production
Skip to Content

AT4046: ANTHROPOLOGY AND ART: ON PLACE, LANDSCAPE AND MATERIALS (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

Anthropology and art have much to offer each other. Taking historical and contemporary perspectives, students in this course will debate the cultural significance of art and the nature of creativity. We will focus particularly on questions of place, landscape and materials through a combined art-anthropology approach. The course will use the University of Aberdeen’s own art and ethnographic collections, and we will also work with Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Jo Vergunst

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Anthropologists have used works of art from around the world as an index of culture, to study symbolic meaning, rituals and concepts of agency. Anthropology today by contrast often carries out research with art, rather than on it, using collaborative practice to explore issues of shared concern amongst anthropologists and artists. The category of ‘art’ itself is being questioned in new and interesting ways.

 

Using a combined art-anthropology approach, this course will focus particularly on questions of place, landscape and materials. Examples from socially-engaged art and environmental art will help us find new ways to think about people and the places they live. Cases from the course co-ordinator’s own research will be presented and the course will have an ethnographic focus on Scotland and its landscape – while also using international comparisons. A partnership with Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen will enable students to develop an anthropological perspective on contemporary art and the life of an active arts organisation.  We will also use the extensive artistic and ethnographic collections of the University of Aberdeen.

 

Teaching will involve a series of two-hour seminars in which theoretical and case study materials will be explored.

 

Students taking this course will be able to:

- Describe and understand the history of anthropology’s relationship with art

- Evaluate contemporary examples of combined anthropology-art approaches to research

- Analyse the themes of place, landscape and materials in relation to Scotland and other international cases

- Develop and carry out independent project work on a topic relevant to anthropology and art

 

Assessment will be 100% coursework, with two pieces to be submitted. Firstly, students will select an essay question (50%, 3000 words). Secondly, with the help of the course co-ordinator, students will develop a project on a theme relevant to anthropology and art (50%, 3000 words). In the project, students’ own creative work will be welcomed but is not obligatory.


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 9 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

5x200-word discussion post 15%

Essay (2000-words) 35%

Project (3000-words) 50%

Alternative Resit Arrangements

If required the resit would be re-submission of discussion board posts, project and essay.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandDescribe and understand the history of anthropology’s relationship with art
ConceptualEvaluateEvaluate contemporary examples of combined anthropology-art approaches to research
ProceduralAnalyseAnalyse the themes of place, landscape and materials in relation to Scotland and other international cases
ReflectionCreateDevelop and carry out independent project work on a topic relevant to anthropology and art

Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.