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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Anthropology in the World: Studying Current Events of 2020 through the Lens of Structural Violence and Embodiment

  • Author(s): Pfister, Anne E;
  • Encinosa, Maria
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

Although the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for faculty and students alike, it was also a catalyst for new collaborations. Our faculty-student project capitalized on what the pandemic publicly exposed: the fact that human health and culture are inextricably intertwined. We write this commentary as an anthropology professor and student who developed a Directed Independent Study focused on salient social and biological phenomena of 2020 while also adapting pedagogical and methodological approaches given the circumstantial constraints. By applying an anthropological lens to current events of 2020, we operationalized anthropological theories – like structural violence and embodiment – that are typically distant abstractions to students.


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