Lecture course ‘Introduction to social anthropology’ taught at the LSAR
From December 16th to December 21st, 2013, a series of open lectures ‘Social anthropology: introduction’ was given at the TSU Laboratory for social and anthropological research by the anthropology expert, research fellow and lecturer at Cambridge University (Department of social anthropology) Nikolay Ssorin-Chaikov. All interested in social anthropology issues had a chance to participate. The majority of participants included university faculty and students of TSU social sciences and humanities departments, however, the staff of other higher education institutions and Tomsk organizations also attended (Shatilov Tomsk regional museum of local history, Science and research centre ‘Institute of innovations in education’, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk State University of Architecture and Building, Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radio Electronics, Tomsk State Pedagogical University, and Science and research institute of mental health of the RAS Siberian Branch). 55 participants got certificates of the successful completion of advanced training.
The course was mainly aimed at acquainting the participants with anthropological approaches to the social and cultural analysis of the modern world, based on empirical case studies; at providing the review of major theoretical schools of anthropology and of the evolution of views on the functions and mission of anthropological knowledge; at making them familiar with the basic terms and areas of anthropology, along with the fundamental ethnographical research methods.
The course consisted in three thematic sections. The first section dealt with the context of the emergence of anthropology as knowledge about the Other, and with some topics that had become classic after the ‘relativistic turn’ in anthropology. Lectures here were dedicated to the anthropology of kinship and of the gift, political anthropology, and the analysis of collective perceptions.
The central topic of the second section became the ‘historical turn’ that is the rethinking of anthropology’s place in power relations which resulted in a paradigm shift in anthropological research of politics and the enhancement of self-reflection in the methodology of anthropological work. Lectures here were focused on the anthropology of anthropological optics.
The third section filled the history and anthropology frameworks set in the previous two ones with the discussion of new knowledge and approaches in the anthropology of the state, market, and subjectivity. Among the topics considered were the social life of things and innovations in the anthropology of exchange, the anthropology of the state, corruption and politics, the anthropology of the subject, sexuality and social stratification. The lecture course ended with the review of contemporary ethnographical methods.
To learn more about the lectures, please see:
Anthropology in Russia and abroad: a conversation with Nikolay Ssorin-Chaikov
Introduction to anthropology by a Cambridge University lecturer
Interview with the lecturer N. Ssorin-Chaikov on the ‘Echo of Moscow’ radio (Tomsk)