Imagined Unities: Nations, Civilizations, Modernities

Graduate Seminar, Spring 2003
HIS 381-X4, Unique # 35940
GAR 205, Tuesdays 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Roger Hart
Office: Garrison Hall, Room 405
Office hours: Mondays 10-12 and by appointment.
office phone: (512) 475-7258



This interdisciplinary course examines the most important works on representations of cultures -- whether conceptualized as tribes, nations, civilizations, the modern, or the West. Readings include works by Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Habermas, Whorf, Quine, Wittgenstein, Geertz, Foucault, and Spivak. We will take an interdisciplinary and critical approach, integrating history with literary criticism, philosophy, and anthropology.

Course Requirements

Class attendance is mandatory. Students may choose one of the following two options:

(1) Before class write a brief summary of the readings. Notes on each of the readings should usually be two short paragraphs -- one summarizing the central argument and one offering critical analysis -- for a total of 2 to 5 pages per week. Students should complete notes for three of four readings per week and for twelve of the fifteen weeks. These will be graded and will serve as the basis for class discussions. Grading: reading assignments 80%; class participation 20%. For more specific instructions, see "Reading Notes: Suggested Approaches."

(2) Complete a final paper of 20 pp. for undergraduates and 25 pp. for graduate students. Students should consult me as early as possible on possible topics. An outline and bibliography are due by the eighth week; a first draft must be turned in by the twelfth week; and the final draft is due on the final day of class. Grading: final paper 80%; class participation 20%. For more specific instructions, see "Writing Term Papers."


Please bookmark the electronic reserves page and also this syllabus -- I may make changes in the readings as the semester progresses.

Electronic reserves

All of the required readings for this course will be available through electronic reserves:

This electronic reserves page will be password-protected; please email me if you need the password.


The following texts will be available at the Co-op Bookstore:

Hegel, Philosophy of History
Habermas, Philosophical Discourse of Modernity
Lévi-Strauss, Savage Mind
Whorf, Language, Thought, and Reality
Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures
Foucault, Foucault Reader
Anderson, Imagined Communities
Latour, We Have Never Been Modern
Spivak, Critique of Postcolonial Reason
Rundell and Mennell, Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization


Week 1: Introduction


John F. Rundell and Stephen Mennell, "Introduction," in Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, ed. Rundell and Mennell, International Library of Sociology (New York: Routledge, 1998), pp. 1-38.


Matei Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1987).

Week 2: Thinking Modern


Rene Descartes, "Of the Things of which We May Doubt" and "Of the Nature of the Human Mind; and that It Is More Easily Known than the Body," sections 1 and 2 of "Meditations on the First Philosophy," in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, trans. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, Dugald Murdoch, et al., 3 vols. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984); first published in 1641.

Immanuel Kant, "Introduction," in Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); originally published as Kritik der reinen Vernunft, first "A" edition published in 1781, second "B" revised edition published in 1787.

G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831), "Religion" and "Absolute Knowledge," in Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A. V. Miller (Oxford, 1977); originally published as Phanomenologie des Geistes (1807).

Jürgen Habermas, "Modernity's Consciousness of Time and Its Need for Self-Reassurance" and "Hegel's Concept of Modernity," chaps. 1 and 2 of The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987), pp. 1-50; originally published as Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne: Zwölf Vorlesungen (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1985).


Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, trans. Stillman Drake, 2d. ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967); originally published as Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo, tolemaico e copernicano, 1632.

Sir Karl Raimund Popper, "Hegel and the New Tribalism," chap. 12 of The Open Society and Its Enemies, 4th rev. ed. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1963), vol. 2, pp. 27-80.

Charles Taylor, Hegel and Modern Society, Modern European Philosophy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979).

Week 3: The Moderns and Their Other(s)


G. W. F. Hegel, "China" and "The Modern Time," in The Philosophy of History, trans. J. Sibree, rev. ed. (New York: P. F. Collier), pp. 117-38 and 412-57; from lectures delivered in winter 1830-31, edited by Prof. Gans, re-edited by Charles Hegel, based on lectures in winter 1822-23.

Edward Burnett Tylor, Primitive Culture, 2 vols. (New York: Harper, 1958), selections; originally published as Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom (London: J. Murray, 1871).

Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, new abridgement from 2nd and 3rd ed. ed., The World's Classics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), selections; originally published in 2 vols. in 1890, later expanded to 12 vols.

