Fall 2012 – Power

This is a seminar that exams major theorizations of power and politics which anthropologists employ in their ethnographic, historical and related research on rule and governance.  In what sense are states more than “the idea” of the state?   In particular, this course seeks to query how anthropologists and others can best examine the powers of the state vis-à-vis civil society, the role of coercion/violence and hegemony in the exercise of power, and of the place of centralized versus dispersed powers.  What sorts of reconfigurations are modern states undergoing today?    How are states transformed by and in turn shaping, globalization?    How do states do the work of neoliberalism?    Of non-neoliberal  logics of governance?


(A Tentative and Partial List of)Texts

Michel Foucault,  History of Sexuality, Vol.1;Power: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984, Vol. 3

Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks

Stuart Hall, Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, et al., Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order

James C. Scott, Seeing Like A State

Barry Hindess, Discourses of Power from Hobbes to Foucault

Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, The Marx-Engels Reader

David Nugent and Joan Vincent,  A Companion to The Anthropology of Politics


Course Requirements 

Extensive reading, active seminar participation, analytical or research paper, presentation of research.  4th-year undergraduate students may be admitted with Instructor’s permission.


Professor Don Nonini
Anthropology 740
Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.