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Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04

Course Overview

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.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Alison Brown

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Museums are often regarded as the public face of anthropology and have increasingly become viewed as contested places in today's world. This course provides an introduction to museums as a field site for anthropology. Using case studies and current debates within critical museology it draws attention to aspects of the culture, history and functions of museums, and to their emerging role within projects of cultural revitalization.
Themes to be covered may include how artefacts are defined and valued in different contexts; how meaning is negotiated in exhibitions; relationships between museums and indigenous peoples; digital technologies and 'knowledge repatriation'; traditional care and curation; ownership and appropriation.

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

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8 - 18

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

Report (1000 Words) 15%

Blog Post (1500 Words) 25%

Essay (2000 Words) 40%

Reading Critique Participation 20%


Alternative Resit Arrangements for students taking course in Academic Year 2020/21

Second attempt at whatever part of the assignment the student failed

Alternative Resit Arrangements for students who took the course in Academic Year 2019/20 and C8 students

Second attempt at whatever part of the assignment the student failed

Formative Assessment


Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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