Max Weber, "Conclusions: Confucianism and Puritanism," chap. 8 of The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism, trans. Hans H. Gerth (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1951), pp. 227-49; originally published as "Konfuzianismus und Taoismus," in vol. 1 of Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie (1922).


Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men," in Rousseau's Political Writings, ed. Alan Ritter and Julia Bondanella, Norton Critical Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 1988), pp. 3-58; first published in 1755.

Burleigh Taylor Wilkins, Hegel's Philosophy of History (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974).

Week 4: Anthropology's Primitives


Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, "Collective Representations in Primitives' Perceptions and the Mystical Character of Such," "The Functioning of Prelogical Mentality," and "The Transition to the Higher Mental Types," chaps. 1, 3, and 9 of How Natives Think, trans. Lilian A. Clare (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1985); originally published as Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés inférieures (1910).

Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, "Introduction" and "Conclusion," chaps. 1 and 14 of Primitive Mentality, trans. Lilian A. Clare (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1978); originally published as La mentalité primitive (1922).

Franz Boas, "Introduction" and "The Mind of Primitive Man and the Progress of Culture," chaps. 1 and 11 of The Mind of Primitive Man, rev. ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1938).

Claude Levi-Strauss, "The Science of the Concrete," chap. 1 of The Savage Mind (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966); originally published as La pensée sauvage (Paris: Librarie Plon, 1962).


Christopher Robert Hallpike, The Foundations of Primitive Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979).

G. E. R. Lloyd, Demystifying Mentalities, Themes in the Social Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

George W. Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, [1968] 1982).

Week 5: What was Enlightenment?


Immanuel Kant, "Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View," in Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, ed. John F. Rundell and Stephen Mennell (New York: Routledge, 1998), pp. 39-47; first published in 1784.

Immanuel Kant, "What is Enlightenment?" in Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals and "What Is Enlightenment?", trans. Lewis White Beck, 2nd , rev. ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1995); first published in 1784.

Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, "The Concept of Enlightenment," chap. 1 of Dialectic of Enlightenment, trans. John Cumming, new ed. (New York: Continuum, 1997), pp. 3-42; originally published as Dialektik der Aufklärung (Amsterdam: Querido, 1947).

Michel Foucault, "What Is Enlightenment?" in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), pp. 32-50.

Jurgen Habermas, "Taking Aim at the Heart of the Present," in Foucault: A Critical Reader, ed. David Couzens Hoy (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), pp. 103-08.


Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, "What Is Maturity? Habermas and Foucault on 'What Is Enlightenment?'" in Foucault: A Critical Reader, ed. David Couzens Hoy (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), pp. 109-21.

James Schmidt, ed., What Is Enlightenment?: Eighteenth-Century Answers and Twentieth-Century Questions, Philosophical Traditions 7 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

Week 6: What was Capitalism?


Adam Smith, "Of the Division of Labor," "Of the Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labor," and "That the Division of Labor is Not Limited by the Extent of the Market," chaps. 1-3 of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 2 vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976); originally published in 1776.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, "The Secret of Primitive Accumulation," pt. 8 chap. 26 of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (New York: International Publishers, 1967); originally published in 1867.

Karl Polanyi, "Habituation Versus Improvement" and "Societies and Economic Systems," chaps. 3 and 4 of The Great Transformation (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1944).

Simon Smith Kuznets, "The General Framework," chap. 1 of Modern Economic Growth: Rate, Structure, and Spread, Studies in Comparative Economics 7 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), 1-16.


Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein, The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century, Studies in Social Discontinuity (New York: Academic Press, 1974).

Robert Brenner, "Agrarian Class Structure And Economic Development In Pre-Industrial Europe," in The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe, ed. T. H. Aston and C. H. E. Philpin (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985); originally published in Past and Present 70 (February 1976), 30-74.

David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor, 1st ed. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1998).

Amartya Kumar Sen, Development as Freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Wallerstein, "The End of What Modernity?" Theory and Society 24 no. 4 (1995), 471-88.

Week 7. Modernity as Social Evolution

Herbert Spencer, "Societal Typologies," in On Social Evolution: Selected Writings (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), pp. 142-48; originally published in The Principles of Sociology (London: Williams and Norgate, 1876), vol. 1, pt. 2, pp. 569-76.

