1. READING LIST 98 items
    1. Week 1 - Introduction to the course 1 item
      No readings this lecture
      1. This week will provide an overview of the module, how the seminars will be organised and what is expected of seminar participants. 

    2. Week 2 - The notion of the person 6 items
      This lecture will introduce the classic essay by Mauss on the person that is seen as the starting point for discussions about personhood in anthropology. The essay is written in a fragmentary and opaque manner. The lecture will consider a number of commentaries on the essay that elucidate its meaning as well as critiquing some of its assumptions.
      1. Core Readings: 2 items
        1. After kinship - Janet Carsten 2003

          Book Essential reading Read: Carsten, J. 2004. 'The person'

        2. The category of the person: anthropology, philosophy, history - Michael Carrithers, Steven Collins, Steven Lukes 1985

          Book Essential reading Read: Mauss, M. 1985. 'A category of the human mind: the notion of person; the notion of self'

      2. Background Readings: 3 items
        1. The category of the person: anthropology, philosophy, history - Michael Carrithers, Steven Collins, Steven Lukes 1985

          Book Recommended reading Read: Allen, N. 1985. 'The category of the person: a reading of Mauss's last essay' pp. 26-45

        2. The category of the person: anthropology, philosophy, history - Michael Carrithers, Steven Collins, Steven Lukes 1985

          Book Recommended reading Read Collins, S. 1985. 'Categories, concepts or predicaments? Remarks on Mauss's use of philosophical terminology' pp. 46-82

        3. The category of the person: anthropology, philosophy, history - Michael Carrithers, Steven Collins, Steven Lukes 1985

          Book Recommended reading Read: Dumont, L. 1985. 'A modified view of our origins: the Christian beginnings of modern individualism' pp. 93-122

      3. Discussion questions:


        * Why does it make analytical sense to focus on the person?

        * What is anthropologically useful about the essay by Mauss?

        * How has the essay by Mauss been surpassed by subsequent anthropological work?


    3. Week 3 - Personhood and sociality 12 items
      Personhood always exists in a particular context of social relations or sociality. How personhood is constituted is thus directly related to local forms of sociality. But the converse is also true: that forms of sociality are related to local notions of personhood. Anthropologists have spilled much ink attempting to describe and interpret these local forms. The most influential, recent model is that of 'partible' personhood associated with Marilyn Strathern and Roy Wagner. The lecture considers these issues and some of the debates (and influences) associated with the partible person.
      1. Core Readings: 2 items
        1. Person and myth: Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian world

          Chapter Essential reading Read Chapter 11, pp 172-188, Structures of the person

        2. Bodies and persons: comparative perspectives from Africa and Melanesia

          Chapter Essential reading Read chapter 3 pp 53-79 LiPuma, E. 1998. 'Modernity and forms of personhood in Melanesia'

      2. Background Readings: 9 items
        1. On personhood: an anthropological perspective from Africa - John L. Comaroff, Jean Comaroff 06/2001

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Fluid signs: being a person the Tamil way - Daniel E. Valentine c1984

          Book Recommended reading

        3. Bodies and persons: comparative perspectives from Africa and Melanesia - Michael Lambek, Andrew J. Strathern 1998

          Book Recommended reading Chapters 1 & 4

        4. Do Kamo: person and myth in the Melanesian world - Maurice Leenhardt, Basia Miller Gulati 1979

          Book Recommended reading

        5. Big men and great men: personifications of power in Melanesia

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 9. pp. 159-173. The fractal person

        6. Managing turbulent hearts: a Balinese formula for living - Unni Wikan 1990

          Book Recommended reading

        7. Magicians of Manumanua - M. Young

          Book Recommended reading chapter 1

      3. Discussion questions:


        * What is understood by the notion of the partible person?

        * How does the concept assist anthropologists with their analyses?

        * What are the relations between personhood and sociality?


    4. Week 4 - Personhood and kinship 15 items
      Sahlins has proposed that the specific quality of kinship is ‘mutuality of being’: persons who are members of one another, who participate intrinsically in each other’s existence. This quality of kinship applies equally well, Sahlins suggests, to kinship constituted by ‘social construction’ as it does to kinship established by procreation. At the same time, Sahlin’s argues that kinship and person must be disentangled. Whereas the singular person can be understood as composite site of multiple others – as ‘partible personhood’ – kinship needs to be understood as formed through ‘intersubjective being’.
      1. Core Reading: 3 items
        1. What kinship is (part one) - Marshall Sahlins 2011

          Article Essential reading

        2. What kinship is (part two) - Marshall Sahlins 2011

          Article Essential reading

      2. Background Readings: 11 items
        1. We need to talk about kinship - Adam Kuper 2018

          Article Recommended reading

        2. What kinship does – and how - Janet Carsten 2013

          Article Recommended reading

        3. What kind of "is" is Sahlins' "is"? - Maurice Bloch 2013

          Article Recommended reading

        4. Hierarchy and conflict in mutual being - Robert Brightman 06/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        5. It’s this, not that - Andrew Shryock 06/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        6. What is kinship? - Stephan Feuchtwang 06/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        7. Donor siblings - Jeanette Edwards 06/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        8. The kinship I and the kinship other - Carlos Fausto 06/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        9. . . . In South Asia - Kriti Kapila 06/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        10. The order of intersubjectivity - Klaus Hamberger 06/2013

          Article Recommended reading

      3. Discussion questions:


        * Why is property so central to Western notions of personhood and relations with land and the surroundings?

