ANTHRO 2859: Colonial Encounters, Postcolonial Disorders





Joseph Gone and Byron Good 
Time(s): Tuesdays, TBD

This course will engage three major themes. First, it will review issues related to the complex relationships between anthropology and colonialism(s) and their after lives in the postcolonial settings in which anthropologists work. While it is not a course focused narrowly on anthropology and colonialism, it takes up issues of anthropology's relations with colonialism, colonial legacies in places anthropologists work, decolonizing and newer decolonial methodologies. Second, the course will take up issues of 'postcolonial disorders' and roles of engaged anthropologists in such settings. These will include a special focus on mental health problems and the development of mental health responses in American Indian and other settler colonial communities, as well as in post-conflict settings.  Special attention will be given to debates about the nature of (or approaches to) cultural variation in ideas of personhood, expression of emotion, mental health problems ('trauma,' historical trauma, PTSD), and the relation of cultural distinctive interventions to psychological and medical components of mental health services. Third, the course will explore issues of haunting and hauntology, along with related issues of silencing and memory in postcolonial and post-trauma settings. We will engage discussions of the haunting qualities of historical violence, including colonial violence, and anthropologists' use of theories of hauntology. Featured throughout will be perspectives and voices on decolonization from Indigenous peoples themselves (including both activists and scholars), and discussion of how these can be engaged in research, writing, and collaborations in developing mental health programs. Special attention will be given to work in American Indian communities, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, where the seminar leaders have worked, but these will be linked to studies in other regions where students may work and where there are robust literatures.