Karl Marx, “Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy” and Friedrich Engels, The Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State, selections, in The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert C. Tucker, 2d ed. (New York: Norton, 1978), pp. 3-6 and 734-759; originally published 1859 and 1884, respectively.

Emile Durkheim, "The Function of the Division of Labor," bk. 1 of The Division of Labor in Society, trans. W. D. Halls, (New York: Free Press, 1997), pp. 11-175; originally published as De la division du travail social (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1930), based on doctoral thesis of 1893.

Marshall David Sahlins, Thomas G. Harding and Elman Rogers Service, Evolution and Culture (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1960).


Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727-1781), Turgot on Progress, Sociology and Economics: A Philosophical Review of the Successive Advances of the Human Mind, on Universal History, [and] Reflections on the Formation and the Distribution of Wealth, ed. Ronald L. Meek (Cambridge: University Press, 1973).

Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (Westport, Conn.: Hyperion Press, 1979); originally published as Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de L'esprit humain (1795).

Auguste Comte, "Aims of the Course. General Considerations on the Nature and Importance of Positive Philosophy," in Auguste Comte and Positivism: The Essential Writings, ed. Gertrud Lenzer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983); originally published in Cours de Philosophie Positive (1830-42).

Henry Sumner Maine, Ancient Law: Its Connection with the Early History of Society, and Its Relation to Modern Ideas (1861; reprint, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986).

Lewis Henry Morgan, "Growth of Intelligence through Inventions and Discoveries" and "Growth of the Idea of Property," pts. 1 and 4 of Ancient Society (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1964), pp. 11-48 and 445-468; originally published as Ancient Society: Or, Researches in the Line of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization,1871.

Leslie A. White, The Science of Culture: A Study of Man and Civilization, 2d ed. (New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1969); first edition published in 1949.

C. R. Hallpike, The Principles of Social Evolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

Tim Ingold, Evolution and Social Life, Themes in the Social Sciences (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

Week 8: The Great Divide(s)


Sir Karl Popper, "The Open Society and Its Enemies," chap. 10 of The Open Society and Its Enemies, 4th rev. ed. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1963), vol. 1, pp. 27-80; first edition published in 1945.

C. P. Snow, "The Two Cultures," in The Two Cultures; and, a Second Look: An Expanded Version of 'the Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution' (London: Cambridge U.P., 1964), pp. 1-21; first edition published in 1959.

Jack Goody, "The Grand Dichotomy Reconsidered," chap. 8 of The Domestication of the Savage Mind (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1977), pp. 146-62.

Ernest Gellner, "Options of Belief," chap. 7 of Spectacles and Predicaments: Essays in Social Theory (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979), pp. 135-147.

Bruno Latour, "Relativism," chap. 4 of We Have Never Been Modern, trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993); originally published as Nous n'avons jamais été modernes: Essais d'anthropologie symétrique (La Découverte, 1991).

Arjun Appadurai, "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy," in Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Public Worlds, Vol. 1 (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1996); first published in Public Culture 2.2 (1990): 1-24, revised.


Max Weber, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978).

Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, trans. W. C. Halls (New York: W. W. Norton, 1990); originally published as Essai sur le Don (Presses Universitaires de France: 1950).

Thomas S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957).

Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early Modern Europe, 2 vols. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979).

Week 9: Language, Thought, and Culture


Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss, "The Problem," "China," and "Conclusions," in Primitive Classification, trans. Rodney Needham (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967), pp. 3-9, 67-80, and 81-88 (see also Needham's "Introduction," pp. vii-xlviii); originally published as "De quelques formes primitives de classification" in 1903 in Année sociologique, 1901-2.

Edward Sapir, "Conceptual Categories in Primitive Languages," in Language in Culture and Society: A Reader in Linguistics and Anthropology, ed. Dell Hymes (New York: Harper and Row), p. 128; first published in Science 74 (1931): 578.

Benjamin Lee Whorf, "The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behaviour to Language" and "Science and Linguistics," in Language, Thought, and Reality, Technology Press Books in the Social Sciences (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1959), pp. 135-59 and 207-219; first published in Language, Culture, and Personality: Essays in Memory of Edward Sapir, ed. Leslie Spier (Menasha, Wisc.: Sapir Memorial Publication Fund, 1941), and Technology Review [M.I.T.] 42, no. 6 (1940): 229-31 and 247-48, respectively.

