this quarter’s classes because I think they will be directly relevant to the direction my project is taking. I’ll be taking:

Kris Peterson‘s “Theorizing Africa” (ANTH 289)

Main course readings include:
  • Basma Abdel Aziz, The Queue (Melville House, 2016)
  • Achille Mbembe, Critique of Black Reason (Duke University Press, 2017)
  • Omolade Adunbi, Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria (Indiana University Press 2015)
Kris has stressed that this is less of an “Anthropology of Africa” course and more of an multi-disciplinary critical theory course. It’s catered to those who are studying Africa as much as it is catered to those who want to further their interest in radical theory and the de-centering of European/Anglo-American thought (regardless of your area of study). It also is geared toward thinking about how to scale research and writing in a way that can effortlessly cross disciplines and literatures while remaining grounded in anthropological principles (particularly of method). So this course is hopefully going to be an example of how to think and analyze across time, event, and theory.

Kavita Philip‘s “Science, Gender, Race & Empire” (HIST 290)

Main course readings include:

  • Mona Domosh and Joni Seager, ed Putting Women in Place
  • Sandra Harding ed The Racial Economy of Science

This course explores the interconnected histories of science, gender, race, and empire. I’ll hopefully know more but I’m looking forward to taking my first history course at UCI…