New Methodologies
in the Humanities and Social Sciences

centrum - Andrzej Fasiecki

Spring 2017 - Thursday, 5:30–8:20, bldg. 50-51P
Stanford Universty, ANTHRO 371B - DLCL 371 - REES 371B [3-5 unitis]

Ewa Domanska


This course explores the recent and intriguing phenomenon of the conversion of certain analytical categories into methodologies. Concepts such as friendship, hope, hospitality, trust, sincerity, and utopia, will be treated as social and political virtues that support reconstitution of society after traumatic events such as wars, genocides, terrorist attacks, environmental disasters and help in articulation of alternative scenarios of the future. The concepts will be critically examined in their positive as well as negative potential for practicing "prefigurative politics"—the creation of desirable modes of social relationships of conviviality and co-existence in the world. The course will discuss how these social virtues are converted into methods of research (friendship as method in ethnographic research; sincerity as a method of historiographical inquiry; hope as a category of social analysis and a method of qualitative research, etc.), and how they affect processes of knowledge building within the humanities and social sciences. The readings will include works by Rosi Braidotti, Vincent Carpanzano, Jacques Derrida, Ruth Levitas, Walter D. Mignolo, Lionel Trilling, among others.

The course is structured as a research seminar designed to help students work on papers for other classes, theses and individual projects. It encourages students to think outside their traditional "methods/practice box." While analyzing how researchers are practicing new methods, the course will demonstrate the application of these methods for analyzing the student's own research materials. The course advocates a ground-up approach to theory building, and thus it also teaches students how to formulate their own interpretative categories and small range theories based on case study analysis and possibly their own "emergent method."



Attendance is mandatory. Students who miss more than three meetings (except for illness or other serious matters) will not be graded. Students are expected to read assigned readings carefully and participate in discussions. Each student will sign up to present a text relevant to the theme of the readings for that week. Class presentations will be limited to 10-15 minutes. A 15 page final paper is required. Its topic will be chosen by the student hi m self/herself. It can draw upon work being done in other classes but must utilize the materials of this course as well. Grading: participation - 40%; class presentation - 20%; final paper - 40%.



April 6
1. Introduction: Overview of the Course

April 13
2. Toward an Affirmative Methodology

  • Rosi Braidotti, "Powers of affirmation: Response to Lisa Baraitser, Patrick Hanafin and Clare Hemmings." Subjectivity, vol. 3, 2010: 140–148.
  • Rosi Braidotti, "Affirmation, Pain and Empowerment." Asian Journal of Women's Studies, 2008, vol. 14, no. 3.
  • Rosi Braidotti, "Conclusion: The Residual Spirituality in Critical Theory: A Case for Affirmative Postsecular Politics," in Transformations of Religion and the Public Sphere, ed. by Rosi Braidotti, Bolette Blaagaard, Tobijn de Graauw, Eva Midden. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014: 249-272.
  • Elizabeth Grosz, "Introduction," in her, Time Travels: Feminism, Nature, Power. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005: 1-10.
  • Emergent Methods in Social Research, ed. by Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber, Patricia Leavy. London, New Delhi: Sage, 2006 (fragments).
  • A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies, ed. by Denielle Elliott and Dara Culhane. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2016 (fragments).

April 20
3. Virtue Epistemology

  • John Greco and John Turri, "Virtue Epistemology." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives from Ethics and Epistemology, ed. Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002 (fragments).
  • Knowledge, Truth and Duty: Essay son Epistemic Justification, Responsibility and Virtue, ed. Matthias Steup. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001 (fragments).
  • Ernest Sosa, Knowledge in Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991 (fragments).

April 27
4. Epistemic In/Justice

  • Miranda Fricker, Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007 (fragments).
  • "Forum: Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice. Power and the Ethics of Knowing". Theoria, vol. 23, no. 1, 2008.
  • Amandine Catala, Democracy, Trust, and Epistemic Justice. The Monist, vol. 98, no. 4, October 2015: 424–440.
  • Walter D. Mignolo, Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and De-Colonial Freedom. Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 26, no. 7–8, 2009: 1–23.
  • Naomi Scheman, Toward a Sustainable Epistemology. Social Epistemology: A Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Policy, vol. 26, no. 3-4, 2012: 471-489.

