ANTH+418+Syllabus+Fall+2017+(FINAL+VERSION).docx..docx

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Prof. John Galaty Tel. 514-398-1336 Class: Leacock 721 Email: [email protected] W 2:35-5:25 p.m. Office Hours: L. 724, F 3-5 p.m. ANTH 418. SEMINAR ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT COURSE SUMMARY . This seminar will explore two key concepts, ‘environment’ and ‘development’ and how they interact in the context of our understanding and practically in the world of practical experience. ‘Development’ is meant to capture a wide-range of aspects of society as they change over time, all of which are seen as bearing on how institutions influence social well being. Development is often associated with the notion of ‘progress’ over time in conditions of education, health, economic productivity, political institutions, and so forth, it also captures local understandings of change. In Anthropology, the implicit unilinearity of development has been criticized for equating well-being with growth, privileging economics over other areas of social life, and over-emphasizing the role of the state and market. The ‘environment’ is seen as the surrounds of human societies, in particular the natural resources on which societies depend. But the distinction between nature and culture, or society, has been criticized as ignoring that the two realms are intermixed and interdependent. Also, the way that the environment is conceived and appropriated is highly political, with environmental narratives being influenced by relations of power, self- interest, and ideological presuppositions. This course will examine settings in which the environment encounters development processes, with a strong emphasis on small-scale societies engaged in peasant farming, pastoralism, and hunting and foraging, largely in the context of struggles over land, conflicts over how resources should be used and conserved, and friction with state and international influences. The final section will focus on wildlife conservation in savanna settings of Africa peopled by pastoralists, where struggles over conserving and utilizing the rich biodiversity (wildlife, grasses, forests) of the region occurs in a complex setting of interacting local, national, regional and international institutions. The course will develop, through theory and cases, how environmental sustainability interacts with the development process, including the politics of control over resources, is mediated by local and global knowledge and institutions. READING MATERIALS. The following books are available for purchase at the McGill Bookstore, and as e-books: 1
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Li, Tania, The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics , Duke Univ. Press, 2007. Scott, J., Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play , Princeton Univ. Press, 2014. Reid, Robin. Savannas of Our Birth: People, Wildlife, and Change in East Africa . Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2012.
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  • Fall '17

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