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Anthropologies of Quantification & Data

What are the affordances of anthropological theory and method amid the datafication and quantification of health, human experience, and life itself? This course examines technologies, aesthetics, and practices of quantification and measurement, ethnographically tracing the social lives of metrics, numbers, and data, and illuminating the politics and social worlds they foreclose and enable. Readings comprise recent ethnographies and key theoretical texts, primary sources, and artistic and literary reflections on topics that may include global/public health, climate science, migration, carcerality, genetic science, algorithmic governance, development, human rights, and urban planning. Participants will complete a final project that brings themes and theories from the seminar into conversation with their own scholarly inquiries, plans, and/or empirical material.


Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): Graduate Term(s): Fall Offered?: Yes Language?: No

Cal Biruk

Associate Professor