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Postgraduate Courses 2016-17

The following course options are for all Masters students. Please note the content of the course may vary each year. Masters students must obtain permission from their individual Masters tutors to attend a particular optional course.

Optional courses for Masters students are run through 11/2 hour/2 hour specialist seminars but students are advised to attend the lectures associated with the options they choose, which are open to both postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Masters seminars will normally assume knowledge of the material presented in these open lectures, and deal with the issues raised at a more advanced level.
One extended essay is normally required for each option you take. Please check with your tutor for the requirements of your specific Masters programme.

Times of seminars can be by arrangement and as such will be confirmed at the first lecture for the course. Always check the online timetable for the time and place of the lectures.

Term 1 Options


ANTHGC09 - Anthropology and Photography

PG Seminar - Timetable

Prof Chris Pinney

This course has three central purposes: to provide a historical introduction to the way in which anthropologists have used photography, to provide a grounding in photographic theory, and to encourage students to think how they might best use photography in their own anthropological projects. We will explore how photography was used both before and after the systematization of fieldwork as the central anthropological method, explore criticisms of photography's "externality", and look at recent ethnographies of  "vernacular" photographic practices. The course is assessed by an essay and a portfolio.

ANTHGC10 - Transforming and Creating Worlds: Anthropological Perspectives on Techniques and Technology

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Ludovic Coupaye

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. Our exploration might take us through a series of examples ranging from indigenous gardening systems to modern transport technology, and from carving or cooking to rituals and magical operations, as well as digital technology. Complementing contemporary approaches of material culture, and issues of heritage, environment, development and technical innovation, these anthropological analyses of techniques show how to link body, mind and materiality through the course of choices, strategies, and actions on materials.

ANTHGC18 - Anthropologies of Religion

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Timothy Carroll

This course addresses the human phenomena of religious and spiritual endeavor from multiple perspectives. Even amongst religious practices that are avowedly anti-materialistic, materials are used extensively in order to make sacred spaces and facilitate experiences of the numinal other. Students will be taught the background to religion as a human phenomenon as well as the theoretical debates concerning the concept and its study. The course will then work through comparative case studies to explore the visual, material, and embodied practices of religious participation and the investigate the impact that such ritual activities have on the human body and subject.

ANTHGC23 - Anthropology of Socialist and Post-Socialist Societies through Text and Film

PG Lecture/Seminar/Film - Timetable

Dr Ruth Mandel

This course introduces students to the so-called ‘second-world’, the socialist world that dominated much of global consciousness- and space- for most of the 20th century. We will focus primarily on a set of themes as they relate to the former Soviet Union, as well as the post-Soviet, post-socialist successor countries. Discussion of texts and weekly films will focus on topics such as revolutionary history, gender, religion, material culture, collectivisation, privatisation, international development, nationalities, and ethnicity. 

ANTHGC25 - Advanced Topics in Digital Culture

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Antonia Walford

Digital data is becoming an inevitable part of everyday life, mediating and instantiating our relationships with other people, the natural world, the past and the future. What can the study of data tell us about emergent forms of social life? And what can anthropology bring to the study of digital data? This course will equip students to engage critically with a range of social, cultural and political issues that surround the increasingly pervasive practices of the production and circulation of data in digital settings.

Each week we will take a different anthropological debate and use it to unpack the ways in which digital data has become intimately entwined in discourses and practices around for example, environmental crisis, the state and surveillance, globalisation, aesthetic representation, kinship, personhood, and property. The course will simultaneously engage students in current theoretical debates in anthropology, teach students how to use these debates to interrogate the claims and promises of digital data, and ask how these debates might be taken in new directions by engaging with digital data as an ethnographic subject.