        * Does it make sense to speak of property relations as a social relationship?

        * What does the expansion of new forms of property reveal about ideas of the person?

    5. Week 5 - The individual and society 11 items
      The very idea of the partible person is one that arises in a social world supposedly composed of individuals (i.e. a social world usually referred to as the West or Euro-America). The partible person is meant to contrast with the 'individual' person. But are Western societies composed of persons that perceive themselves as individuals or is this just an ideological position that is taken for an empirical fact? This lecture builds on the previous two lectures by examining the conceptual and empirical issues informing the study of personhood in the West.
      1. Core Readings: 2 items
        1. The category of the person: anthropology, philosophy, history - Michael Carrithers, Steven Collins, Steven Lukes 1985

          Book Essential reading La Fontaine, Jean S., 1985, “Person and individual: some anthropological reflections

      2. Background Readings: 8 items
        1. Governing the soul: the shaping of the private self

          Chapter Recommended reading Read chapter 16, pp. 217-232, Obliged to be free.

        2. Inventing our selves: psychology, power, and personhood - Nikolas Rose 1996

          Book Recommended reading pp. 1-21

        3. After nature: English kinship in the late twentieth century - Marilyn Strathern 1992

          Book Recommended reading chapters 2 & 3

        4. What is an individual? - Jon Bialecki, Girish Daswani 03/2015

          Article Recommended reading

        5. Horizontal and vertical relations - Liana Chua 03/2015

          Article Recommended reading

        6. Unbecoming individuals - Mark S. Mosko 03/2015

          Article Recommended reading

      3. Discussion questions:


        * What is ideological about the notion of the individual?

        * Why have anthropologists assumed that Western persons perceive themselves as individuals?

        * What is significant about the relation between individual and society?

    6. Week 6 - Personhood and classification 8 items
      This lecture focuses on issues of classification that are crucial to how anthropologists think about personhood as much as how persons think about themselves, others and the world around them. A key category, especially in Western social science as well as everyday thought, has been the category of normal or normality. What does it mean to be normal and why is it felt so important to be? The lecture explores these, and related issues about classification.
      1. Core Readings: 2 items
        1. Anthropology and the abnormal - Ruth Benedict 1934

          Article Essential reading

      2. Background Readings: 5 items
        1. Sorting things out: classification and its consequences - Geoffrey C. Bowker, Susan Leigh Star c2000

          Book Recommended reading chapters 2 & 7

        2. Normal people. - John Dupre

          Article Recommended reading

        3. The taming of chance

          Chapter Recommended reading Read chapter 19, pp 160-169, The normal state

        4. Questions of competence: culture, classification and intellectual disability

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 1, pp1-24, Culture,classification and (in)competence.

        5. Reason and morality - Joanna Overing, Association of Social Anthropologists of the Commonwealth 1985 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading 'Today I shall call him "Mummy": multiple worlds and classifactory confusion' pp.152-179

      3. Discussion questions:


        * Why is it important to be considered normal?

        * Why are classifications so powerful?

        * How are classifications and personhood connected?

    7. Week 7 Reading week 0 items
    8. Week 8 - Personhood, institutions and the state 12 items
      The modern state and its associated institutions have radically transformed the way personhood is experienced and understood. This is connected with the way the state seeks to know and govern its citizens/subjects and how this knowledge and governing influences the kinds of persons that exist. The lecture examines these dynamic processes, especially as they have been studied and interpreted by Ian Hacking and others.
      1. Core Readings: 2 items
        1. Kinds of people, moving targets - Ian Hacking 2006

          Document Essential reading

      2. Background Readings: 9 items
        1. Border Children: Interpreting Autism Spectrum Disorder in South Korea - Roy Richard Grinker, Kyungjin Cho 03/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        2. The social construction of what?

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 5, pp. 125-162, Kind-making: the case of child abuse

        3. Causal cognition: a multidisciplinary debate - Dan Sperber, David Premack, Ann J. Premack 1995

          Book Recommended reading 'The looping effects of human kinds'

        4. Census and identity: the politics of race, ethnicity, and language in national census - David I. Kertzer, Dominique Arel 2002

          Book Recommended reading

        5. Bipolar expeditions: mania and depression in American culture - Emily Martin c2007

          Book Recommended reading

        6. Flexible survivors - Emily Martin 10/2000

          Article Recommended reading

      3. Discussion questions:


        * What does Hacking mean by kinds of persons as a moving target?

        * Is the notion of dynamic nominalism analytically helpful?

        * How do people in a Papua New Guinea hospital make themselves visible as 'patients'?

