On Eating Others (PORT-UA 403)

The notion of cannibalism is a recurring concern in the history of ideas regarding the primitive, the animalistic, the monstrous, or any of the other classifications frequently invoked to mark others, regardless of their actual culinary preferences. Reflection upon cannibalism as an intellectual phenomenon suggests how people eating people, or at least the possibility of it, says a great deal about those that do not. In some regions of the Caribbean and Brazil, ideas regarding cannibalism have made an important turn, such that the cannibal has become a provocative affirmation of self. The aim of this course is to think about cannibalism, not, as it often is, as a theme for anthropologists and ethnographers, but rather as an intellectual problem that has enjoyed a very long life in the history of ideas about self. In this course, we shall revisit a selection of texts regarding cannibalism from Columbus’ diaries to the present, and including works by, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Oswald de Andrade, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, and Suely Rolnik, in the company of some key notions involving postcolonial theory. Readings will be made available in Portuguese, Spanish, and English, and course papers may be carried out in any of the three languages according to student interest and ability.

Portuguese (Undergraduate)
4 credits – 15 Weeks

Sections (Fall 2022)

PORT-UA 403-000 (22046)
09/01/2022 – 12/14/2022 Tue
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Early afternoon)
at Washington Square
Instructed by Robbins, Dylon