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Undergraduate Anthropology 2017-2018

AT1003: INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY: PEOPLES OF THE WORLD

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

Anthropology is the comparative study of human ways of life through the study of societies and cultures around the world. In this course we introduce some of the key topics of contemporary anthropological inquiry: What is Anthropology? What do anthropologists do? What is ethnography? How can we see the diverse world of societies and cultures around us, not by looking from the outside, but by looking at how people themselves make their own lives and meanings?

AT1502: INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY: QUESTIONS OF DIVERSITY

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

In this course students will be offered an extended introduction to social anthropology and will focus on topics: language and culture, belief and religion, gender and sex, kinship, and race. Students will develop and refine their understanding of major issues in the discipline of social anthropology through staff lectures, tutorials, and ethnographic films. 

AT2010: KEY DEBATES IN ANTHROPOLOGY

30 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course explores some of the key questions that anthropologists have debated: what it is to be human, the nature of human interaction with other humans, with non-humans, and with the environment, and the different ways that people perceive the world and act within it. Themes that will be discussed in this course include the category of the person, morality and ethics, art and aesthetics, what is power, how to engage with Otherness, and how anthropologists engage actively, outside academia, in development, health, or business.

AT2515: REIMAGINING COLONIALISM

30 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course will explore contemporary colonial expressions from an anthropological perspective. It will be split into two main themes: Material Histories; and Mediated Histories. Within these themes it will address topics such as the "capturing" of cultures in museums, kinship and politics, gendered colonialism, economic development, media, aboriginal rights and contemporary resistance movements.

AT3023: ETHNOGRAPHY

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

What is ethnographic writing and how do we learn to write ethnographically? This course seeks to familiarise students with the craft of ethnographic writing through a series of lectures, seminars, reading and writing exercises.  

AT3027: ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

AT3031: DOING ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course aims to acquaint students with the practical, methodological and theoretical issues associated with anthropological research. It examines critically different methodological approaches and the relation between fieldwork experiences and ethnographic production. The course is run through a series of student-led seminars with guest anthropologists, tutorials and workshops which involve practical activities. Issues covered include preparation for fieldwork, framing research questions, collecting ethnographic data and presenting ethnographic interpretations.  An important part of the assessment is a small individual research project chosen, designed and carried out by the student.

AT3528: MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will introduce students to the main themes of medical anthropology. Western medicine will be explored as a ‘medical system’ and compared to other forms of healing around the world. We will investigate ideas of health and illness, the history of medicine, and a number of case studies in indigenous health and healing. Coursework takes the form of a group project in which students investigate a theme in medical anthropology together. The course will suit anyone with an interest in health and well-being.

AT3529: RESEARCH PROJECT PART 1

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

It will introduce students to the necessary skills required for carrying out an undergraduate level research project in anthropology, and is an essential prelude to the dissertation. In it, students will identify a research project of their choice, and will be guided through the necessary steps and skills required for the production of a 4000 word project proposal.

AT3533: BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course explores the relationship between ways of knowing, health and wellbeing. It does so through ethnographic material and practical engagement in observant participation of various knowledge practices. Ways of knowing are linked to knowledge practices through practical teaching and learning. These in turn highlight how knowledge practices affect and develop the lived body. The knowledge practices the course will explore include: reading in historical perspective in Europe; theatre and circus in contemporary performance work; craft work; postural yoga; Butoh.

AT3534: RELIGION, POWER AND BELIEF

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

What is religion? What does ritual do? Does ritual have effects, in the persons performing them, in society, or the world? How might ritual be a means or medium for political action? This course is an ethnographically grounded discussion of how anthropologists have addressed the concept of religion, the interface of religion and power, and is a critical interrogation the concept of belief.

SL3504: GLOBAL CHALLENGES IN AN ETHNOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course addresses major global challenges of the contemporary world as they emerge is specific local contexts. It offers an understanding of these challenges from a local point of view. The challenges the course will discuss include: global warming and rising sea levels; the ecological crisis; oil and energy; war and terrorism; religion and politics; sexual violence; the economic crisis; mining in post-colonial contexts; animal rights; the war on drugs; human rights and global justice; science and the state.

AT4036: INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ANTHROPOLOGY

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course is open to joint honours students in anthropology. Having chosen a topic for their study, students will be allocated a supervisor and carry out readings, research and writing under the guidance of their supervisor. Students will write a 10,000-word dissertation based on library research.

AT4037: ANTHROPOLOGY RESEARCH PROJECT PART 2

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course will build on the initial research design students built during Research Project Part I towards their undergraduate research project in anthropology.

AT4038: MORE THAN HUMAN

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course explores new directions in how we think about humans and other species.  Recent years have seen an upsurge in interest in how the social sciences and humanities deal with animals, plants and other organisms and we scrutinise these cutting edge ideas in depth.  A lot of emphasis is placed on trying to think through real life encounters and issues, from a walk in the park to new revelations about life from the bottom of the ocean.  Although the focus is on anthropological work, the course should appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

AT403A: ANTHROPOLOGY, MUSEUMS AND SOCIETY

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course is organised around a series of seminars and visits to selected museums. The course is divided into two parts. The first addresses approaches in anthropology to the meanings of artefacts; the second considers contemporary curatorial practice. Assessment is based on an artefact study, which will involve original research utilising the collections of the University of Aberdeen, and an essay in which students reflect upon the course as a whole.

AT4041: MATERIALS, TECHNOLOGY AND POWER IN THE ANDEAN REGION

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course introduces students to anthropological studies of the Andes region of South America.  Its particular focus is on Andean technologies and uses of materials.  Historically, approaches to working with materials in the region differed markedly from those found in Europe and the region remains interesting from a technological perspective.  Four main technological areas are addressed: mining and metallurgy; the use of fibres (including for textual purposes); medicine and the body; and working the land.  Course material includes contemporary ethnographic and historical studies and incorporates three relevant ethnographic films.

AT4525: THE CONSTITUTIONAL IMAGINATION: RELIGION, POLITICS AND THE STATE IN HUMAN SOCIETY

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will examine anthropological theories of the state, political organization and violence. Through an analysis of both modern and historical case studies from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we will critically examine theories of state of modern and non-modern state formation and organisation, and the nexus of religion and colonial history. In the second half of the course, particular attention will we paid to the ethnography of violence as a mode of state and proto-state political action.

AT4526: ROADS: MOBILITY, MOVEMENT, MIGRATION

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

 

In this course students will be introduced to the topical themes in contemporary anthropology:  roads, automobility, car cultures, migration, road narratives, and roads in film and literature. The course is based on the notions of movement and mobility and will incorporate the ethnographic material from the North, including Scotland and Siberia.  During the course students will conduct their own research on the road of their choice. The course includes: a fieldwork element, screenings of documentary films about roads, and weekly student-led discussions.  

 

AT4532: ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE NORTH

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Through a series of lectures and a mix of tutor and student led tutorials, this course focuses on the sometimes difficult history of anthropology and the circumpolar north. Misconceptions (sometimes intentionally created) about the people who live there and their relationships to the environment have informed both state policy and anthropological theory and now is the time for a new anthropology of the north to set the record straight. Students will be encouraged and expected to do their own research on topics of their own choosing and bring these insights back to the course through lively tutorial discussions.

AT4543: ANTHROPOLOGY AND LANDSCAPE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

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