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AT 4027 / AT 4527

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Bolton

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Note(s): Available only to students in programme year 4. This course will run in the first half-session of 2012/13 as AT 4027.

The theoretical focus of this course is on technology and uses of materials and the way that these intersect with questions of political power. The course will cover symbolic and Marxist approaches to technological choices; theories of embodiment, skills and learning; theories of inscription; and approaches to technological change, innovation and expertise from science studies (e.g. through actor-network theory). The theoretical concerns are addressed by introducing the anthropology of the Andean region – with the rationale that approaches to working with materials in this region differed markedly from those of Europe until (and also beyond) the Spanish conquest of the 16th century. Different areas of technology and material culture are addressed through examining both historical material and contemporary ethnographic studies – from prehispanic metallurgy to contemporary agricultural development and the role of scientifically trained experts in bringing about changes in practices. Four main technological areas are addressed in the course: mining and metallurgy; fibres and Andean textuality; medicine and the body; and working the land.

1 one-hour lecture and 1 one-hour tutorial per week.

1st attempt: One 2,500 word essay and one 2,500 project (100%).