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Empires of Debt

ANT 308

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Refusal of a debt, said anthropologist Marcel Mauss, was a declaration of war. Debt, politics, violence, and power have always been intertangled. Empires long used debt to maintain power and trade across Africa and the Middle East. Debt was later seen as a "trap" for many postcolonial states. In the United States, debt crises are entangled with legacies of enslavement and internal colonialism. In this course, students will analyze the role of debt in their lives by drawing on history, economics, literature, film and, of course, anthropology.
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Section C01