    9. Week 9 - Persons, trauma and therapies 14 items
      Trauma is an interesting category. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century its meaning transformed from a bodily to a psychic pain. This change is closely bound up with the emergence, in particular, of Freudian psychoanalysis and the more general development of the sciences of memory. The lecture considers the relatively recent emergence of post-traumatic stress disorder as a category of diagnosis that influences the kind of persons there might be.
      1. Core Readings: 2 items
        1. Living and working with the new medical technologies: intersections of inquiry

          Chapter Essential reading Read Chapter 7. pp 135-162.History, hystery and psychiatric styles of reasoning

        2. Knowledge, power, and practice: the anthropolgy of medicine and everday life - Shirley Lindenbaum, Margaret M. Lock c1993

          Book Essential reading 'A description of how ideology shapes knowledge of a mental disorder (posttraumatic stress disorder)' pp. 108-128

      2. Background Readings: 11 items
        1. Tense past: cultural essays in trauma and memory - Paul Antze, Michael Lambek 1996

          Book Recommended reading

        2. The empire of trauma: an inquiry into the condition of victimhood - Didier Fassin, Richard Rechtman c2009

          Book Recommended reading

        3. Rewriting the soul: multiple personality and the sciences of memory - Ian Hacking c1995 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        4. Psychotherapy and the Cultural Concept of the Person - L. J. Kirmayer 01/06/2007

          Article Recommended reading

        5. Writing at the margin: discourse between anthropology and medicine - Arthur Kleinman c1995

          Book Recommended reading chapter 8

        6. Personhood, culture and family therapy - Inga-Britt Krause 11/1995

          Article Recommended reading

        7. The harmony of illusions: inventing post-traumatic stress disorder - Allan Young c1995 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        8. Violent reverberations: global modalities of trauma 2016

          Book Recommended reading

        9. Personhood, culture and family therapy - Inga-Britt Krause 11/1995

          Article Recommended reading

      3. Discussion questions:


        * How did trauma come to assume its current psychological form?

        * Is trauma a useful analytical category for anthropology, especially for cross-cultural investigations?

        * Why is personhood and memory so closely linked in the Western context?

    10. Week 10 - Persons and the life-cycle: the case of menopause 8 items
      Just as ideas of what is 'normal' are socially variable (or non-existent, depending on the context) so are particular kinds of personal states. Menopause is an interesting example. It is understood as a normal life-cycle transition in Britain and North America, for instance, but the same is not the case in Japan. The lecture explores these differences and the implications for employing supposed 'natural' life-cycle transitions cross-culturally. The lecture also considers the top-down and bottom-up dynamics at work in the construction of the 'menopausal woman'.
      1. Core Reading: 1 item
        1. Knowledge, Power and Practice: The Anthropology of Medicine and Everyday Life - S. Lindenbaum, M. Lock

          Book Essential reading 'The politics of mid-life and menopause: ideologies for the second sex in North America and Japan' pp. 330-363

      2. Background Readings: 6 items
        1. An anthropology of biomedicine - Margaret M. Lock, Vinh-Kim Nguyen 2010

          Book Recommended reading pp. 50-53, 84-89

        2. Encounters with aging: mythologies of menopause in Japan and North America - Margaret M. Lock 1993

          Book Recommended reading

        3. The woman in the body: a cultural analysis of reproduction

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 10, pp.166-178, Menopause, Power, and Heat.

      3. Discussion questions:


        * Does the menopause exist in all societies?

        * What does the significance given to the menopause tell us about the kinds of persons valued in Western societies?

        * Can the menopause be thought of as a moving target?

    11. Week 11 - Biosociality and personhood 11 items
      In the 1990s Paul Rabinow coined the concept of biosociality, drawing inspiration from Foucault's notion of biopower. Rabinow proposed it because of the way he envisioned the new genetics, then emerging, would centrally enter the identity networks forming contemporary notions of the person. The lecture will consider these issues and some of the contexts where this is trend is especially evident.
      1. Core Readings: 2 items
        1. Essays on the anthropology of reason

          Chapter Essential reading Read chapter 5, pp.91-111, 'Artificiality and enlightenment: from sociobiology to biosociality'.

        2. Relative values: reconfiguring kinship studies

          Chapter Essential reading Read chapter 14, pp.384-409, 'Genealogical dis-ease: where hereditary abnormality, biomedical explanation, and family responsibility meet'.

      2. Background Readings: 8 items
        1. The Kin in the Gene - Kaja Finkler 04/2001

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Genomic Anthropology 01.08.2008 Volume: 49 Issue: 4 Page: 545

          Article Recommended reading

        3. Anthropology and the new genetics - Gâisli Pâalsson 2007

          Book Recommended reading

        4. Kinship, law and the unexpected: relatives are always a surprise - Marilyn Strathern 2005

          Book Recommended reading chapters 1 & 2

        5. Decode Me! - Gísli Pálsson 04/2012

          Article Recommended reading

      3. Discussion questions:


        * What are the strengths and weaknesses of the biosociality model?

        * How can anthropologists contribute to the study of the new genetics?

        * How revelant is the model of biosociality to that of non-Western contexts?

    12. Week 12 - Module Review Session 0 items
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