Seminar: BA: Ethnographies of Vulnerability - Details
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Module assignments


Who feels vulnerable and who is considered to be vulnerable? What is vulnerability and how does it relate to notions of loneliness, worry, despair, and hope? And what might anthropology teach us about vulnerability? In this course, we will engage in close readings of contemporary ethnographies that pay particular attention to the exploration of states of vulnerability. We will first clarify what vulnerability as a concept has to offer to the entangled analysis of society and subjectivity. We will then jointly read, and reflect upon, two ethnographies of vulnerability – The Anatomy of Loneliness (Ozawa-de Silva 2021) and A Life of Worry (Tran 2023) – in order to ponder the question how ethnography as a specific genre of writing can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the social, emotional, and political conditions of vulnerability. Finally, we will discuss how the reading of ethnography can heighten our sensibility with regard to our own writing projects in general and on subjects of vulnerability in particular.

Literaturempfehlung: Ozawa-de Silva, Chikako. 2021. The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection, and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan. Oakland, California: University of California Press.
Tran, Allen L. 2023. A Life of Worry. Politics, Mental Health, and Vietnam’s Age of Anxiety. Oakland, California: University of California Press.
Modulleistung: Hausarbeit