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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

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.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Arnar Arnason

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 3

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Anthropology (AT) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • AT3004 Anthropological Theory (Studied)
  • AT3527 Anthropological Theory (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course explores theoretical developments and current debates in anthropology. These are explored thematically. An emphasis is placed on students using theoretical ideas to analyse empirical, ethnographic material.

Further Information & Notes

This course is an essential component of the Single and Joint Honours Anthropology degree programmes.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt:


Research essay (3,000 words) (30%)
Annotated bibliography (300-500 words + ten annotations) (15%)

Research journal (25%)
2 hour written exam (30%)


1 three-hour written examination (100%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Feedback will be provided on essays both written and verbally. Feedback on projects will be provided throughout the course.

Course Learning Outcomes


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