Anthropology as Cultural Critique (ANTH 214)

2021 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Ayşecan Terzioğlu,
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Interactive lecture
Interactive,Learner centered,Discussion based learning
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This course provides an introduction to anthropology, a discipline that has historically produced knowledge of "other" cultures on the basis of fieldwork. In recent decades, a critical anthropology has come to question both the concept of culture and the task of cultural representation. At the same time, the geographical, theoretical, methodological, and thematic scope of anthropological research has expanded. In this course, various anthropological theories and methods will be discussed in light of these recent debates with readings on different parts of the world, including Turkey. For their final project, the students will have the option of writing a paper based on anthropological research.


The course aims to introduce students to anthropological theories and research practices. The readings cover a wide range of issues and geographic locations.


Demonstrate familiarity with the key concepts and range of theoretical positions and debates in contemporary anthropology,

Identify the different ways in which the concept of culture has been discussed in anthropological debates.

Discuss the ways in which the task of cultural representation has been questioned and rethought within anthropology.


  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Midterm 30
Participation 10
Other 20



The Foundation of Anthropology
Malinowski, Bronislaw (1961) [1922] Argonauts of the Western Pacific, Waveland Press, Preface, Foreword and Introduction.

Classic Ethnographies
Evans-Pritchard, E.E. (1969) [1940] The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People. Oxford University Press, Introductory & Chapter1.

Classic Ethnographies Revisited
Shostak, Marjorie (2001) [1981] Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Introduction & Chapter 1

Critical Perspectives in Ethnography
Marcus, George (1986) ?Contemporary Problems of Ethnography in the Modern World System? in Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, University of California Press, pp.165-193

Abu-Lughod, Lila (1991) ?Writing Against Culture? in Recapturing Anthropology: Working in the Present, ed. Richard G. Fox, New Mexico: School of American Research Press, pp.137-162

Race and Colonialism
Mullings, Leith (2005) ?Interrogating Racism: Toward and Antiracist Anthropology?
Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 34: pp. 667-693.

Baker, Lee D. (2007) ?Columbia University?s Franz Boas: He Led the Undoing of Scientific Racism? The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no.55, pp: 77-84.

Migration and Culture
Malkki, Liisa H. (1999) ?National Geographic: The Rooting of Peoples and the Territorialization of National Identity among Scholars and Refugees? in Culture, Power, Place: Explorations in Critical Anthropology, eds. Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, Durham: Duke University Press, pp.52-74

Riano-Alcala, Pilar (2008) ?Journeys and landscapes of Forced Migration: Memorializing Fear among Refugees and Internally Displaced Columbians?, Social Anthropology, 16 (1), pp.1-18

Parla, Ayşe (2011) ?Undocumented Migrants and the Double Binds of Rights Claims? differences 22(1): pp. 64-89

Inhorn, Marcia C., (2018) ?America?s Arab Refugees: Vulnerability and Health on the Margins?, Stanford University Press, pp: 1-42

The City as an Ethnographic Site
Mills, Amy (2006) ?Boundaries of the Nation in the Space of the Urban: Landscape and Social Memory in Istanbul.? Cultural Geographies 13, pp: 367-394.

Bartu Candan, Ayfer and Biray Kolluoğlu (2008) ?Emerging Spaces of Neoliberalism: A Gated Town and a Public Housing Project in Istanbul.? New Perspectives on Turkey 39, pp. 5-46.

Gender and Sexuality
Babb, Florence E. (2008) ?Out in Nicaragua: Local and Transnational Desires after the Revolution? Cultural Anthropology, 18(3): 304-328.

Özyeğin, Gül, 2015. ?Vulnerable Masculinity and Self-Transformation: Ali?s Story?, in New Desires, New Selves: Sex, Love and Piety Among Turkish Youth, New York UP.

Biscop, Kilian & Steven Malliet & Alexander Dhoest, (2019) ?Subversive Ludic Performance: An Analysis of Gender and Sexuality Performance in Digital Games? Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies, 6 (2): 23-42

The Body, Science and Medicine
Terzioğlu Ayşecan (2018), ?The Banality of Evil and the Normalization of Discriminatory Discourses against Syrians in Turkey?, Anthropology of Contemporary Middle East and Central Euresia (ACME), 4 (2), pp: 34-47.

Kayaalp, Ebru & İbrahim Burhan Işık. (August 30, 2020) ?Covid-19 and Healthcare Infrastructure in Turkey?, Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

Anthropology of Consumption
Kaya, Dilek (2009), ?The Cola Turka Contrversy: Consuming Cola as a Turkish Muslim?, Muslim Societies in the Age of Mass Consumption, Johanna Pink (ed), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 105-124

Polese, Abel & Oleksandra Seliverstova (2019) ?Luxury Consumption as Identity Markers in Talinn: A Study of Russian and Estonian Everyday Identity Construction through Consumer Citizenship?, Journal of Consumer Culture , pp. 1-22

Anthropology in the Era of the Anthropocene
Moore, Amelia (2015) ?Anthropocene Anthropology: Reconceptualizing Contemporary Global Change? Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 22, pp. 27-46.

Kirksey, Eben, Craig Schuetze and Stefan Helmreich (2014) ?Introduction? in The. Multispecies Salon, ed. Eben Kirksey. Durham and London: Duke University Press, pp. 1-24.

Tsing, Anna Lowenthaup (2014) ?Blasted Landscapes (and the Gentle Arts of Mushroom Picking)? in The. Multispecies Salon, ed. Eben Kirksey. Durham and London: Duke University Press, pp.87-109.