ANTH3004 - Cosmos, Society and the Political Imagination

Term 2


How do people’s varied ways of imagining the cosmos and their position within it frame the ways in which they live? And what difference do these ‘cosmologies’ make to the way anthropologists might imagine different social realms, such as economic arrangements, political ideologies, or religious practices? Exploring the significance of cosmological thinking in a variety of social settings, this course addresses such themes as mythology, ritual, and cinema as prime sites for imagining the horizons of life and the cosmos; the roles of science and secularism in contemporary society and their relationship with religious discourses; the role of cosmological ideas in political activism and discourse; the cosmological horizons of modernity, capitalism, and neoliberal economies. The course is co-taught by Allen Abramson and Martin Holbraad, and will involve guest lectures by Bruce Kapferer, one of the leading anthropologists of cosmology of his generation. Solid background knowledge of social anthropology will be assumed.


Taught by: Dr Martin Holbraad, Dr Allen Abramson
Assessment: 2 hour unseen written exam (60%) + 2000 words essay (40%)
Student Contact Hours:
2 hour lecture + 1 hour tutorial per week
Prerequisites: ANTH1005/A: Introduction to Social Anthropology
Option Type:
Social Anthropology

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