Guided by different ethnographic studies of data practices drawn from both anthropology and science and technology studies, we will look at questions such as: From what historical context can we understand the rise of digital data in social life? How is digitisation in the natural sciences affecting humans’ relationships with nature? Can a person become their data? In what way are notions of the body changing in data-driven biomedicine? What happens to notions of ownership and property in a digital knowledge economy? How are data practices such as the Quantified Self movement re-shaping notions of selfhood and identity? How can we take the hype around Big Data seriously and critically at the same time? And what does digital data mean for ethnographic practice and anthropological commitments to the field?

ANTHGD12 - Medical Anthropology

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Joseph Calabrese

This course provides a framework by topic on which to construct an analysis of medicine and human wellbeing as practiced in any one system of healing--cosmopolitan, traditional, or hybrid. Examples and readings are drawn from a range of contemporary cultures as well as from ‘classic’ ethnographic texts, addressing in particular how diverse forms of embodiment challenge the anthropologist as participant observer. The course focuses on the ‘therapeutic triangle’ of patient, healer, and community, as well as the manner in which each of these components functions in the construction of illness and wellbeing. In addition, the course examines the cognitive construction of illness and medical expertise, the epistemologies of healing and healing systems, and the ways in which risk and efficacy are understood and managed in therapeutic encounters by individuals and groups.

ANTHGD20 - Aspects of Applied Medical Anthropology

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Jed Stevenson

This seminar will explore the intersections between anthropology, medicine, and population health - the field of social medicine or applied medical anthropology. We will read and interrogate classic and contemporary studies from the anthropology and medical literatures; policy documents from the World Health Organisation and major philanthropic foundations; and the recently published UCL Lancet Commission on Culture and Health. The goal of the seminar is to equip students to critically evaluate and apply anthropological ideas to current problems in medicine and public health.

ANTHGE02 - Ecology of Human Groups

PG Seminar – Timetable

Prof Katherine Homewood

This course introduces the ecology of four different types of rural production system in less developed countries: Gathering/hunting societies, farmers, pastoralists and fishers. The course combines social and natural sciences approaches to the study of rural populations in developing countries. Starting with rather separate bodies of knowledge the course aims to integrate insights and perspectives from the different disciplines as the course goes along. You may find the following journals useful general browsing: Human Ecology, Development and Change.

Meetings commonly involve an hour of staff talks outlining general principles behind the topic, and an hour of student presentations and discussion - these are backed up by several hours directed reading each week. 

ANTHGE03 - Population and Development

PG Seminar - Timetable

Prof Sara Randall

The course examines topical issues in population distribution and dynamics which are relevant to development and development interventions, with a particular focus on fertility and mortality in developing countries. Data collection methods are a constant theme and we reflect on how these influence both academic and interventionist perspectives on population issues. 

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of demographic variation and the forces of demographic change in developing countries.
  2. Appreciate the complexity and ramifications of interventions and change in demographic behaviour.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of data collection and interpretation problems faced by field researchers and fieldworkers using population data.
  4. Show sensitivity to different disciplinary approaches to and interpretations of demographic issues.

ANTHGF02 - An Introduction to Social Theory – a foundation course

PG Seminar - Timetable

Prof Michael Stewart

This course is intended to provide students taking masters degrees within SLASH departments who have no prior, university level, social science expertise with an introduction to the history and current pertinence of social thought and the research methodologies associated with different schools.

The course is specifically designed for students taking masters programs which are using a social science perspective or approach in order to broaden and deepen a line of enquiry or practice. This includes the MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film and Digital Anthropology but is designed to appeal to a much broader constituency beyond anthropology as well.

ANTHGH08 - Evolution of Human Brain, Cognition and Language

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Lucio Vinicius

The module will analyse human cognition from evolutionary and functional perspectives. The first part of the module places the human brain in a comparative and evolutionary context. The second part analyses differences and similarities between the human mind and other forms of animal cognition, and evolutionary models of brain and cognitive evolution, with emphasis on cultural intelligence models. The final part of the module is dedicated to language. We analyse the theories proposed by Chomsky, Pinker, the idea of a ‘universal grammar’, recent research in neurolinguistics, and models of language origins.

