The Anthropology of Intensity

A Talk by Dr. Paul Kockelman, Professor of Anthropology at Yale University

Talk Abstract:
This talk is about intensity, which might be provisionally understood as significant degrees of salient dimensions in shared worlds. For example, what counts as too hot, very cruel, not far enough, over-priced, most pressing, underwhelming, sooner than previously believed, excessively polite, almost unlivable, or extremely shortsighted. As may be seen, such assessments involve dimensions such as heat, speed, proximity, cruelty, price, importance, unlivability and shortsightedness. Such assessments involve degrees, and ways of manipulating them: discursive resources and embodied registers for sensing and expressing how hot, cruel, close, expensive, shortsighted, or unlivable something is. And such assessments involve the particular worlds in which such dimensions and degrees come to matter: not just physical places with ecological potentials and material constraints, but also imagined worlds of possibility and necessity, normative worlds of permission and obligation, economic worlds of credit and debt, affective worlds of anxiety and desire, and far beyond.

More about Dr. Kockelman:
Paul Kockelman teaches in the department of Anthropology at Yale University. His most recent essay is entitled, “The Epistemic and Performative Dynamics of Machine Learning Praxis”.

May 3, 2021
6 pm EST, join via Zoom
Admission: Free, with registration
Registration: Event has ended

View the full spring schedule here.

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