Introductory Seminar in History
This course aims to introduce students to the study of economic life - of production, exchange, and consumption in different parts of the world, and at different junctures in history. Through readings from both anthropology, economics, and history, we explore the various social, cultural and political considerations that motivate people to engage in economic activity. And by thinking historically, we situate market-oriented exchange as one of many possible configurations of economic life across space and time. Over the course of the semester, we explore concepts like trade, markets, money, and work, developing a critical analytical toolkit that allows us to think and talk about the multiple logics of exchange in our world today. As in all 1501 courses, there is no expectation of prior knowledge on these topics, and some weeks will be set aside to explore issues in argument-driven writing as well. However, as it is a seminar, we will primarily devote ourselves to reading (80 pages or so a week) and discussing the material. Students will produce one research paper, divided into several stages over the course of the semester.