Towards an Anthropology of Curiosity

Towards an Anthropology of Curiosity

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Date(s) - 11/02/2017
4:10 pm

Hamilton College - Red Pit, room 127 in the Kirner-Johnson Building

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A lecture given by Professor Arjun Shankar

Education Studies Program

Thursday, November 2nd,

 4:10 pm The Red Pit

 (KJ 127)

Light refreshments will be served

This talk seeks to outline a uniquely anthropological approach to the study of curiosity. Recently, there has been a striking increase in conversations about creating “cultures of curiosity” whether they be in business, education, or other institutional spaces. In these conversations, curiosity is assumed as a universal category, something which we experience and know a priori and upon which conversations regarding how to change our behaviors might be founded. While no anthropological text has taken curiosity as its locus of study, most anthropologists acknowledge that curiosity is a constitutive part of cultural life. In staking claim to an anthropology of curiosity, I ask: What are the social, political, and economic processes that shape, enable, or constrain both who can be curious and what we make the objects of our curiosity?

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