ANTHR 3416

ANTHR 3416

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2018-2019.

The idea of the barbarians is as old as civilization itself. But what is a barbarian, and what is the role that barbarians play, as the savage enemies of civilization? In this course we will address such questions by looking at how different civilizations have imagined their barbarians, ranging from their key role in Greek drama, and as infidels in religious conceptions, to Chinese walls, and American savagery. We will examine both historical examples, and the barbarians of today -- the terrorists and insurgents so often framed as dark and primitive, in contrast with ourselves. Through readings and visual materials, we will seek to discover what these barbarians have in common. We will look comparatively for the underlying patterns of history that the barbarians are drafted from, to draw a new picture of the barbarians. At the same time, we will arrive at a new understanding of civilization as such, as well as of the general nature of human inequality, and how it is justified.   

When Offered Spring.

Prerequisites/Corequisites Recommended prerequisite: some familiarity with issues and debates in anthropology, and/or social sciences generally.

Breadth Requirement (GHB)
Distribution Category (SBA-AS)

Comments Co-meets with ANTHR 6416.

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  • 17113ANTHR 3416  SEM 101