AN151 Introduction to Anthropology (Dr Ela Drazkiewicz)
Anthropology, from the Greek anthropos meaning 'human' and logia meaning 'study', is the discipline that explores the full richness of human beings and their cultures, past and present. Anthropology is a comparative and theoretical subject, and here in Maynooth we place particular emphasis on the knowledge that emerges from anthropological fieldwork. Anthropologists do fieldwork, write ethnographic texts, and make contributions to a body of theoretical knowledge; we explore these distinctive styles of research and representation. In fieldwork, anthropologists gather information about people and places, creating diverse forms of data: interview transcripts, life histories, village diagrams, maps, kinship genealogies, grammars and dictionaries, photos, videos of rituals or political protests, recordings of myths and songs, material artefacts, and much more. The data anthropologists collect in fieldwork is made intelligible through its relationship to a set of questions within anthropological theory. So when writing 'ethnography,' anthropologists weave interpretations of these data into detailed descriptive analyses of social and cultural life, often hoping to yield theoretical insight. Through a close reading of ethnographic texts, and through the completion of small projects/assignments, in this module we hope to understand the unique sensibility guiding anthropological ways of creating new knowledge about the world
AN155 The Anthropology of Performance (Dr Steve Coleman)
This module will introduce students to the ethnographic study of cultural performance. Performance is central to the social life of societies, and research into performance is one of the most effective ways of understanding sociocultural dynamics in particular places. We will introduce ourselves to several theoretical concepts in performance studies, including framing, performativity, remediation, semiotics of performance, and recent extensions and critiques of performance theory. As part of the module we will also investigate the ways in which film and video have been used both as research tools for documenting and studying performance, as well as being important media of cultural performance themselves.
AN152 Introduction to Anthropology 2 (Dr Thomas Strong)
Everyone today is faced with an important question: how do we understand and relate to others who have very different beliefs about the world?
As a discipline, anthropology seeks to render the familiar strange, and the strange familiar. We often attempt to turn encounters with ‘foreign’ or ‘strange’ beliefs into occasions for creating fresh knowledge about social and cultural life, and into opportunities for gaining a deeper understanding of human beings. For example, in many parts of the world today, people live in fear of the malicious influence of those they believe to be witches. This module samples diverse contemporary and historical cases of witchcraft phenomena, including a famous Irish case, in order to introduce and contemplate fundamental topics of anthropological inquiry. By closely examining cultural difference and putatively ‘exotic’ beliefs, anthropology provokes us to question our own ‘taken for granted’ assumptions about the world.
This module continues the comprehensive first-year introduction to the discipline, covering a range of topics in which the problem of cultural difference comes into especially sharp focus. These include: moral and epistemological relativism, differing ideas about nature, the varied ways in which people around the world understand kinship, diverse systems for understanding affliction and healing, and cosmologies that posit the active influence of ancestral ghosts and spiritual beings in the everyday lives of people. Through an ‘ethnographic exercise’—a small fieldwork and interpretation project—students are encouraged to begin viewing social and cultural phenomena ‘close to home’ through anthropological eyes.
Anthropology, from the Greek anthropos meaning 'human' and logia meaning 'study', is the discipline that explores the full richness of human beings and their cultures, past and present. Anthropology is a comparative and theoretical subject, and here in Maynooth we place particular emphasis on the knowledge that emerges from anthropological fieldwork. Anthropologists do fieldwork, write ethnographic texts, and make contributions to a body of theoretical knowledge; we explore these distinctive styles of research and representation. In fieldwork, anthropologists gather information about people and places, creating diverse forms of data: interview transcripts, life histories, village diagrams, maps, kinship genealogies, grammars and dictionaries, photos, videos of rituals or political protests, recordings of myths and songs, material artefacts, and much more. The data anthropologists collect in fieldwork is made intelligible through its relationship to a set of questions within anthropological theory. So when writing 'ethnography,' anthropologists weave interpretations of these data into detailed descriptive analyses of social and cultural life, often hoping to yield theoretical insight. Through a close reading of ethnographic texts, and through the completion of small projects/assignments, in this module we hope to understand the unique sensibility guiding anthropological ways of creating new knowledge about the world.
