ANTH 423, Dr. Maximilian Forte, Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology, Concordia University

Session 13: November 30, 2016

WikiLeaks and Anthropology on Secrecy and Power

Lecture points:

  • Anthropology as a Science of Secrecy
  • Paradigms of Secrecy
    • Max Weber: The Official (Office) Secret
    • Michael Taussig: The Public Secret
    • Franz Boas: The Secret is Sacred
    • Georg Simmel: Secrecy as a Social Relationship
    • Secrecy as Magic
    • Eric Wolf: Power in the Unquestionable
  • The Power of the Secret Tellers: Anthropological Perspectives
  • Janine Wedel: Secrecy and the Flexians

Lecture Presentation

Reading Questions

Required Reading:

Forte, Maximilian C. (2015). “On Secrecy, Power, and the Imperial State: Perspectives from WikiLeaks and Anthropology”. In M.C. Forte (Ed.), Force Multipliers: The Instrumentalities of Imperialism (pp. 187-221). Montreal: Alert Press.

Recommended Reading:

Piot, Charles D. (1993). “Secrecy, Ambiguity, and the Everyday in Kabre Culture“. American Anthropologist, 95(2 ), 353-370.

Moynihan, Daniel Patrick. (1999). “The Science of Secrecy“. Delivered at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 29.