AANK16105U Anthropology of Intensity: Desire, Becoming & Virtual Encounters - CANCELLED

Volume 2016/2017

What is it that makes a person blush when about to speak in front of a crowd? What makes children immerse themselves in digging in dirt for hours? And how can an entire room suddenly feel restless and warm at the imminence of a yet unknown occurrence? Are we to locate these notions primarily within ourselves (interiorities), between us (relational, distributed) or outside ourselves (exteriorities)?

This course is a proposition to investigate the qualities of life, which vibrate through persons, things and surroundings. Departing from Deleuze's concept of intensity, we propose to investigate how it relates to other concepts - such as desire, becoming, and virtuality - and try out their potentiality in thinking through the world that surrounds us. We will discuss anthropological analyses that make use - and others that argue against the use - of these and other related ideas (such as temporality vitality, affect, creativity) and construct classroom reflections and analyses based on events from our fields and our daily lives. From interiority focused approaches, to relational, group dynamic accounts to exteriority focused approaches.

The ambition of the course is to discuss what human beings are, of what life is, of how change and stability occur, what is passive and what is active, what is internal and what is external, and of how we engage and disengage in and through relations, based in new moves within social theory.

A familiarity with Deleuzian inspired thoughts are not a prerequisite for this course, but a taste for the abstract qualities of life is.

Learning Outcome

Upon the completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • identity key terms and concepts presented and discussed in the course with a point of departure in notions of desire, becoming, affect

  • recognize their applicability in relation to anthropological analysis

  • locate these concepts and approaches to life in the larger context of post-structural vocabulary and ideas

  • gain perspectives, both methodological and theoretical, on their fieldwork

  • think critically in their everyday life and social relations with these ideas and notions

MSc students: 500 pages obligatory literature + 200 pages of literature chosen by students

Literature chosen by students must be relevant to the course’s subject matter.

Course literature will be available via Absalon

Combination of lectures, group work, seminar discussions and student presentations.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Course Preparation
  • 120
  • Exam Preparation
  • 48
  • Seminar
  • 42
  • Total
  • 210
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Length: The portfolio exam can be taken individually or in groups of maximum four students. The portfolio exam consists of 3-7 submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must not exceed 30,000 keystrokes for a single student. For groups of two students the maximum is 40,000 keystrokes. For groups of three students the maximum is 45,000 keystrokes and for groups of four students the maximum is 50,000 keystrokes.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

1. re-exam:

An essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted at the announced date. The students are automatically registered for the 1. re-exam. Please note that the re-exam is an essay even for courses, where the ordinary exam is a portfolio exam.

2. re-exam:

A new essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted at the announced date next semester. The students must sign up for the 2. re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See description of learning outcome.