Consumption and Materiality --- This course is designed to provide an overview of some of the most salient issues for understanding consumption in anthropological research today, Using material culture theory and a materially-grounded semiotics as the primary approaches. Once a marginalized topic in anthropology, in today's world it has become difficult to conceive of an anthropological topics that can avoid engagement with commodified material cultures and related economies, networks cultural meanings and social organizations. The study of "consumption" per se makes little sense in a world where it is difficult to conceive of an anthropological topic that can avoid engagement with commodified material cultures and related economies, networks, cultural meanings and social organizations. The study of "consumption" carries on under various rubrics, from studies of material culture and commercial media, to commodity chain analyses and biopolitics. The readings to be discussed will provide both theoretical grounding in basic issues and questions, linking local practices via material goods to wider political economies. Topics to be covered include: commodity and gift exchange; the question of value; class and distinction; advertising, branding and commercial culture production; politics of consumer aesthetics; the relationship of goods and states, ethics and cause marketing; and the centrality of the body throughout.