ANTHROPOLOGY OF GREECE
Greek ethnography offers a unique opportunity to study the course of anthropological thought from the postwar period until present, in terms of both ethnographic writing and theoretical considerations. The anthropological works on and in Greece from the 1960s onwards are used as a vehicle for understanding anthropology’s turn to western societies in the postwar period and during decolonization, hence the moment of anthropology’s self-critique; and to traverse theoretical trends such as structuralism and functionalism, political economy, interpretive approaches, semiotic approaches, the turn to “language”, and others. At the same time, the study of Greece reflects larger trends in anthropology such as gender, kinship, the modern state and its institutions, ethnic groups, nationalism, multiculturalist politics, diasporas, Europe and the European Union. Considering Greece’s symbolic place in the European intellectual /philosophical production in modernity, the anthropology of Greece contributes to a valuable critique of dominant narratives of “Greek culture”, “Europe”, and the “West”.
In focusing on the particular trajectory of research in Greece, the students become more familiar with ethnography by immersing themselves in a series of ethnographic settings. In this process they learn about “method” and the politics of ethnographic writing, and they acquire knowledge of Greece as a case study to be used comparatively, and to engage in a reflection on the politics of production of anthropological discourse.
Instructor: Vassiliki Yiakoumaki
(the course is offered in English)