New course ANTH 3380 The Everyday Politics of Rage: Anthropological perspectives on Populism

ANTH 3380 Course Description (PDF)

AP/ANTH 3380

The focus of this course is populism, a concept that has generated a great deal of discussion and debate in media, academic circles and in everyday conversation. It has been used to describe authoritarian populist leaders including Trump in the U.S., Erdogan in Turkey, and radical right wing political parties such as Pegida in Germany, as well as white nationalism and anti-immigration movements. But the adjective “populist” is also applied to anti-capitalist, anarchist, counter-cultural and social justice movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter, The rise of what is referred to the ‘extreme right’ or alt-right’, ‘alt-left’ and the ‘f-word’- fascism, requires careful analysis. There are many explanations for the rise in populism – globalization and the widening gap in wealth, the impacts of climate change, war and conflict, dislocation and uncertainty. Our first goal is to understand the conditions that give rise to the emergence of populist movements. A second goal is to unpack the complex relationships between the rise of populism and the socio-political processes that are at their core. We use an anthropological lens - conceptually and ethnographically - to investigate the appeal of these movements to people who mobilize, vote for, protest and agitate for social, political and economic goals.