AN156 The Anthropology of Zombies & Aliens (Dr Jamie Saris)
This is a course about how humans imagine creatures both like and unlike themselves who also pose existential dangers to their own societies. Roughly speaking, there are two endpoints to how this imagining works in the modern moment, with, on the one hand, zombies, being conceived of as humans without language and dominated by insatiable appetites, and aliens, on the other hand, possessed of both advanced technology and social organization that are conceived of as beyond human abilities. Using recent ethnography, popular media and classic theory, we examine this near-abroad of human anxieties, speculations and even humour.
AN221 Research and Writing (Dr Jamie Saris)
This module is a general survey of the main theoretical approaches in social and cultural anthropology from its early modern roots until the present. We will pursue a critical study of the schools of thought that prevailed within the discipline at different times and examine a selection of ethnographies that represent them.
AN222 Linguistic Anthropology (Dr Steve Coleman)
This module explores some of the ways we use language and speech to make and remake ourselves and investigates a few of the ways that social organisation, social relationships, and identity are mediated through talk.
AN229 Medical Anthropology (Dr Thomas Strong)
This course offers an introduction to medical anthropology. If sickness and suffering are universal aspects of the human condition, it is also true that disease and illness are always experienced within historically specific sociocultural frameworks. Putting sickness into social context, in this course we tarry with the proposition that disease is never just about biology. Rather, we view health and illness as produced by and within hybrid and dynamic 'biosocial' milieux, melding the somatic and the semiotic, culture and corporeality, body and mind. In exploring sickness across societies with an eclectic aetiology of this sort, medical anthropology takes seriously diverse ways of knowing and treating disorder, sometimes questioning (and sometimes supporting) the magisterial social position of Western biomedicine. This course thus explores mysteries and meanings of affliction and convalescence as occasions for considering some of anthropology's most enduring conceptual quandaries, tackling head-on questions such as: the epistemological status and ritual efficacy of both ‘faith’ and ‘science,’ colonialism and cultural confrontation, embodiment and the social construction of the body, medical power and (global) social inequality, the politics of reproduction and gender inequality, modernity and political economies of hope.
AN230 Area Studies I: North America (Dr Chandana Mathur)
This module intertwines an overview of the anthropology of North America with an intellectual history of American cultural anthropology, with a specific focus on race, militarism and the history of labour in the United States.
AN232 Economic Anthropology (Dr Ela Drazkiewicz)
This module takes up and deals with all the controversial and “messy” parts of the economy that formal economics sets aside. Tough questions are posed about human nature, power and social life. Students will read in detail about the economic lives of people in many different kinds of societies, and about the major issues of poverty and development that shape the world. Economic anthropology is directly concerned with the most central anthropological issues of human nature, choice, values, and morality. This course gives students a solid basis for thinking about the different ways we explain human behaviour, thought, and culture and provides a foundation for applying anthropological knowledge to real-world situations.
AN227 Anthropological Research and Writing (Prof David Prendergast)
This course of lectures and tutorials explores how anthropological field research is designed and carried out in settings ranging from remote villages to urban settings, from organic communities of people to highly formalized organizations, whether in a foreign country or one's own native country. The course addresses how such research gets written up as ethnographies and how such ethnographies are read. Students will learn practical ethnographic field techniques by carrying out a field exercise in participant-observation, and will learn how to design an anthropological research project, including planning, fieldwork, analysis and write-up phases, by writing up a proposal for an actual research project (which they have the option of carrying out as a BA thesis in the third year). Moreover, students will learn the epistemological foundations of anthropological research, as well as the ethics of anthropological research.