ANTHGH15 - Primate Socioecology

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Prof Volker Sommer

The course focuses on current Darwinian theories about the evolution of primate societies. About 250 species including humans belong to this mammalian order. Like all animals, they are faced with the problems of how to survive, breed and rear offspring. Some animals do better in this regard than others - they have a higher reproductive success and their genetic information is more frequently represented in future generations. The social behaviour of primates is particularly complex and can be viewed as reflecting attempts to maximise genetic fitness. The course asks how primates organise their social and reproductive strategies to adapt to specific environmental conditions and how these challenges are reflected in their cognitive abilities. The course also creates awareness for the plight of our closest living relatives as their existence on this planet is increasingly endangered.

ANTHGH16 - Palaeoanthropology

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr María Martinón-Torres

This course will take you on a journey through the last 7 million years of evolution and introduce you to our ancestors (who they were, what they looked like and where they lived) in order to discover what ‘being human’ means and how we came to be such peculiar apes. This course will present the evidence for human evolution within a dynamic palaebiological frame. Lectures will introduce the different hominin taxa by addressing the key evolutionary milestones associated with human origins such as changes in type of locomotion, diet, body/size proportion, brain evolution and behaviour/culture. Lab sessions will focus on familiarization with the most representative fossils and the methodology and techniques necessary to interpret the fossil record. The weekly seminars will be strongly research-based, incorporating the latest findings, publications and debates in the palaeoanthropological field.

ANTHGS17 - History and Aesthetics of Documentary

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Mark Le Fanu

Through the presentation of a range of ethnographic, documentary, fiction and ‘current affairs/news’ films (including historic material) we will explore the ways in which film can frame and convey ethnographic investigation. We will look at the basic possibilities and limitations of film for going beyond traditional written ethnography to communicate the significance, style and substance of other modes of life as well as considering film as a distinct means to explore social interaction through what you might describe as its ‘call to performance.’

Against the grain of current trends, rather than read films ‘intertextually,’ or as part of a closed world of ‘discourse’ we will endeavour, together, to discover the historical and social contexts in which filmic ethics and aesthetics have developed. It has become fashionable to lament a past when ethnographers were ‘orientalists.’ One of the dangers of such interpretive strategies is that they tend to glorify ourselves in a distorted mirror of ‘post modern otherness’. This course will encourage you to question such naïve (and patronising) approaches.

ANTHGS20 - Practical Documentary Filmmaking

PG Lecture - Timetable

Sandhya Suri and Vikram Jayanti

The course is led by award winning directors Vikram Jayanti and Sandhya Suri (I for India) and focuses on self-shooting skills, with a focus on the fundamentals of observational filming. Students will shoot, record sound, edit and direct their own film, learning to respond to an undirected actuality and structure their footage into a compelling film.

You will acquire the technical skills needed to complete a 10 minute video project using the cameras, workstations and facilities in the department's visual laboratory. Students will acquire practical, analytical and intellectual skills in using moving image and sound recording equipment and discover how new technologies create new methodologies. During the course students will examine and deploy a range of the technical, aesthetic, and representational dynamics involved in documentary construction. By doing so, participants will become more informed as well as practically experienced commentators on the 'truths', 'fictions', styles, genres, ethics and modes of filmmaking. You will recognise the potential of film to document research, and have explored issues of representation and audience reception.

Students undertaking the course in either term 1 or term 2, will have full access to the UCL Anthropology Audio Visual Lab with Premiere CC and Adobe Creative Suite enabled machines as well as professional camera kits (shared one between two students) for the duration of the course. Students will have a further five weeks at the end of the course to complete their film project.

You can see examples of films made by previous students at our testimonials page.

This course can also be taken as ANTHGS25 in term two. A reduced lab fee is required for those taking the course for UCL credit (please contact tom@opencitylondon.comfor more details). This course is available to external candidates for £1600.

Please note participants are also required to bring two external hard-drives on the course. Cameras are shared with one other person. Students using UCL Anthropology cameras are responsible for any loss, damage or repair costs. Any failure to reimburse the department will result in a debt to UCL with the standard consequences.