May 4
special guest: Yasemin Ipek Can

  • Hirokazu Miyazaki, The Method of Hope. Anthropology, Philosophy, and Fijian Knowledge. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.
  • Ramon Sarro, "Hope, Margin, Example: The Kimbanguist Diaspora in Lisbon," in: Religion in Diaspora. Cultures of Citizenship, ed. by Hausner, Sondra L., Garnett, Jane, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015: 226-244.
  • Vincent Carpanzano, "Reflections on Hope as a Category of Social and Psychological Analysis." Cultural Anthropology, vol. 18, no. 1, 2003: 3–32.
  • Nauja Kleist & Stef Jansen, "Introduction: Hope over Time—Crisis, Immobility and Future-Making." History and Anthropology, vol. 27, no. 4, 2016: 373-392.
  • Hope and Feminist Theory, ed. by Rebecca Coleman and Debra Ferreday. Routledge 2011.
  • Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed, trans. by Robert R. Barr. London; New York: Conctinuum, 2004 (fragments).
    • Sarah S. Amsler, "Brining Hope to 'Crisis'. Crisis Thinking, Ethical Action and Social Change," in Future Ethics. Climate Change and Apocalyptic Imagination, ed. by Stefan Skrimshire, Continuum, New York-London 2010.
    • Richard Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.
    • Mary Zournazi, Hope: New Philosophies for Change. Routledge, 2003.
    • Jonathan Lear, Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation. Cambridge, Mass., London: Harvard University Press, 2008.
    • Cherice Bock, "Climatologists, Theologians, and Prophets: Toward an Ecotheology of Critical Hope." CrossCurrents, vol. 66, no. 1, March 2016: 8-34.
    • Terry Eagleton, Hope without Optimism. University of Virginia Press, 2015.

May 11
6. Utopia

  • Ruth Levitas, Utopia as Method: The Imaginary Reconstitution of Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Fredric Jameson, Utopia as Method, or the Uses of the Future, in: Utopia/Dystopia: Conditions of Historical Possibility, ed. by Gordin, Michael D., Tilley Helen, and Prakash Gyan. Princeton University Press, 2010: 21-44.

May 18

May 25
8. Friendship

  • Paul Rabinow, "Fieldwork and Friendship in Morocco," in his, from Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977: 142–162.
  • Lisa A. Tillmann-Healy, "Friendship as Method," in Emergent Methods in Social Research, ed. by Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber, Patricia Leavy. London, New Delhi: Sage, 2006: 273-294.
  • Helen Owton Helen, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, "Close But Not Too Close: Friendship as Method(ology) in Ethnographic Research Encounters." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography July 22, 2013.
  • Marina de Regt, "Noura and Me. Friendship as Method in Times of Crisis." Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development, vol. 44, No. 1-2, Spring/Summer, 2015: 43-70.
  • Rebecca G. Adams and Graham Allan, "Contextualising Friendship," in Placing Friendship in Context, ed. by Rebecca G. Adams and Graham Allan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998: 1-17.
  • Jacques Derrida, The Politics of Friendship, trans. George Collins. Verso, 1997 (fragments).

June 1
9. Sincerity

  • Louis M. Guenin, "Intellectual Honesty." Synthese, vol. 145, 2005: 177–232.
  • Lionel Trilling, Sincerity and Authenticity. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972.
  • Yanming An, "Western 'Sincerity' and Confucian 'Cheng'." Asian Philosophy, vol. 14, no. 2, July 2004: 155–169.

June 8
10. Trust

  • Piotr Sztompka. Trust: A Sociological Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • Barbara Misztal, Trust in Modern Societies: The Search for the Bases of Social Order. Polity Press, 1996.
  • Paul Faulkner, "A Genealogy of Trust." Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology, vol. 4, no. 3, 2007: 305-21.
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