Culture

Culture - Source: Aleysa Krit

Source: Aleysa Krit

Materials

Materials - Source: Laurence Douny

Source: Laurence Douny

Study Options

Listed below are the most relevant options currently available from the Department of Anthropology and Institute of Archaeology. Other options are also available and can be accessed via the departmental websites.

Options in Anthropology

Advanced Anthropological Theory (Techniques and Technology)
Anthropology of Art and Design
Anthropology of the Built Environment
Anthropology of Landscape
Anthropology of Media and Consumption
Political and Economic anthropology
Resource Use and Impacts
Risk, Power and Uncertainty
Transforming and Creating the World

Options in the Institute of Archaeology

Andean Technology
Archaeological Approaches to the Human use of Space
Archaeological Ceramics and Plaster
Archaeological Glass and Glazes
Archaeometallurgy: Metallic Artefacts
Archaeometallurgy: Mining and Extractive Technology
Experimental Archaeology
Interpreting Pottery
Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects
Lithic Analysis
Managing Museums

Advanced Anthropological Theory (Transforming and Creating the World: Anthropological Perspectives on Techniques and Technology)

This course will describe how common assumptions about technology have been increasingly challenged by anthropological investigations of examples ranging from indigenous gardening systems to modern transport technology, and from rituals and magical operations to carving or cooking. To see more information on this option click here.

Andean Technology

This course introduces the archaeology and ethnography of the Andean region through an examination of technology, design and materials selection (e.g. treatment of the human body, craft production, agriculture, building construction, and techniques of communication). To see more information on this option click here.

Anthropology of Art and Design

The course is aimed at those who wish to deepen their understanding of the material in visual culture. It provides an overview of 19th century theory of style and reveals the long shadow it cast on contemporary art. Both theoretically and materially, the course will focus on 'assemblage' art, including recyclia and the art of Voodoo and Oceania. To see more information on this option click here.

Anthropology of the Built Environment

This course will explore anthropological approaches to the study of architectural forms. It will focus primarily on the significance of domestic space and public private boundaries, gender and body, the materiality of architectural form and materials and the study of architectural representations. To see more information on this option click here.

Anthropology of Landscape

This course looks at the number of theoretical approaches to the Western Gaze; colonial, indigenous and prehistoric landscapes; contested landscapes; and questions of heritage and 'wilderness'. To see more information on this option click here.

Anthropology of Media and Consumption

This course covers the issues of consumption from an anthropological perspective. Key aspects include commodities, valuables and gifting and the ways individuals use objects to construct and maintain the self and relationships.

Applied Studies/ Global Citizenship

This course is designed to integrate a short applied placement or internship in an NGO, governmental, community, or business organisation, within a supporting framework of lectures, tutorials, seminars and supervised coursework. To see more information on this option click here.

Archaeological Approaches to the Human use of Space

This course offers an introduction to the many different ways in which human societies have used space and responded to the built, natural and/or culturally-laden spaces around them. To see more information on this option click here.

Archaeological Ceramics and Plaster

The course will provide an introduction to the materials and technological processes used in making clay-base ceramics, kortars and cements. Approaches to inferring the technology of manufacture, place of origin and date of these materials will also be considered. To see more information on this option click here.

Archaeological Glass and Glazes

The aims of the course are to give students a science-based understanding of the broad development and spread of glass and glazes from the Late Bronze Age up to the end of the Middle Ages. Emphasis will be put on the origins, analysis and interpretation of the raw materials and colorants. To see more information on this option click here.

Archaeometallurgy: metallic artefacts

This course will consider archaeological interpretations of technical data gained from the analysis of metal objects, using chemical and physical methods. To see more information on this option click here.

Archaeometallurgy: mining and extractive technology

The course aims to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the development and spread of mining and metallurgy. It draws on archaeological evidence to convey some of the basic chemical and metallurgical processes relevant to the primary production of metal. To see more information on this option click here.

Experimental Archaeology

The course will explore the relevance of experimental archaeology for the interpretation of Prehistoric and early historic remains and artefacts. The methodology of archaeological experiments will be explored, followed by selected case studies. To see more information on this option click here.

Interpreting Pottery

This course will include both the handling of materials and the discussion of case studies. Particular emphasis will be laid upon pottery production, trade and consumption, and the role of ceramics and potters within society. To see more information on this option click here.

Issues in Conservation: understanding objects

This course examines the use and significance of objects in cultural heritage contexts. It explores the ways in which objects are made, regarded and used, and the ways in which their condition and meaning can shift over time or in different contexts. To see more information on this option click here.

Lithic Analysis

This course will examine the different ways in which human behaviour is reflected in the production and use of knapped and ground stone artefacts. It explores how these objects can be used for the interpretation of technological, cognitive, economic, and social issues. To see more information on this option click here.

Managing Museums

This course focuses on the organizational and management context of museums. Areas covered include relevant legislation, ethics, strategic planning, resource management and fundraising. To see more information on this option click here.

Political and Economic anthropology

This course examines the main issues in political and economic anthropology in the light of recent developments. It specifically focuses on the commodity, property, peasant farming, the nation state, political violence and the politics of identity. To see more information on this option click here.

Resource Use and Impacts

As the obligatory core course for students in the MSc in Anthropology, Environment and Development, this unit focuses on key conceptual issues and methodological tools in the anthropological study of human ecology and development. The aim of the course is to provide students with an overview of some of the current approaches to environmental issues, particularly in less developed countries; and the implications that contrasting understandings have for management and development. For more information on this option, click here.

Risk, Power and Uncertainty

The course covers: pre-modern notions of fate, destiny and magical protection; key contributions in the anthropology of risk ; the applicability of the concept of 'chaos' in socio-cultural anthropology; a critical examination of the sociology of 'the risk society' and associated ideas. It includes special issues chosen from areas of science, environment, medicine, politics and marginality. To see more information on this option click here.

Transforming and Creating the World

This seminar series will approach two interrelated topics: the first is the question of technology within anthropology and other social sciences. The second will consider objects as “processes-made-things”, that is, objects as the coalescence of what we call “practices”, “techniques”.  Technology is always about more than material production, but can in fact recruit and produce ontologies and meta-physics.  Through this perspective, we hope to investigate how an anthropology of techniques (disentangled from its colonial and determinist past) contributes to our understanding of the relations between material culture, environment and sociality. To see more information on this option click here.