Fall 2023

Contentious Natures: Race, Nature, Power

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as ANTH-268


Victoria Nguyen (Section 01)


How do appeals to nature—so called “natural” traits or “essences”—undergird the way race adheres to specific bodies? How does race, in turn, go beyond bodies to mark particular “natural” landscapes and non-human entities as other? In short, how can we understand the historically powerful relationship between race and nature? Drawing on anthropology and critical race studies, this course examines how race and nature work to convey “timeless truths,” inform notions of identity, and justify inequalities. Throughout the semester, we consider how race and nature act through bodies, environments, discourses, and metaphors to create new forms of belonging and exclusion. To these ends, we analyze concepts such as wilderness/wildness, scientific racism, contamination and purity, human-animal relations, sovereignty and nationalism, environmentalism, and environmental disasters to explore how race gets naturalized, and nature racialized.

Limited to 25 students.  Fall semester. Professor Nguyen

How to handle overenrollment: Anthro & Soc majors given first priority, second priority given to balancing out different cohort years

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: an emphasis on close reading, discussion, and written assignments.

ANTH 268 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM CHAP 203
Th 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM CHAP 203


Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024