BOOK NOW

You can find more film courses at our courses page: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/film-courses

ANTHGS21 - Statistics and Causal Analysis for Qualitative Social Scientists

PG Lecture - Timetable

Dr Lucio Vinicius

This course introduces statistics and the R language from their very basics. The course assumes no background knowledge of either statistics or statistical software. Topics covered in the first module (Term 1) include an introduction to statistics in R, distributions, hypothesis testing (t-tests, proportion tests, ANOVA), correlation, linear regression, multivariate statistics (multiple regression, PCA, discriminant analysis) and logistic regression. The second, more advanced module (Term 2) introduces survival analysis, Poisson regression, non-linear curve fitting, phylogenetic methods, mixed effects models, and multilevel analysis. It is expected that at the end of the two modules students will be familiar with the quantitative methods most frequently used in Anthropological research.

ANTHGS30 - Ethnography of a Selected Area

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

TBC

This course will explore themes in the ethnography of a region referring to topics identified by previous anthropological research. Special attention will be paid to current themes of interest. Students will get a good sense of the direction in which future research is headed.

ANTHGS72 - Anthropology of India

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Alison Macdonald

This course addresses classical and contemporary anthropological perspectives on India from the post-independence era onwards. The course introduces students to key ethnographically driven debates concerning the major processes of social change and political development in India, and the way this has transformed the everyday lives of Indian people across a range of themes including social stratification, religious and caste politics, biotechnological intervention, consumption, asceticism and morality, marriage, love and personhood. In particular, the course analyses the novel socio-cultural forms that arise from India’s economic reform and modernisation by paying close attention to ethnographic knowledge and everyday vernacular practice.

ANTHGT03 - Mass Consumption and Design

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Adam Drazin

The course examines the key historical literature on mass consumption and critical approaches to the theory of culture as a form of objectification. We then evaluate the ways in which the paradigm of design as a cultural field continues or replaces the paradigm of consumption in social relationships and identities. The course covers ethnographic studies of the role of goods in everyday life, as well as examinations of the role of corporations and multinationals and goods as mediators of their presence in social life. (The course replaces, and partly continues, the older option in media and mass consumption)


Term 2 Options


ANTHGC03 - Art in the Public Sphere

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Rafael Schacter

Exploring the public sphere as a place of communication and contestation, transmission and transformation, engagement and estrangement, this course will provide an anthropological approach to art in public space. Examining independent and institutional art practices, from the apparent “vandalism” of graffiti to the authorized projects of contemporary Public Art, it will explore the social, political and economic debates which these practises both implicitly intersect with and overtly investigate. The course will focus in particular on the concept of public and publicity, community and the commons. It will also include guest lectures and workshops by artists as well as explorations of particular exhibitions and events in a local context.

ANTHGC12 - Anthropology of the Built Environment

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Victor Buchli

Buildings are good to think. 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. The course will be structured chronologically beginning with early anthropological encounters with built forms and the philosophical, historical and social context of these approaches up to the present day within anthropology.

ANTHGC21 - Social Construction of Landscape

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Prof Chris Tilley

Landscapes are never inert: people engage with them, re-work them, appropriate them and contest them. They are part of the way in which identities are created and disputed. Criss-crossing between history and politics, social relations and cultural perceptions, landscape is a ‘concept of high tension’. It is also an area of study that blows apart from conventional boundaries between disciplines. 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’.

ANTHGD10 - Anthropologies of Science, Society and Biomedicine

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Sahra Gibbon

This course will critically engage with recent anthropological research and theory addressing the social and cultural context of novel developments in the field of genetics, biotechnology and the life/medical sciences.  These shape shifting arenas of science and technology and their actual or predicted implications for questions of disease risk, collective/individual identity and the politics and ethics of health care has been the focus of much recent research within medical anthropology, STS (Science and Technology Studies) and the anthropology of science.  The course incorporates emerging research in different national contexts that include the ‘global south’ drawing on ethnographic work in Asia and South America to provide a critical comparative perspective on these transnational developments. 

