MA in Material and Visual Culture
Introduction | Core | Options | Staff | Application | Contact
Please note: students without prior background in anthropology may be advised to sit in on the first- and second-year Social Anthropology seminar.
Term 1 (Autumn)
In term 1 students enrolled in the programme will take ANTHGC01 (Critical Issues), a graduate seminar in anthropological fundamentals relating to the study of material culture (typically convened on Monday afternoons).
In addition students will take the Masters Research Methods Seminars:
Typically 16-18 sessions are convened within the Research Methods seminar over the academic year. These sessions are made available to all masters students, and while only six are usually compulsory for students in the programme they may attend as many as they wish. The Research Methods seminars vary from year to year but typically include the following sessions:
- Participant observation
- Investigating space and place
- Interviews (I & II)
- Questionnaires (I & II)
- Using new technologies for research
- PRA (participatory rural appraisal))
- Against method
- Investigating kinship and relatedness
- Ethnographic writing
- Historical sources
- Researching ritual
Finally, during the first term there will also be weekly Material, Visual, and Digital Culture public seminars with invited speakers on Mondays at 4.30-6.00 (usually followed thereafter with drinks/socializing in the department and possibly dinner in town).
Term 2 (Spring)
The Core Course continues in the second term when students will be presented with a wide range of case studies highlighting material culture in the wider world - ranging from art, through photography, clothing, consumption, cultural memory, monuments and the built environment with a view to exploring how these might be illuminated from a material culture perspective
Term 3 (Summer)
Formal classes are not convened during term 3, but the research seminars typically continue and shortly after the first week of the term, the exam is administered. Following the exam, students typically complete any research and the writing of proposals in preparation for fieldwork during the summer break.
Anthropology in the Professional World (Practitioner's Talks)
Adapted from the "White Heat Meet" concept of our inaugural year's students, in the spring of 2011 a speaker series was initiated—Anthropology in the Professional World—principally for students in the Material & Visual Culture and Digital Anthropology masters programmes. The spring 2011 schedule of speakers included:
Systems for augmented retailing (Lynne Murray, Brand Director from Holition)
A study of urban mobility (Akseli Anttila, Nokia)
Developing mobile social products - realities of insight application within a user centered development environment at Vodafone (Ben Fehnert: Eclipse Experience)
The P3i cross disciplinary Design:STEM studio and the 'Active' materials for Living platform (SENSE-BIOSYS-AMBIENT-KNIT) which constitute how we intend to explore and probe future ways of living enabled and enhanced by new classes of materials and associated technologies (Professor Raymond Oliver, Northumbria University School of Design at Islington)
Ethnography, Innovation and Product Development for an Ageing World ( Simon Roberts, Ideas Bazaar, formerly Research and Design lead for Intel's DigitalHealth Group in Europe)
User experience: from device and user interface challenges, to contexts, ecosystems and sustainability (Mark Vanderbeeken Experientia, author of the well known blog on User Experience: Putting People First)
Experience Research in practice (Dr. David Dinka, Head Of Experience Research Svenska Spel, previously at Skype)
Reading & Research Groups
In addition there is a rich and dynamic range of specialist reading and research groups in the department. These are voluntary gatherings and entirely informal, but these are exciting gatherings where students can meet with the wider academic staff and student body to discuss cutting edge research questions. See the Department’s webpage for updated information on current Reading & Research Groups.