Poetics and Politics of Infrastructure

Brian Larkin

Infrastructures are the material forms that allow for the possibility of exchange over space, invisible conduits that comprise the technical architecture that allow urban spaces to form and creates grounds for the circulation that ties those spaces to larger grids. But bodies of recent scholarship have come to interrogate the ways in which infrastructures comprise the conditions of existence for social experience, political action and economic order. This class seeks to examine what an analysis of infrastructure might add to anthropological analysis. Drawing from anthropology, science studies, media theory and history we will analyze the technical conditions of infrastructures, the legal regulations they give rise to, the political action they generate and the forms of everyday life they enable. Students need to attend the first class to finalize enrollment.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.