ANTHGD11 - Anthropology and Psychiatry

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Prof Roland Littlewood

Through a series of seminars involving personal reading and presentation, the course examines (a) popular understandings of psychology, self-hood and abnormal experience in different societies, and how they may be organised into a body of knowledge; (b) the relationship between popular and professional notions of "mental illness" and their roots in the wider social, economic and ideological aspects of particular societies, with particular respect to women and minority groups; (c) the contribution of academic psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis to social anthropology.The subjects include the development of colonial psychiatry and of ethno psychiatry; the experience and classification of sickness and dysphoria; is therapy universal?; the cultural specificity of abnormal experience and social response; psychoactive substance use; the self, its body and its emotional states; gender and mental illness; racism and mental illness-symbolic embodiments; psychoanalysis and anthropology.

ANTHGD21 - Ritual Healing and Therapeutic Emplotment

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Joseph Calabrese

This course covers ritual healing practices and "emplotment" in therapeutic narratives in small scale societies and in modern biomedical settings. It will include discussions of ritual, symbolism, narrative, clinical care, postcolonial revitalization movements, spirit possession, and the social production and ethnographic description of healing experiences in sociopolitical context. The course will combine the perspectives of medical anthropology, psychological anthropology and the social anthropology of religion and ritual.

ANTHGD22 - Anthropology of Ethics and Morality

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Joanna Cook

This course will critically engage with recent medical anthropological work addressing the role of ethics and morality in anthropological practice and ethnographic endeavor. In this course we will unpack the problematics of medical anthropology’s engagement with ethics and morality, examining the questions surrounding morality and ethics as a result of developing an academically rigorous and socially engaged discipline, and the effects of taking concerns for well-being and the good life seriously as the focus of ethnographic enquiry.

ANTHGD23 - Reproduction, sex and sexuality

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Aaron Parkhurst

The course will apply different theoretical and disciplinary approaches to the study of contemporary issues in reproduction, sex and sexuality.

Each week will examine a different theme with readings from different perspectives (medical anthropology, demography, biological anthropology, social anthropology, biomedical sciences, psychology etc.)

  1. Sex, sexuality and gender
  2. NRTs
  3. Love hormones and bonding
  4. Sterility and infertility
  5. Pregnancy loss: miscarriage, still birth, abortion
  6. Adolescent sex and reproduction
  7. Breastfeeding
  8. Migration, reproduction and care
  9. Low fertility

Students will also be expected to identify a reading of their own each week and circulate a summary.

ANTHGD28 - Biosocial Anthropology, Health and Environment

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Sahra Gibbon

This course will critically examine and engage with approaches, topics and themes related to Biosocial Medical Anthropology. Developing a cross disciplinary perspective it will consider and address the importance, utility and challenges of productively aligning ecological, environmental and cultural-historical approaches in the context of disease, chronic illness, health and medicine.

ANTHGE06 - Anthropology of Development

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Marc Brightman

The course will cover major topics in the anthropology of development. The course will look at debates about the aims and purpose of development and consider questions about what makes a good society and what is ‘good change’.  This will be contrasted with the actual workings of the development industry in the context of greater processes of international political economy and globalization. The course will explore anthropological critiques of development from a wide range of angles and variety of scales (international, national, local, project). It will use a broad range of ethnographic material to look at both the workings of the development industry and its impacts on the people it seeks to benefit.

ANTHGH02 - Advanced Human Evolution – Evolution of Social Behaviour using Comparative Methods

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Kit Opie

Comparison is fundamental to evolutionary anthropology. This course will explore the use of comparative methods to investigate the evolution of social behaviour in primates, hominins and modern humans. In particular we will focus on the use of the latest phylogenetics methods (using family trees of the relationships between species or cultures) to test evolutionary hypotheses about the origin and drivers of change in social systems. ‘Tree thinking’ is one of the new approaches currently gaining ground in evolutionary anthropology, and these methods have already been used to study many aspects of social behaviour including: the evolution of primate mating and social systems, hominin dietary adaptation and brain evolution, and the evolution of political and kinship systems. There will be a practical session to learn the basics of the new phylogenetic techniques.

