ANTH 3036 - Contemporary Anthropology: Perspectives & Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

Anthropology is a constantly evolving field. The discipline has changed numerous times over the last several decades in response to key ethical, methodological, and conceptual concerns. The aim of this course is to understand how anthropologists have adapted to change while remaining empirically descriptive, narratively innovative, and theoretically engaged. Our course investigations are driven by thematic and conceptually rich content provided in reading material that students get to choose on their own from a curated selection of full-length ethnographic monographs and supplementary readings that cover a wide variety of topics and regional sites of study. The goal of reading full-length books is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of how anthropologists engage with fieldwork and how they navigate the challenge of turning research experiences into rich anthropological knowledge. The lectures and seminars supplement the critical examination of anthropological work through detailed and interactive discussions of the main theoretical currents in anthropology with an emphasis on theories of experience (phenomenology), power, practice, and justice. The course learning is further augmented by opportunities for students to cultivate their own ethnographic writing, to analyse the cultural representations crafted in anthropologically oriented films, and to test out conceptual and theoretical perspectives in small group discovery experiences. By the end of the semester, students will understand contemporary trends in anthropology, be up to date on the latest debates in the field, and be aware of the potential ways in which they can begin to contribute to the discipline in advanced study or in professional fields.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANTH 3036
    Course Contemporary Anthropology: Perspectives & Practice
    Coordinating Unit Anthropology and Development Studies
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of level 2 undergraduate study
    Incompatible ANTH 3100
    Course Description Anthropology is a constantly evolving field. The discipline has changed numerous times over the last several decades in response to key ethical, methodological, and conceptual concerns. The aim of this course is to understand how anthropologists have adapted to change while remaining empirically descriptive, narratively innovative, and theoretically engaged. Our course investigations are driven by thematic and conceptually rich content provided in reading material that students get to choose on their own from a curated selection of full-length ethnographic monographs and supplementary readings that cover a wide variety of topics and regional sites of study. The goal of reading full-length books is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of how anthropologists engage with fieldwork and how they navigate the challenge of turning research experiences into rich anthropological knowledge. The lectures and seminars supplement the critical examination of anthropological work through detailed and interactive discussions of the main theoretical currents in anthropology with an emphasis on theories of experience (phenomenology), power, practice, and justice. The course learning is further augmented by opportunities for students to cultivate their own ethnographic writing, to analyse the cultural representations crafted in anthropologically oriented films, and to test out conceptual and theoretical perspectives in small group discovery experiences. By the end of the semester, students will understand contemporary trends in anthropology, be up to date on the latest debates in the field, and be aware of the potential ways in which they can begin to contribute to the discipline in advanced study or in professional fields.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dianne Rodger

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1.To provide in-depth study of the discipline of anthropology as a basis for an undergraduate major and continuation into honours and postgraduate study.
    2.To provide an understanding of the ethnographic process and the procedures that go into the data collection and writing styles that constitute what is termed ethnography.
    3.To provide a critical examination of the theoretical perspectives that currently dominate anthropology and which contribute to major inquiries regarding agency, experience and culture.
    4.To provide a venue for the critical engagement with ethnographic monographs as the principal mode of producing anthropological knowledge.
    5.To provide experience in the creation of anthropological knowledge as critical, comparative and reflexive.
    6.To develop the ability to engage in conceptual and thematic discussions in small groups about matters of scholastic and anthropological importance.
    7.To develop specialised knowledge about the specific cultural worlds described in ethnographic texts.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3,4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4,5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    7
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The course requires that students read three full books to be purchased independently. Whenever possible, books will be selected that are also available to be read online for free through the university’s ebrary. This content will be supplemented with journal and book chapter readings to be made available electronically through links posted on MyUni. Lectures will be recorded and posted in MyUni via MyMedia.
    Recommended Resources
    Students are encouraged to access and use a variety of online content related to anthropology that includes but is not limited to a list of theoretically-engaged supplementary readings and online ethnographic films. All written assignments will be put through TURNITIN.
    Online Learning
    The course uses MyUni tools and resources. The course guide as well as the supplementary readings will be made available on MyUni and the recorded lectures will be posted there using the MyMedia service. All course material will be posted at the beginning of the semester with the exception of the lecture power points and recordings, which are to be released over the semester. MyUni’s Final Grade Centre will also be employed so that students can easily access their course performance indicators.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The lectures provide advanced engagement with key themes and theories in anthropology. The first section of the course examines anthropological methods, ethics, and writing styles. The following four sections examine anthropological engagements with phenomenology, practice theory, power theories, and justice. After each lecture, students have the opportunity in the seminars to test out the knowledge learned by absorbing and analysing written or audio-visual materials. Lecture learning and academic literacies will be tested in this guided process. Students also have the opportunity in each seminar to engage in small group discovery experience discussions and to work in a separate set of small groups to discuss their progress in reading assigned texts such as ethnographic monographs.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lectures:   1 x 1 hour lectures per week (11 lectures) = 11 hours per semester
    Seminars:   1 x 2 hour seminars per week (11 seminars) = 22 hours per semester
    Reading:    9 hours reading per week = 108 hours per semester
    Research:   5 hours research per week = 60 hours per semester
    Assignment Prep:   9 hours assignment preparation per week = 108 hours per semester
    Film:   3 hours ethnographic film screening per semester = 3 hours per semester 