AN228 Material Culture (Dr Pauline Garvey)
This module looks at anthropological approaches to material culture, from spectacular monuments of the built environment to the commodities that furnish domestic life. Through diverse ethnographies, we will focus on the active role of the material world to mediate, constitute and intervene in human relationships.
AN231A Area Studies II: Africa (Dr Abdullahi El-Tom)
This Course aims at familiarising the student with definitive works that have led to the current representation of Africa in anthropology and social science circles. The Course debates a wide array of classic and contemporary articles and books on the Continent. In order to enable students to form their own perspectives, the Course will be critical but not conclusive. The Course will also be useful for those who are interested in early theoretical developments of anthropology.
AN234 Anthropological Approaches to Poverty & Development (Dr Chandana Mathur)
This module tries to familiarise students with critical anthropological perspectives on global poverty and inequality, and the efforts to address it, using a core ethnography and shorter theoretical texts. It begins by considering the long historical process of the making of the contemporary Global South, and goes on to probe the exacerbation of global inequality in the era of globalisation. Excerpts from key texts by Worsley, Appadurai and Scheper-Hughes are among the readings assigned for the first segment of this module. The second segment is based on a close textual reading of the classic ethnography on the subject of development, James Ferguson's 'The Anti-Politics Machine'. This module is a standalone module offered in the Anthropology Department; it is also the second half of the elective stream 'Perspectives on Poverty and Development', which is a teaching collaboration between the International Development and the Anthropology departments.
AN237 Legal Anthropology (Dr Anne Fitzgerald)
This course examines the relationship between legal processes and other aspects of social, economic, and political life. Through applying an anthropological perspective, this module looks at the law from a cross-cultural perspective and examines how societies across the world define and practice social ordering. The course considers contemporary debates within the field, including on topics of human rights and legal pluralism. Through paying attention to diverse meanings of legal practices around the world it asks what are the implications of different legal practices for national, and transnational socio-political and economic arrangements.
AN301 Contemporary Theory and Ethnography I (Dr Ela Drazkiewicz)
This compulsory course looks at contemporary theory and ethnographic approaches in anthropology.
AN302 Special Topics in Anthropology 2 (Saints, Scholars, and Social Scientists: Ireland and the Ethnographic Imaginary) (Frank Szabo)
The island of Ireland has been the object of the anthropological gaze since before the foundation of the Irish state. Indeed, this area of the world was variously figured as a locus of the 'mystical', 'savage', and 'exotic' since the advent of the discipline, and this shaped international perceptions of 'the Irish'. Throughout much of the twentieth century, anthropologists invariably focused upon the rural village as a unit of cultural analysis; the workings of the 'traditional community' reflected those of an entire country. However, having experienced a belated modernisation and a cessation of sectarian violence in recent decades, Ireland can be said to have become a 'zone[s] of cultural invisibility' (Rosaldo: 1988) for anthropologists. In this module, students will be required to engage with canonical ethnographic accounts of Ireland and the Irish, more current ethnographic writing about Ireland, as well as analysing contemporary Irish culture through an anthropological lens.
AN307 Thesis Draft (Dr Thomas Strong)
This course involves the preparation and writing up of data collected for a B.A. thesis.
AN309 Globalisation (Dr Abdullahi El-Tom)
This course explores the concept of globalization, which has come to dominate the social sciences in the last two decades. We will begin with a consideration of the existence and definition of the concept and proceed to discuss its key principles: homogenization; hybridization; cross-cultural consumption; disappearance of home; de-territorialization and demise of state borders. The Course will also take a critical look at the alleged promises of globalization and its possible alternatives.
