In a time of planetary crisis, anthropologists and other scholars are trying to think beyond the human, beyond the Enlightenment subject, beyond the anthropocentrism of received social theory. The premise of this seminar is that the human has gone beyond the human all along, albeit in ways that are not often recognized in today’s posthumanist debates. We will explore other, older genealogies of thinking and being that have at once desired and tried to harness the explosive potential of self-loss as a modality of self-knowledge. Examples will include ‘participant observation’ as fieldwork method, theologies of participation and consubstantiality, transference and telepathy in psychoanalysis, and more. The aim is to productively derail us from prevailing cliches, so that we may better draw on archives that are at once stranger and more intimate than they at first appear.
ANTH 50750 | AASR 50750 | CCCT 50750 | SCTH 30750