Fall 2023

Feeling Politics: An Anthropology of Political Affect

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as ANTH-329


Nusrat S. Chowdhury (Section 01)


This course is about feeling politics as much as about the political power of feelings. How often do you feel outraged at the state of politics? Do you ever experience an inexplicable love for political symbols? Do they ever make you cringe? Or perhaps you glean much pleasure from the nature of modern political life? Do you cry, laugh, get scared, or feel overwhelmed by political spectacles that make up our 24/7 existence? If so, like all of us, you experience politics at a corporeal level. Instead of discounting these feelings as irrational and secondary to reasoned deliberations and solemn institutions, this seminar takes them seriously. The texts in this upper-level, discussion-based course consider public political life as an affect-laden world where emotional and bodily attachments – some articulate, others unconscious – are as indispensable and ubiquitous as discourse and procedure. Even when our feelings seem deeply personal, the forms of their expression reveal larger histories of modernity, imperialism, race, labor, and the economy, among others. The seminar is ultimately aimed at understanding how our senses, much like our institutions, are shaped by cultural differences. 

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Chowdhury.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority will be given to majors in Anthropology and Sociology

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work, intensive reading, and speaking in class


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023