AN315 Anthropology, Creativity & Innovation (Dr Peter Robbins)
Anthropologists working in areas such as design ethnography interact with the tools and models of creativity and innovation. However, these tools and models have not yet been transferred into the classroom for undergraduate students. This module includes some discussion of design ethnography, but the focus is on creative skills. Every organisation needs creativity, and creative skills are in short supply. All innovation starts with an idea and every idea begins with a spark of creativity. In organisations as diverse as Google and Oxfam, it's the creative people who are driving and leading positive change. In this module you will learn the tools and models of creativity and innovation. You will discover the components of individual creativity and learn techniques to boost your own creativity as well as learning how to increase the creative competence of the teams and people with whom you work. Innovation is a means of pursuing an opportunity of solving a problem and hence innovation and problem solving are two sides of the same coin. You will learn about the different types of innovation and how to facilitate people and processes to deliver the results you need.
AN338 Anthropology & the Environment (Dr Chandana Mathur)
The anthropologist Eric Wolf coined the term 'political ecology' in 1972. Since then, anthropologists have made significant contributions to the interdisciplinary field of political ecology, exploring the networks of power underlying human-environment relationships. This module will familiarise students with these contributions, theoretical as well as ethnographic.
AN304 Contemporary Theory and Ethnography II (Dr Pauline Garvey)
A close reading and discussion of recent theory and important ethnographies, with attention to theory and methods that go into their production.
AN305 Special Topics in Anthropology 2 (Clutter, Chaos and Cosmology) (Tara McAssey)
Clutter and its tyrannical hold over our lives is oft-cited as one of the most pressing and problematic aspects of modern consumption. Pathologized and decreed as a modern excess- an “affluenza”, if you will, clutter is subject to cultural valuations around normative discourses of value, order and morality. That which cannot be contained is deemed to be not only unruly and ‘dis-ordered’, but is afforded significant agency with a creeping, insidious sense of threat to our homes, health and happiness. This module will confront and unpack these assumptions through an anthropological lens by paying attention to practices of intentional consumption, recycling and discard. Themes explored will include second-hand consumption practices, design aesthetics, domesticity and alternative forms of exchange.
AN314 Famine (Dr Abdullahi El-Tom)
This Course explores famine as a process that has existed throughout human history and as a concept in popular, political and academic discourse. Issues debated will include: theories of famine; famine Early Warning Systems; the politics of food production; cultural and structural impact of famine aid and other methods of intervention; media images of famine. The great Irish famine will be considered alongside contemporary examples from Africa and Asia.
AN318 Thesis II
This course involves the writing up and completion of a B.A. thesis.
AN336 Semiotic Anthropology (Dr Steve Coleman)
his module explores contemporary anthropological applications of Charles S. Peirce's semiotic theory. The concept of "semiosis" (the action of signs) is useful for understanding relations between human and non-human agency, between discursive meaning (as in language) and other forms of action and agency, and for understanding the qualitative, sensuous dimensions of culture and social life. We will explore the theoretical bases of semiotics as method and theory, and critically read a few recent ethnographies which focus on the relations between the "human" and "natural" realms.
AN337 Consuming Digital Media (Dr Pauline Garvey)
In this module, we will examine human practices online and offline, and consider the diverse socio-cultural ways that people engage with digital media.
AN339 Troubling Identities: Activisim & Anthropology Today (Dr Thomas Strong)
This seminar focuses a reflexive and critical anthropological lens on contemporary identity politics. The module samples historical genealogies of identities today, as well as philosophical, social scientific, and historical analyses of how ‘the self’ has come to be a key problem in contemporary society. We will review several of the dominant frameworks that shape contemporary identity politics, including multiculturalism and the politics of recognition, representation and cultural appropriation, inequality and intersectionality, and so on. Moving from the emergent norms and forms that make identity intelligible as a political problem, the seminar also focuses on activist strategies and tactics in this arena. Substantial attention will be given to anti-racist activism in Ireland, the US, and elsewhere, as well as to the mutating global politics of gender and sexuality, including especially queer and trans* perspectives.
