We’ll now take a big step backward to study the deep history of tool-use — and to consider (again!) what defines a tool. Cowan, you’ll recall, noted that some anthropologists have argued that tool-use is what distinguishes humans from other species. Is this true? How do tools function as “extensions” of their users? And how might we recognize various global traditions of innovation, and tool creation and use?
To be completed for today’s class:
- Thomas Wynn, “Tools and Tool Behavior,” in Tim Ingold, ed., Companion Encyclopedia of Anthropology (Routledge, 1994/2002): 133-61 [remember: you’ll be prompted to log in to access our copyrighted readings!]
- Wilson Miner, “When We Build,” Build Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland, November 7-11, 2011 <video: 38:53>.
- What about global traditions of tool creation, innovation, and integration?: Marta Niepytalska, “Clapperton Mavhunga on ‘Incoming Technology and African Innovation,’” Carson Fellow Portraits (August 2011) <video: 5:14>.
- If you’ve chosen to respond to today’s texts, please post your reading response by 11:59pm the night before class!