Universität Wien FIND

240519 SE Anthropology of infrastructure (P4) (2021S)

Continuous assessment of course work

Anwesenheitspflicht in der ersten Einheit!

Die Lehrveranstaltungsleitung kann Studierende zu einem notenrelevanten Gespräch über erbrachte Teilleistungen einladen.
Plagiierte oder erschlichene Teilleistungen führen zur Nichtbewertung der Lehrveranstaltung (Eintragung eines 'X' im Sammelzeugnis). Es kommt die Plagiatssoftware (‘Turnitin') zum Einsatz.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Die LV startet digital und wird, wenn es die Covid-Bestimmungen wieder zulassen, auf Vor-Ort bzw. hybrid umgestellt.
Informationen zu den Räumlichkeiten erfolgen rechtzeitig.

Thursday 04.03. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 11.03. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 18.03. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 25.03. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 15.04. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 22.04. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 29.04. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 06.05. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 20.05. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 27.05. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 10.06. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 17.06. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Thursday 24.06. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Lately, anthropologists have become increasingly interested in infrastructure. A number of recent publications engage with flows of water, oil, electricity, data, and traffic. The anthropology of infrastructure is concerned with the networks that enable these flows and the sites where these flows slow down or stop. The seminar will discuss a number of exciting new research perspectives and simultaneously embed them in the discipline's history

Assessment and permitted materials

Presentation and a seminar paper of approx. 10 pages

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

- obligation to attend, participants can miss not more than two units without excuse
- obligatory presentation
- submission of a seminar paper of approx. 10 pages
- reading of literature (1-2 papers per week)

presentation: 30 points
seminar paper: 50 points
participation: 20 points

1 (very good): 100-90 points
2 (good): 89-80 points
3 (satisfactory): 79-70 points
4 (sufficient): 69-60 points
5 (failed): 59-0 points

Examination topics

Independent engagement with the discussed literature

Reading list

Anand, Nikhil; Gupta, Akhil; Appel, Hannah (2018) The Promise of Infrastructure.
Boyer, Dominic (2014). Energopower: An introduction. Anthropological Quarterly 87/2: 309-333.
Carse, Ashley (2012): Nature as infrastructure. Making and Managing the Panama Canal Watershed. Social Studies of Science 42/4: 539–56.
Elyachar, Julia (2010). Phatic Labor, Infrastructure and the question of empowerment in Cairo. American Ethnologist, 37/3: 452-464.
Godelier, Maurice (1978). Infrastructures, Soeciety, and History. Current Anthropology Vol 19/4: 763-771.
Harvey, Penelope; Jensen, Casper Bruun; Morita, Atsuro (2016). Infrastructures and Social Complexity: A Companion.
Larkin, Brian (2013). The Politics and Poetics of Infrastructure. Annual Review of Anthropology 42: 327-343.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1968). Das wilde Denken. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp.
Mains, Daniel (2012). Blackouts and Progress: Privatization, Infrastructure, and a Developmentalist State in Jimma, Ethiopia. Cultural Anthropology 27/1: 3-27.
Maurer, Bill (2012). Late to the Party: Debt and Data. Social Anthropology 20/4: 474-481.
Mitchell, Timothy (2011): Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. London: Verso.
Rest, Matthhäus & Rippa, Alessandro (2019). Road Animism: Reflections on the Life of Infrastructures. HAU Journal of Ethnographic Theory 9(2): 373-389.
Star, Susan Leigh (1999). The Ethnography of Infrastructure. American Behavioral Scientist
43/3: 377–391.
Starosielski, Nicole (2012). Warning: Do not Dig! Negotiating the Visibility of Critical Infrastructures journal of visual culture 11/1: 38–57.
Trovalla, Eric & Trovalla, Ulrika (2015). Infrastructure as Divination Tool: Whispers from the Grids in a Nigerian city. City 19/2-3: 332-343.
von Schnitzler, Antina (2013). Travelling Technologies: Infrastructure, Ethical Regimes, and the Materiality of Politics in South Africa. Cultural Anthropology 28/4: 670-693.
Weszkalnys, Gisa (2014). Anticipating oil: the temporal politics of a disaster yet to come. The Sociological Review 62/S1: 211–235.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 10.06.2021 16:09