1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences


ANTH 2360: Don Juan and Castaneda
Principles of Social Analysis Area Requirement

The six books of Carlos Castaneda represent what is perhaps an anthropological ideal--a world in which the native's concepts of power, sorcery, and transformation are "real" rather than the social systems, adaptations, and symbolic processes generally used to explain them. They are not ethnography; in his latest preface Castaneda prefers to treat them as "autobiography." Yet they can be used very effectively to illustrate a wide range of concepts in anthropology and traditional religions, which is what this course is all about. It will not teach you to fly--it may teach you to write--but it will hopefully help you to understand how anthropologists think. The course will be given in an open seminar format, with discussion encouraged. Grades will be based on 3 papers.

ANTH 2360: Don Juan and Castaneda
Beyond the West

Castaneda and Don Juan: “Cracking the Castaneda Code,” a hard “second look” at the supposedly “subjective” vistas of the Meso-American power-quest. Objectivity comes to the rescue of what was once thought to be America’s worse drug scandal. Nine books; three papers, no final exam. Class attendance mandatory.