    TOTAL = 312 per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Lecture Topic
    1 Introduction to the Course & Ethnography
    2 Ethnography in Method, Practice, and Prose
    3 Ethnography in Method, Practice, and Prose
    4 Phenomenology—Understanding experience
    5 Phenomenology—Understanding experience
    6 Power, Knowledge, History, and Foucault
    7 Power, Knowledge, History, and Foucault
    8 Theories of Practice and Bourdieu
    9 No Lecture or Tutorials: Reading Intensive
    10 Theories of Practice and Bourdieu
    11 Justice and Engaged Anthropology
    12 Justice and Engaged Anthropology
    Specific Course Requirements
    In addition to reading and writing activities, students are required to do a participant witnessing exercise where they are assigned a café, mall, or park to observe for a period of one hour. Students must take notes about this experience and they are restricted to observation alone—no interviews are allowed. Students are then expected to submit a written assignment that is ethnographic in tone and which conveys the cultural worlds of value, practice, and power evident in the contexts observed.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Each of the seminars involve two SGDE activities. One of the SGDE activities is tailored to the particular thematic content that is being addressed. The second SGDE activity is a small group discussion and research collaborative wherein students reading similar books convene to examine the key themes in the readings as well as any difficulties or confusions they are having with the text. The course coordinator circulates among each of the groups during each of the SGDE activities.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    ASSESSMENT TASK TASK TYPE WEIGHTING COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S)
    Seminar Attendance Formative and summative 10% 1,5
    Participant Witnessing Assignment Formative and summative 20% 1,6,7
    Book Precis 1 Summative 30% 2,3,4
    Book Precis 2 Summative 30% 2,3,4
    Ethnographic Film Review Summative 10% 2,3,4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To be eligible for seminar participation points, students may not miss more than 2 seminars. If they have more than 2 unexcused absences from seminars, they will receive 0/100 for this assignment.
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial participation = Students test out theories and engage in discussion and analysis via SGDEs. – 10% weighting.

    Participant Witnessing (1200 words) = Students are required to silently observe a cultural world for one hour (at a cafe, park, or shopping complex) and write an ethnographic rendering of the values, meanings, and power struggles observed. The text produced must draw from assigned readings and reflect upon ethnographic methods and research ethics.  – 20% weighting

    Book Precis 1 & 2 (1800 words each; 3600 words total) = Students write critical evaluations of full ethnographic monographs that they have read with extended discussion of the themes, concepts, and theoretical perspectives employed in the text. Existing book reviews are prohibited from use in the precis and students must draw from supplementary readings for their discussion.  – 60% weighting.

    Ethnographic Film Review (600 words) = Students write a critical evaluation and reflection on an ethnographic film that they have selected based upon their research and career interests. The film review must engage anthropological themes, concepts, and theories. The review is to be submitted at the end of the semester when the students have acquired proficiencies in relevant social theories. – 10% weighting.
    Submission
    The submission of all assignments will be via Turnitin, an online software program.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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