Willard V. O. Quine, "Meaning and Translation," in On Translation, ed. Reuben A. Brower (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959), pp. 148-72.


W. von Humboldt, On Language: The Diversity of Human Language-Structure and Its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind, trans. H. Aarsleff (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), selections; originally published as Über die Verchiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues (1836).

Edward Sapir (1884 - 1939), Selected Writings in Language, Culture, and Personality, ed. D. G. Mandelbaum (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985).

Kenneth L. Pike, Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior, 2nd ed., The Hague and Paris: Mouton & Co., 1967; originally published in 1954.

Roman Jakobson, "On Linguistic Aspects of Translation," in On Translation, ed. Reuben A. Brower, Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature, 23 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959).

Emile Benveniste, Problems in General Linguistics, trans. Mary E. Meek (Coral Gables, Fl.: University of Miami Press, 1971); originally published as Problemes de linguistique generale (Gallimard, 1966).

Jacques Derrida, "The Supplement of Copula: Philosophy before Linguistics," in Textual Strategies: Perspectives in Post-Structuralist Criticism, ed. Josué V. Harari (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1979), pp. 82-120; originally published as "Le supplément de copule" in Marges de le philosophie (Paris: Minuit, 1972).

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980).

John A. Lucy, Grammatical Categories and Cognition: A Case Study of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

Week 10: Incommensurability and Relativism

Donald Davidson, "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme," in Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984); originally published in Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 47 (1974): 5-20.

Thomas S. Kuhn, "Commensurability, Comparability, Communicability," in James Conant and John Haugeland, eds., The Road since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993, with an Autobiographical Interview (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000); first published in PSA 1982, vol. 2 [Proceedings of the 1982 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association] (East Lansing, Mich.: Philosophy of Science Association, 1983): 669-88.

Clifford Geertz, "Anti Anti-Relativism," in Relativism: Interpretation and Confrontation, ed. Michael Krausz (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989).

Derek Edwards, Malcolm Ashworth, and Jonathan Potter, "Death and Furniture: The Rhetoric, Politics and Theology of Bottom Line Agruments Against Relativism," History of the Human Sciences 8 no. 2 (1995): 25-49.


Martin Hollis and Steven Lukes, eds., Rationality and Relativism (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1982).

Michael Krausz, ed., Relativism: Interpretation and Confrontation (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989).

Mario Biagioli, "The Anthropology of Incommensurability," chap. 4 of Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), pp. 211-44; originally published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 21, no. 2 (1990): 183-209.

Bruno Latour, "Relativism," chap. 4 of We Have Never Been Modern (assigned in Week 7).

Roger Hart, "Translating the Untranslatable: From Copula to Incommensurable Worlds," in Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulations, edited by Lydia H. Liu (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2000), 45-73.

Week 11: Science and its Other(s)


Giordano Bruno, "On Magic," in Cause, Principle, and Unity; And Essays on Magic, trans. Robert de Lucca and Richard J. Blackwell, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 105-42; originally published as De Magia (c. 1590).

E. E. Evans-Pritchard, "Witchcraft Is an Organic and Hereditary Phenomenon," chap. 1 of Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azande (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1937), 21-39.

Robin Horton, "African Traditional Thought and Western Science," in Rationality, ed. Bryan R. Wilson (Evanston and New York: Harper & Row, 1970), pp. 131-71; longer version originally published in Africa 37, no. 1 and 2 (January and April 1967): 50-71 and 155-87.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on Frazer's 'Golden Bough' (Atlantic Heights, N.J.: Brynmill, Notts. and Humanities Press, 1979); translation of Bemerkungen über Frazers Golden Bough (notes written in about 1931).

Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah, "Rationality, Relativism, the Translation and Commensurability of Cultures," chap. 6 of Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 111-139.


Sir James George Frazer, "Sympathetic Magic," chap. 3 of The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, abridged ed. (London: Macmillan, 1966), pp. 12-55; original two-volume edition published in 1890.

Bronislaw Malinowski, "Magic, Science and Religion," in Magic, Science and Religion, and Other Essays (Garden City, N.Y.,: Doubleday, 1954); originally published in Science, Religion and Reality, ed. Joseph Needham and Arthur James Balfour (New York: Macmillan, 1925).

