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Course Outline

Full-time studies

Due to the relatively small size of our unit, an important aspect of our existence is the personal rapport which students develop with their peers and supervisors. This lends itself to spirited and stimulating discussions which often carry on in informal contexts.

The MA normally takes 2 years. During the first year, the MA student is expected to actively participate in seminars, attend the School’s courses and contribute to university events. Throughout the first 2 semesters, the candidate attends numerous courses and seminars with the goal of fine-tuning the theme that will be developed in the MA dissertation.

At the end of the 2nd semester, MA researchers are required to submit a research proposal to the curriculum staff. This proposal should state the research question, its relevance to the discipline, the methodology addressing it, and any ethical issues foreseen in carrying out the project. The proposal is discussed with a member of staff, other than the candidate’s supervisor, so that the researcher can receive independent feedback.

After the successful submission of the proposal, MA researchers embark on the fieldwork aspect of their projects. The suitable amount of time for this is an issue that is agreed upon with the supervisor(s). After fieldwork, one academic year is allotted to writing up. Attendance and participation in seminars at this stage are crucial.

Core course components

Many of our courses address issues like globalisation, migration, anthropological cinema, the anthropology of the body, anthropology of perception, amongst others.

During their studies students take a university-wide interdisciplinary course ELU to participate effectively in teamwork and make connections between the discipline and wider societal problems.

Students specialize either in Audiovisual Ethnography or Social and Cultural Anthropology to gain knowledge of traditional and current research topics, and to gain skills for academic research in a chosen subject. This is supported by language courses and practice in the form of fieldwork, teaching assistance, or internship abroad. At the end of their studies, students carry out their own anthropological study in close collaboration with a supervisor.

Key Concepts in Literary and Cultural Analysis

The seminar explores the main concepts and theories of 20th century literary theory and cultural analysis. The aim of the seminar is to develop a coherent context for the question how to study literature, films and visual culture in their intermedial relationship.

Multiculturalism in a Global Perspective

This course examines the complex narratives and policies that produce and reproduce multiculturalism. The course approaches multiculturalism with a comparative gaze between Asia and the Americas.

General Debates in Anthropological Theory

This course examines issues  and debates that have characterised the development of anthropological thought and practice since the late 19th century to the early 21st century. The course is formatted as an interactive seminar that resembles a debate.

Ethnographic Readings

The course creates the opportunity for the student to familiarise themselves with core texts of ethnography and creates the preconditions for the development of critical reading and creative writing. The course explores both the history and the future challenges currently faced by ethnographic fieldwork and the anthropological theorising that is disseminated in book format.

Methods of Ethnographic Fieldwork and Project Planning

The course explores practical ethnographic approaches such as participant-observation, interviews and focus groups, and conceptual approaches. The course explores the politics of diverse forms of ‘participation’ in the fieldwork situation and representation in ethnographic writing, and how wider political and cultural issues condition diverse aspects of ethnographic research.

Political Economy of Culture

This course aims to introduce students to the anthropological study of political processes, providing the conceptual tools that anthropologists have developed for their analysis. It will cover the major anthropological theories, and debates in political anthropology. Empirically it will cover examples from both state, and non-state forms of social organization, postcolonialism, ethnicity and nationalism.

Anthropology of Experience

This course examines ‘the perceptual’ as a social, political, and cultural phenomenon, which is continually undergoing transformation throughout history. From this perspective, the course will consider how perception is experienced and, not only shapes the relations between persons, but also structures the way we encounter and perceive the world.

Soundscape: Perception & Design

This course considers the range of discourses and practices that seek to understand sound's relationship to social experience, from an anthropological perspective. The course will direct attention to the theoretical and discursive component of sound's role in society. It will focus on the different ways in which humans perceive sound, as a socially constructed phenomenon, and design sonic experiences. The course will also discuss how technologies of sound emerge from cultural and historical contexts.

The Anthropology curriculum (2017/2018 academic year) is available here.