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Course Details

Spring 2016-2017
* ANT 360 (EM)   na, npdf

Ethics in Context: Uses and Abuses of Deception and Disclosure

Rena S. Lederman

Stage magic delights us with expert illusions; biomedicine and other fields use deception as a research tool (e.g., placeboes); and everyday politeness may obscure painful truths. With deception and disclosure as springboards, this course explores the contextual complexity of personal and professional ethical judgment, with special but not exclusive attention to knowledge circulation. Topics include: social fictions in daily life across cultures; the tangled histories of science and stage magic; ethically controversial cases from popular culture ("reality" TV, journalism), the arts (fictive memoirs), academia (sharing/plagiarizing), and more.

Sample reading list:
Graham Jones, Trades of the Trick: Inside the Magician's Craft
John Korn, Illusions of Reality: History of Deception in Social Psych.
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 100 pp.weekly reading; informed, cooperative participation in discussion. Students make brief oral presentations during seminar meetings. One 3-4 pp. presentation write-up due during the term and a 10 pp. paper due on Dean's Date. Each student also keeps a journal integrating readings and personal experiences as a basis for class presentations (35%).

Papers - 25%
Oral Presentation(s) - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%
Other (See Instructor) - 35%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
This course approaches ethics as culturally-meaningful social practice. No prior anthropology courses are expected; however, students with prior training in anthropological field methods are welcome to incorporate fieldwork as a basis for the final paper..

Other information:
All participants are encouraged to explore a wide range of sources (e.g., library, internet, multi-media) in developing projects. Among many options, participants may choose to do research towards redesigning the syllabus itself: developing alternative course themes, unearthing provocative sources to refresh existing themes, and exploring alternative teaching and learning possibilities implicit in the seminar's general framework.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
40365 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Aaron Burr Hall   216   Enrolled:8 Limit:25