AN651 Social Thought (10 credits) (Compulsory Module for all MA students)
This module provides an advanced foundation to key social theories, especially from the European Enlightenment tradition but also including the work of recent post-structural and postcolonial figures. Social and cultural anthropology draws influences from social theory, and advanced students of anthropology are expected to become familiar with key contributions to understanding what constitutes the human, the range of human diversity, the nature of “nature”, the power of social categories, that the capacity in societies to change or develop alternatives. This module introduces key figures such as Hobbes and Rousseau, together with Marx, Foucault, and contemporary postcolonial writers. Students will be challenged to grapple with different theories, comparing and contrasting theories before developing their own analysis.
AN653 Writing Cultures (10 credits) (Compulsory Module for all MA students)
Ethnography most commonly describes a core methodological tool in anthropology, but it is also an epistemological tool that anthropologists employ in positioning ourselves and others in the ‘field’ of research. In this module, we will explore changing attitudes to research methods in anthropology and use key examples to foreshadow preparations for student research proposals. We will read some classic ethnographic texts while considering a range of methodological problems: entry to the ‘field’, data collection, inter-subjective dimensions of fieldwork experience. Moreover, students will be encouraged to think more broadly about new territories of ethnographic endeavour such as ethnography in corporate encounters, sensory ethnography and current approaches to gathering, writing and disseminating knowledge.
AN646 Foundations of Linguistic Anthropology (5 credits) (Compulsory for Linguistic Students; Optional for all other MA Students)
This module offers an advanced introduction to Linguistic Anthropology, focusing on classic theory and its recent extensions. The module features:
- A concise introduction to linguistic form and structure;
- A survey of historical theories and methodologies for the study of language in use (interactional sociolinguistics, Conversation Analysis, the ethnography of speaking);
- The development of conceptual tools for the semiotic analysis of language and related cultural forms;
- Analysis of language style, processes of social, gender and ethnic identification, and communities of practice;
- Introduction to the anthropology of poetic speech, performance, and literary texts;
- Methodologies for the study of social life of language from face-to-face interaction to the formation of large-scale publics;
- Exploration of new cultural and linguistic forms emerging in electronically-mediated communication.
AN647 Foundations of Medical Anthropology (5 credits) (Optional for all MA students)
This module offers an advance introduction to the broad field of Medical Anthropology, focusing on the classical anthropological contributions to this important subfield, from the work of Klienman and Goode to current debates about Global health, health care systems; care more generally, and social suffering, medically and psychologically. Students will refer to key work in the area, such as studies of ethno-medicine, critiques of bio-medicine, healing and health care. Students will explore ethnographic work on patient-physician relationships, the social and community contexts of care provision, and the impact of bio-medicine on Western and non-Western populations.
AN648 Foundations of Material Culture & Design (5 credits) (Optional for all MA students)
This module represents an introduction to material culture theory, particularly through the lens of creativity in cross-cultural perspective. We will consider diverse histories and definitions of design.
AN649 Foundations of Anthropology & Development (5 credits) (Compulsory for Development students; Optional for all other MA students)
This foundational module begins by situating the long process of the making of the contemporary Global South at the intersection of world historical and political economic flows. We will embark on a close reading of key texts in the field of historical anthropology in order to trace the emergence of mass poverty, inequality and conflict in our world today. We will then introduce students to current anthropological perspectives on, and engagements with, issues of international development. This may take the form of a discussion of recent anthropological literature – from 'post-development' critiques that reject development interventions outright, to anthropological practitioner critiques from inside the development apparatus, to current scholarship on the fluidity of such categories as aid donors, aid recipients, and ‘emerging donors’. Or it may take the form of an in-depth consideration of some of the most intractable dilemmas of our time, such as the continued prevalence of genocidal conflict.
AN652 Key Concepts in Anthropology (10 credits) (Compulsory for all MA students)
What is culture, and what is society? This module discusses ‘big concepts’ in the early history of modern anthropology and from there traces lines through social and cultural anthropology stopping along the way to discuss, inter alia, varieties of evolutionism, functionalism, structuralism, materialism; symbolic and interpretive anthropology, feminism, post-structuralism and post-colonialism. However, this module is not devoted to intellectual histories in different schools of thought; rather the module looks at and evaluates key concepts, from function and exchange to fetish and assemblage. The module focuses on ethnographic deployments of key concepts.
