Uniwersytet Warszawski - Centralny System Uwierzytelniania
Strona główna

Anthropology of Reality

Informacje ogólne

Kod przedmiotu: 3700-AL-AR-QSP
Kod Erasmus / ISCED: 14.7 Kod klasyfikacyjny przedmiotu składa się z trzech do pięciu cyfr, przy czym trzy pierwsze oznaczają klasyfikację dziedziny wg. Listy kodów dziedzin obowiązującej w programie Socrates/Erasmus, czwarta (dotąd na ogół 0) – ewentualne uszczegółowienie informacji o dyscyplinie, piąta – stopień zaawansowania przedmiotu ustalony na podstawie roku studiów, dla którego przedmiot jest przeznaczony. / (0314) Socjologia i kulturoznawstwo Kod ISCED - Międzynarodowa Standardowa Klasyfikacja Kształcenia (International Standard Classification of Education) została opracowana przez UNESCO.
Nazwa przedmiotu: Anthropology of Reality
Jednostka: Wydział "Artes Liberales"
Grupy: Przedmioty dla studentów studiów II stopnia r.akad. 2023/24 semestr
Przedmioty do społecznego modułu kształcenia - II stopień Artes Liberales
Przedmioty oferowane przez Kolegium Artes Liberales
Punkty ECTS i inne: 4.00 Podstawowe informacje o zasadach przyporządkowania punktów ECTS:
  • roczny wymiar godzinowy nakładu pracy studenta konieczny do osiągnięcia zakładanych efektów uczenia się dla danego etapu studiów wynosi 1500-1800 h, co odpowiada 60 ECTS;
  • tygodniowy wymiar godzinowy nakładu pracy studenta wynosi 45 h;
  • 1 punkt ECTS odpowiada 25-30 godzinom pracy studenta potrzebnej do osiągnięcia zakładanych efektów uczenia się;
  • tygodniowy nakład pracy studenta konieczny do osiągnięcia zakładanych efektów uczenia się pozwala uzyskać 1,5 ECTS;
  • nakład pracy potrzebny do zaliczenia przedmiotu, któremu przypisano 3 ECTS, stanowi 10% semestralnego obciążenia studenta.
Język prowadzenia: angielski
Rodzaj przedmiotu:


Założenia (opisowo):

This class is a seminar based on discussion of assigned readings and individual student presentations.

The class is intended for MA students in liberal arts, the social sciences and humanities. General knowledge of social theory (at least one introductory course in social theory and one topical course in any of the social disciplines) and ability to read academic texts in English is required for meaningful participation and successful completion of the course.

Skrócony opis:

“All societies live by fictions taken as real”, writes anthropologist Michael Taussig. This course explores how things are made to be taken as real, how they are granted the unquestionability and authority of fact as opposed to fiction; and how this ‘reality effect’ is achieved, and how it may get challenged. In other words, how what we accept as ‘real’ or ‘reality’ is socially, culturally, and symbolically produced.

The goal of this class is twofold: first, to begin to critically apprehend the conventions of producing the ‘reality effect’ that legitimizes some and delegitimizes other parts of social experience; and second, to trace the ways in which different strands of social theory have grappled with this problem.

Pełny opis:

Reality and the real are key concepts of social life – and the social sciences and cultural studies – yet, they are notoriously hard to define. Especially in today’s increasingly techno- and media-mediated world, the question of what is real (and true) as opposed to fake, false, fictitious, artificial and virtual, and who is to decide, seems all the more pressing. In social theory, we’re in fact steeped in the problem of what and why counts as real: from our indebtness to the scientific method on the one hand, and on the other, to the hermeneutics of suspicion, philosophy of language, deconstruction and performativity. What are the main challenges to be aware of, and how can we brace ourselves to meet them?

The course is guided, in part, by the observation that the conditions and conventions of producing realness in our social lives (in public discourses, media, the popular imagination, institutional practice, etc.) may be changing with significant social and political implications. It looks to social theory and cultural studies to understand how similar questions have been addressed in the past and what we may learn from it. The main questions we’ll pursue concern the ways things (from scientific facts and disease entities in psychiatry to the free market to the broad ‘reality’ itself) come to be accepted as actually existing, having the particular form and character we attribute to them. Similarly, we’ll ask how fictions and fantasies are understood to disguise and conceal hard realities.

The class is a seminar that relies heavily on student participation and contribution, incl. in the form of weekly student presentations showing in-depth, independent engagement with the topic.

While reading- and discussion-focused, the class will make use of movies and media materials as well. Regardless of the language of instruction, proficiency in reading and speaking academic English is required for participation.

Grades will be based in equal part (1/3) on the quality of individual presentation, overall participation, and final assignment – small research project / short paper (formats other than the standard academic paper will be accepted with instructor’s permission for the final project).

You should reserve at least 5 hours per week to prepare for each class, on top of the hours in class.

For a preliminary list of topics and readings, see box “Literatura” below.


1. Introduction: The question of the real

a. Barthes, Roland. 1989. “The Reality Effect” in The Rustle of Language, Berkeley: UC Press

b. Van de Port, Mattijs. 2012. “Genuinely made up” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 18, No. 4 (December 2012), pp. 864-883

c. Westerhoff, Jan. 2011. Reality a Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (fragm.)

2. The social construction of reality

a. Berger and Luckmann, 1966. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (fragm.)

