The Fetish: The Role of Things in Spiritual, Economic, and Sexual Life


This course explores the social relationships produced by debates over the value and agency of material things ranging from the cross and the Eucharist to black leather, fur, dildos and even the more mundane commodities through which capitalism and socialism have defined their rivalry. Thus we will examine the highly charged role of things in religion, economics, and spiritualized erotic relationships, as well as the centrality of the fetish concept in the mutual transformation of modern Africa and the West.
Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • EI
  • CZ
  • SS
Cross-Listed As
  • AAAS 512S
  • CULANTH 511S
Typically Offered
Spring Only