The course will be assessed by a 3,000-word essay.

ANTHGH14 - Human Behavioural Ecology

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Andrea Migliano

This course is about the evolution of behaviour in humans. It examines how much of the variation in human behaviour can be understood in terms of maximizing reproductive success in different ecological and social circumstances. There is increasing recognition that Darwinian approaches can contribute to our understanding of human demography, health, psychology and culture, in hunter-gatherer, traditional and modern agricultural and post-industrial societies. The course will cover those aspects of our behaviour and life history that have parallels in numerous species, and also those that are uniquely human (such as menopause and the demographic transition), including how cultural evolution has influenced our behaviour.

ANTHGH17 - Primate Evolution

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Christophe Soligo

The course will focus on key events/phases of primate evolution, from the origin of the order through to the modern day.  Specific topics will be chosen each year following the latest developments in the field, but will tend to focus on central issues, in particular the environmental and chronological context of major clade diversifications and the ways in which environmental variability has shaped aspects of primate evolution.  As such, the module will aim to communicate knowledge of issues of key current interest including the natural patterns of environmental change and past biotic responses to such change in primate evolution.

ANTHGS03 - Risk, Power and Uncertainty

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Allen Abramson

This course sets out to explore risk, power and uncertainty. Why so? Because, increasingly, late modern settings come to be specified and evaluated in terms of the hazards, risks and uncertainties they appear to generate: more so, perhaps, than the inequities, oppressions and alienations that formerly characterised the social analysis of modern malaise. The extent of this shift; the reasons for it; the place of power in its operation; its socio-cultural (and indeed, cosmological) implications are all matters of controversy that need to be rigorously examined. The course begins with a brief survey of pre-modern notions of fate, destiny and magical protection; moves onto consider key contributions in the anthropology of risk (Douglas); assesses the applicability of the concept of 'chaos' in socio-cultural anthropology; and concludes with a critical examination of the sociology of 'the risk society' (Beck) and associated ideas. The second part of the course tackles a series of special issues chosen from areas of science, environment, medicine, politics, marginality, material culture, art, finance, gambling and extreme play. It is intended that the course will link together social, biological and material cultural trends in contemporary anthropology.

ANTHGS18 - Linguistic Anthropology

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Alexandra Pillen

This course explores the linguistic construction of gendered cultures. It is built around a set of key ethnographies on language and gender:

  • Veiled sentiments - Abu-Lughod
  • The hidden life of girls – Goodwin
  • Masking terror – Argenti
  • Vicarious language – Inoue
  • Pronouncing and persevering – Hirsch
  • Eloquence in trouble - Wilce
  • I could speak until tomorrow – Barber
  • Gender in Crisis - Peteet
  • In the realm of the diamond queen - Tsing
  • Beauty and power – Johnson

The lectures include multi-media presentations, and draw on theory within contemporary linguistic anthropology. First of all we consider linguistic relativism, and the language socialization of boys and girls in differing cultural contexts. This initial debate provides a framework to consider gendered affective regimes, soundscapes, and verbal art. Finally, we consider the impact of rapid cultural change, globalization and modernization on language and gender: the loss of genres/gender, the postmodern construction of voices, and emerging rhetorical and ironic selves.

ANTHGS25 - Practical Documentary Filmmaking (Lab-based)

PG Lecture - Timetable

Sandhya Suri

The course is led by award winning director Sandhya Suri (I for India) and focuses on self-shooting skills, with a focus on the fundamentals of observational filming. Students will shoot, record sound, edit and direct their own film, learning to respond to an undirected actuality and structure their footage into a compelling film.