Carlo Ginzburg, The Night Battles: Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries, trans. John and Anne Tedeschi (New York: Penguin Books, 1985); originally published as I Benandanti: Stregoneria e culti agrari tra Cinquecento e Seicento (Giulio Einaudi Editore, 1966).

Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs, The Foundations of Newton's Alchemy: Or, "the Hunting of the Greene Lyon" (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975).

Robin Horton, Patterns of Thought in Africa and the West: Essays on Magic, Religion, and Science (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

Week 12: Cultures


A. L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn, "Summary and Conclusions," in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions (Cambridge, Mass.: The Museum, 1952), pp. 145-90.

Clifford Geertz, "Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture," chap. 1 of The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (New York: Basic Books, 1973), pp. 3-30.

James Clifford, "On Orientalism," chap. 11 of The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988), pp. 255-75.

Talal Asad, "The Concept of Cultural Translation," in Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, ed. James Clifford and George E. Marcus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), pp. 141-64.

Michel de Certeau, "Culture within Society," chap. 8 of Culture in the Plural, ed. Luce Giard (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), pp. 101-21.

Gayatri Spivak, "Culture," chap. 4 of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999), pp. 313-421.


George W. Stocking, "Matthew Arnold, E.B. Tylor, and the Uses of Invention" and "Franz Boas and the Culture Concept in Historical Perspective," in Race, Culture, and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).

M. M. Bakhtin, "Social Heteroglossia," in The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, and Voloshinov (New York: E. Arnold, 1994).

Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978).

Michael Carrithers, Why Humans Have Cultures: Explaining Anthropology and Social Diversity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

"The Fate of 'Culture': Geertz and Beyond," Representations 59 (1996). (Special issue edited by Sherry B. Ortner, with essays by Stephen Greenblatt, Renato I. Rosaldo Jr., William H. Sewell Jr., Natalie Zemon Davis, George E. Marcus, Lila Abu-Lughod, and Sherry B. Ortner.)

Week 13: Nations


E. J. Hobsbawm, "Introduction: Invention of Tradition," The Invention of Tradition, ed. Hobsbawm and T. O. Ranger (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 1-14.

Benedict R. Anderson, "Introduction," "Cultural Roots," "The Origins of National Consciousness," and "Creole Pioneers," chaps. 1-4 of Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev. and extended ed. (New York: Verso, 1991), pp. 1-65; first ed. published 1983.

Partha Chatterjee, "Whose Imagined Community?" and "Communities and the Nation," chaps. 1 and 11 of The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993), pp. 3-13 and 220-40.

Homi K. Bhabha, "DissemiNation: Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation," chap. 8 of The Location of Culture (New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 139-170.


Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, New Perspectives on the Past (Oxford, England: Blackwell, 1983).

Homi K. Bhabha, "Introduction: Narrating the Nation," and Ernest Renan (1823-1892) "What is a nation?" (1882), in Nation and Narration, ed. Bhabha (New York: Routledge, 1990).

Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); originally published in London: Zed Books for the United Nations University, 1986.

E. J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality, 2nd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992); first edition published in 1990.

Charles Taylor, "Nationalism and Modernity," in The State of the Nation: Ernest Gellner and the Theory of Nationalism, ed. John Hall (Cambridge University Press: 1998), 191-218.

Week 14: Civilizations


Durkheim and Mauss, "Note on the Notion of Civilization," in Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, pp. 151-54; originally published in 1913.

Mauss, "Civilizations: Elements and Forms," in Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, pp. 155-59; originally published in 1929.

Lucien Febvre, "Civilization: Evolution of a Word and a Group of Ideas," in Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, pp. 160-190; originally published in 1930.

Norbert Elias, "'Civilization' and 'Culture': Nationalism and Nation-State Formation," in Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, pp. 225-240; originally published in Studien über die Deutschen (Frankfurt am Main, 1989).


Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (New York: Norton, 1961).

Week 15: "We" -- "the West"

Richard Rorty, "Solidarity or Objectivity?" in Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 21-34.

Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991), selections.

Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, trans. by Catherine Porter (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993); originally published as Nous n'avons jamais ete modernes: Essais d'anthropologie symetrique (La Decouverte, 1991), selections.

Emmanuel Lévinas, "Being a Westerner," in Difficult Freedom: Essays in Judaism, Johns Hopkins Jewish Studies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990).


Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000, selections.

Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), selections.