Gerald (Gerry) Gold
Department of
Bio CV Publications Courses


ANTH 3080 6.0 Modes of Enablement: A Cultural Perspective on Physical Disability
Course Director: Prof. Gerry Gold

Time: Tues 11:30-2:30 CC 208.

Anthropological studies of disability examine disability in a context of a "localized and globalizing world" (Ingstad and Whyte (2009) looking at physical and intellectual disability within a context of "personhood," an understanding developed in the comparative study of disability. For the anthropologist and other social observers, personhood emerges from a "social model of disability."
This course considers visible and invisible dimensions of disablement: where the boundary between visible and invisible is defined culturally and socially. We explore the borderline quality of disabilities or their liminality (Turner), the relationships between the able-bodied and disabled, a difference that is socially-defined or reflected in social exclusion, in gender relations and in stigma.
Within both Euro-American societies, and in the Third World, distinctive disability cultures, like that which has emerged among the deaf, and the blind, extend to numerous other disabled 'communities' frequently most easily observed in cyberspace where they overcome barriers of exclusion. In this context, disability minorities may share a "Disability Consciousness," which defines their identity in contrast with the able-bodied. Course topics include a history of the relationship between "disability" and "normality," gender and disability, media (literature, film and television), as well as advertising and photography and disability. An additional focus of the course is the relationship between the disabled, and their support persons, relationships with medical professionals and what Albrecht refers to as "the rehabilitation business."
Winter term introduces the concept of "virtual disability, and is publicly" or how disabled persons escape marginality and stigma through online disability cultures. Winter a comparative perspective and focus on Disability Culture with a specific focus on 'deaf culture' and 'blind culture'. This course often attracts students with the experience working with disabled consumers. Moreover, a number of students have continued an interest in disability through their choice of courses, summer work and careers.

Format: Three seminar hours


ANTH 4220 6.0 The Cultures of the Web
Course Director: Prof. Gerry Gold
Time: Fri 11:30-2:30 CC 208

This course offers an opportunity to combine anthropological knowledge with ethnography of the Internet. The result is a perspective on contemporary culture that is useful in many other courses in both anthropology and elsewhere. In the Fall Term, we consider current issues relating to virtual culture, in the larger sense, the Culture of the Web. The work of Sherry Turkle is the focus of the first Fall Term essay. Another concern is virtual ethnography, from the perspective of Christine Hine.
In Winter Term, the course focuses on the generational impact of the Internet. Specific topics include: (Web logs, the networks and "weak ties" of cyberspace, and the recent convergence of the real and the virtual and its significance). Winter also focuses on how to do an ethnographic study of a virtual community.
Classes will combine lecture material on current publications dealing with interpretations of the "cyborgization" of contemporary society. At this time, students begin virtual field research based on observation of one of a wide variety of virtual communities. In the winter term, course participants prepare a presentation dealing with a virtual community they choose and observe. In this way, this course balances published material with indirect field experience.
Working in a virtual field requires a perspective and a method outside of conventional approaches to the Internet, a form of ethnography of Internet culture. In this way this course complements courses on social and cultural studies. Some background in social science is strongly recommended (Anthropology, Social Science, or Sociology).

Note: 3 hour seminar

4270 3.0 Imagined Societies: An Anthropology of Nations Without Boundaries
Course director: Prof. Gerry Gold

Time: (Fall) Thurs 11:30-2:30

Nation-building is unique in modern societies where national spaces are created and reinvented with boundaries based on cultural (linguistic) and symbolic (e.g. artistic) criteria. This course focuses on the creation of imagined or distinct societies emerging from the nationalism of ethnic groups which do not share the geographic boundaries of the nations created by map-makers such as the signatories of The Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
The first six weeks of the course considers the work of Benedict Anderson and his model of the Imagined Nation. The next month examines the complex ethnic and linguistic nationalism of the Balkans, by your looking at the Macedonian Question. The Diaspora of Macedonians is relevant in Canada and in Toronto. From Macedonia and the Balkans the focus of the class becomes the Middle East with particular attention to the Kurds, a nationality left out of the redrawing of the map of the world in Paris, 1919.
From Kurdistan, the course shifts to British Columbia, and the study of Nuxalk nationalism and its relationship with art. All of these cases challenge the exclusiveness of the nation state as the sole focus of national identity. Students from a wide variety of backgrounds will be attracted to this course: from anthropology, sociology, history and political science to literature.

Format: Three seminar hours

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