You will acquire the technical skills needed to complete a 10 minute video project using the cameras, workstations and facilities in the department's visual laboratory. Students will acquire practical, analytical and intellectual skills in using moving image and sound recording equipment and discover how new technologies create new methodologies. During the course students will examine and deploy a range of the technical, aesthetic, and representational dynamics involved in documentary construction. By doing so, participants will become more informed as well as practically experienced commentators on the 'truths', 'fictions', styles, genres, ethics and modes of filmmaking. You will recognise the potential of film to document research, and have explored issues of representation and audience reception.

Students undertaking the course in either term 1 or term 2, will have full access to the UCL Anthropology Audio Visual Lab with Premiere CC and Adobe Creative Suite enabled machines as well as professional camera kits (shared one between two students) for the duration of the course. Students will have a further five weeks at the end of the course to complete their film project.

You can see examples of films made by previous students at our testimonials page.

This course can also be taken as ANTHGS20 in term one. A reduced lab fee is required for those taking the course for UCL credit (please contact tom@opencitylondon.com for more details). This course is available to external candidates for £1600.

Please note participants are also required to bring two external hard-drives on the course. Cameras are shared with one other person. Students using UCL Anthropology cameras are responsible for any loss, damage or repair costs.  Any failure to reimburse the department will result in a debt to UCL with the standard consequences.

*You have access to UCL facilities for a further six weeks after formal teaching on the course in order to complete your film.

BOOK NOW

ANTHGS31 - Current Themes in Social Anthropology

UG Lecture; PG Seminar - Timetable

TBC

This course will explore a selected topic in social anthropological research. Potential topics are religion, kinship and economics. Special attention will be paid to current research on the topic. Students will get a good sense of the direction in which future research is headed.

ANTHGS32 - The Social Forms of Revolution

PG Seminar - Timetable

Prof Martin Holbraad

Drawing on research conducted as part of a 5-year comparative research project on the anthropology of revolutions, this course introduced students to the social dimensions of revolutionary politics. Grounded in ethnographic accounts of revolutionary situations in different parts of the world, and adopting a comparative perspective on them, the course will address such themes as revolutionary personhood and the social corollaries of the politics of the (so-called) New Man, revolutionary asceticism, ethnographies of political textualities, social utopias and heterotopias, charisma, leadership and political mediation, social engineering and its pitfalls, technologies of political planning, and more.

ANTHGM02 - Digital Infrastructure: Materiality, Information and Politics

PG Seminar - Timetable

Dr Hannah Knox

This course will explore how digital technologies are affecting people’s everyday lives, by approaching digital technologies as infrastructures. In the face of globalisation and the challenge that this has posed to community-based studies of cultural processes anthropologists have become increasingly interested in how large scale technical systems such communications networks, energy infrastructures, roads, water and waste systems might act as fruitful sites for conducting an ethnographies of contemporary relations. Infrastructures connect people across space and time, operationalising cultural ideas about progress and development. At the same time they bring together diverse interest groups who see in infrastructural systems different kinds of possibilities and threats. Appearing as sites of both conflict and cooperation between government officials, corporate actors, NGOs and local populations, infrastructures therefore offer a powerful means of understanding the formation of political imaginaries such as the state, the market, the environment, the nation, the community and the public and their effects in everyday life.

Building on this recent work within the anthropology of infrastructure and applying it to digital technologies, the course will covers issues such as the role of digital technologies in mediating relationships between citizens, corporations and the state, the place that digital media are playing in constructing social and political imaginaries, the material basis of digital communication and the emergence of the Internet of Things as a new realm of social relating.

ANTHGM03 - The Anthropology of Social Media

PG Lecture and Seminar - Timetable

Prof Daniel Miller

This course presents the results of a nine site comparative study of Social Media called the Global Social Media Impact Study. It uses this material to consider the nature, use and impact of social media, the potential of comparative anthropology, the dissemination of anthropological research and conclusions, and the implications for general anthropological questions about the nature of humanity and technology.



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