3. The Real and The Other

a. Evans-Pritchard, Azande Magic (fragm.)

b. Favret-Saada, 2015 [2009] The Anti-Witch (fragm.)

c. Motta, Marco. 2021. “Living with Zombies. Forms of Death and the Core of the Ordinary” in Living With Concepts. Anthropology in the Grip of Reality

4. Making modern realities – science

a. Ingold, Tim. 2013. “Dreaming of dragons: on the imagination of real life” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 19, 734-752

b. Latour, Bruno. “Do you believe in reality?”

c. Poovey, Mary. (1998). A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society. University of Chicago Press Hacking, Ian. The Social Construction of What? (fragm)

5. Reality and the Real in psychoanalysis

a. Freud, Sigmund. (2010). Beyond the pleasure principle (J. Strachey, Trans.). Pacific Publishing Studio.

b. Klein, M. (1952). Some theoretical conclusions regarding the emotional life of an infant. In Envy and Gratitude (pp. 61–93).

c. [Lacan on The Real] or Žižek, Slavoj. 2007. “Psychoanalysis and the Lacanian Real: <<Strange shapes of the unwarped primal world>>” in: Beaumont, Matthew ed. Adventures in Realism. London: Blackwell.

6. Reality, madness and healing

a. Foucalt, Michel. 2008. Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1973-1974. Jacques Lagrange and Graham Burchell, eds. London: Macmillan.

b. Das, Veena. “Psychiatric Power, Mental Illness and the Claim to the Real”

7. The Real Economy

a. Neiburg, Federico B., and Jane I. Guyer, eds. 2020. The Real Economy: Essays in Ethnographic Theory. Chicago, IL: Hau Books. (fragm.)

b. Crypto / blockchain - TBD

c. [in PL:] Leder, Andrzej. 2023. Ekonomia to stan umysłu (fragm.)

8. Capitalist Realism and Real Socialism

a. Fisher, Mark. 2009. Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? Winchester: Zero Books. (fragm.)

b. Burawoy, Michael and Janos Lukács. 1992. The Radiant Past. Ideology and Reality in Hungary's Road To Capitalism. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

9. Media, propaganda and modern politics

a. Castillo, David R., and William Egginton. 2017. Medialogies: Reading Reality in the Age of Inflationary Media. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

b. Pomerantsev, Peter, and Michael Weiss. 2014. “How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money.” New York, NY: Institute of Modern Russia. https://imrussia.org/media/pdf/Research/Michael_Weiss_and_Peter_Pomerantsev__The_Menace_of_Unreality.pdf.

c. Pomerantsev, Peter. This Is Propaganda. (fragm.)

d. Debord, Guy. 1970. The Society of the Spectacle (fragm.)

e. Yurchak, Alexei. Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More (fragm., Ch1)

f. Curtis, Adam, Hypernormalization (film, fragments).

10. Realism and new realism

a. Jameson, Fredric. 2015. The Antinomies of Realism. London: Verso. (fragm.) or “A Note on Literary Realism in Conclusion” in: Beaumont, Matthew ed. Adventures in Realism. London: Blackwell

b. Potter, Jonathan. 1996. Representing Reality: Discourse, Rhetoric and Social Construction. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (fragm.)

11. The Ontological Turn

a. Holbraad, Martin and Morten Axel Petersen. 2014. “The Politics of Ontology” or 2017. The Ontological Turn, Cambridge UP (fragm.)

b. Viveiros de Castro, Eduardo. 2014. “The relative native”. HAU 3(3): 473-502.

12. History, Reality, Truth

a. De Certeau, Michel. “The historiographical operation”

b. Taussig, Michael. 1984. “History as Sorcery”. Representations, No. 7 (Summer 1984), pp. 97-109.

13. Societies and their physics

a. Barad, Karen. 1998. “Getting Real: Technoscientific Practices and the Materialization of Reality”. Differences. A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 10.2

b. Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway. Quantum Physics and The Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham: Duke UP (fragm.)

c. “The Universe Is Not Locally Real, and the Physics Nobel Prize Winners Proved It | Scientific American.” n.d. Accessed November 13, 2023. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-universe-is-not-locally-real-and-the-physics-nobel-prize-winners-proved-it/.

14. Immersion. Virtual Realities

a. TBD

15. Looking for something real to rest on

a. Latour, Bruno. 2003. “The promises of constructivism” in Ihde, Don and Evan Selinger (eds.) Chasing Technoscience. Matrix for Materiality. Bloomington: Indiana UP

b. Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant matter. A Political Ecology of Things. Berkeley: California UP

16. Utopia and the imaginary

a. Ticktin, Miriam. 2022. “Borders. A Story of Political Imagination”, borderlands Vol 21 | No 1 2022 DOI | 10.21307/borderlands-2022-007

b. TBD

Metody i kryteria oceniania:

Ocenie podlegają:

- Uczestnictwo w dyskusjach (jakość, nie tylko ilość)

- Indywidualna prezentacja

- Projekt końcowy (w uzgodnieniu z prowadzącym)


Elements assessed include:

- overall student participation incl. class discussion (33%)

- individual presentation (33%)

- final assignment (33%)

Zajęcia w cyklu "Semestr letni 2023/24" (zakończony)

Okres: 2024-02-19 - 2024-06-16
Wybrany podział planu:
Przejdź do planu
Typ zajęć:
Konwersatorium, 30 godzin więcej informacji
Koordynatorzy: Grzegorz Sokół
Prowadzący grup: Grzegorz Sokół
Lista studentów: (nie masz dostępu)
Zaliczenie: Przedmiot - Zaliczenie na ocenę
Konwersatorium - Zaliczenie na ocenę
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