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Living Structuralism/Le structuralisme Vif


We are honoured to host Philippe Descola, Chair in the Anthropology of Nature at the Collège de France, and Jane Guyer, George Armstrong Kelly Professor of Anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University, for a one day symposium at the University of Toronto Scarborough on the subject of the continuing relevance and influence of structuralism. Prof. Descola is a student of Claude Lévi-Strauss, and is the current chair at the Collège de France which Lévi-Strauss founded. Prof. Descola's work has been influential on many current debates, including the nature/culture divide, ontologies, and human-nonhuman relations, often drawing on his fieldwork from the Amazon region. He will be lecturing on these themes, and reflecting on the influence of Lévi-Strauss and other theorists, in a talk entitled "Transformation Transformed." Prof. Guyer's work spans economic anthropology, looking at development, agriculture, money, and gender, among other themes, in West Africa. More recently, Prof. Guyer has been working on a new translation of the classic Marcel Mauss' book, The Gift, and she will be considering a history of ideas about process and transition, as well as exploring some of the structuralist influences on Mauss as he wrote The Gift.


To respond to Prof. Descola’s lecture, we are privileged to have Michael Lambek, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto, and Christopher Ball, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame.


Responding to Prof. Guyer’s lecture, we are honoured to have Janice Boddy, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto, and Ato Quayson, Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto.


The talks are of enormous current interest, and they take a historical look at sociocultural theory, exploring to what extent we've actually moved to post-structuralism. In that sense, the symposium will be of interest to graduate students and advanced undergraduate students. 


The symposium will be held in the Arts and Administration Building at UTSC, in Room AA160.


For more information and to register, see:


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