AN862 Ethnography Winter School (5 credits) (Optional for all MA students)
This module is a comprehensive introduction to ethnography. ‘Ethnography’ is more than a ‘method’: it comprises a whole style of thought encompassing forms of observation, analysis, and writing. The module therefore emphasizes analysis and theory in addition to the research practices (interviewing, participant observation, note-taking) conventionally associated with qualitative research methodology. Themes covered include: culture and difference, contexts and cases (working in NGOs, clinics, corporations), styles of representation and the politics of knowledge, research ethics and ethnographic engagement. The module is also structured as a workshop, so that ethnographers at various stages of their careers -- from students planning proposals, to dissertation writers analyzing previously collected material, to research professionals who may not be based in academia -- will be able to produce work within the module that relates to their respective career stages, locations, and goals. This work, such as a proposal draft or a stretch of ethnographic writing, forms the basis for module assessment.
AN657 Ethnographic Ireland (5 credits) (Optional for all MA students)
Ireland has long been a location of choice for ethnographic fieldwork. Indeed, the first (loosely) British ethnographic projects took place in Ireland, well before the famed community studies by Arensberg and Kimball in 1930s Clare. Several well-known ethnographies followed, some controversial. And today, Ireland is home to a great diversity of ethnographic projects within and beyond the academy. Moreover, Ireland is also the location for ethnographic film projects, and ethnographies by non-anthropologists. What versions of Ireland appear in different ethnographic gazes? How is Ireland understood and (mis-) represented? What is the future of ethnographic Ireland? These are some of the questions asked in this survey course.
AN630 Creole Culture (5 credits ) (Compulsory for Creole Students; Optional for all other MA students)
To introduce students to anthropological work on diversity, cosmopolitanism and mixing by drawing on European scholarship.This is an intensive course taught in collaboration with visiting staff from the Creole consortium. Content will vary and will be determined by the lecturer.
AN666 Topics in Linguistic Anthropology (5 credits ) (Compulsory for Linguistic Students; Optional for all other MA Students)
This course consists of structured, supervised field exercises involving the ethnographic study and analysis of specific occasions of language use in context. Students are encouraged to select and develop methods of analysis directed at their specific research interests and needs pertaining to their MA Thesis topic.
AN667 Topics in Medical Anthropology (5 credits) (Optional for all MA students)
To ground students ongoing research on Medical Anthropology with directed readings and small group discussion.
AN668 Topics in Material Culture & Design (5 credits) (Optional for all MA students)
Taking diverse examples (e.g. art works, archaeological artefacts, museum pieces or designed goods) students will consider the ways objects and architectures lie at the heart of popular conceptions of art, design, heritage and history, and rebound on notions of human creativity and authenticity. Through a comparative and inter-disciplinary perspective we will interrogate the place of material culture in social roles and practices. We will similarly focus on the things themselves and question how the aesthetics of surface qualities such as materiality, shininess and brilliance have been integral to the constitution of value across space and time. Finally we will track the routes that biographical objects undergo and follow objects in motion, for example through the so-called ‘circular economy’ in which questions of materiality - recycling, up-cycling, swapping and sustaining - are central.
AN669 Topics in Anthropology & Development (5 credits) (Compulsory for Development students; Optional for all other MA students)
In the second semester, we will focus on one or more key areas of concern for anthropologists writing in or about the Global South, such as gender, global health, the environment, and so on. Depending on the topics chosen, this module will provide a rich introduction to the relevant anthropological approaches. Thus, a gender focus will involve detailed discussion of the themes and debates within feminist anthropology. A global health focus will examine and critique an influential argument about the relationship between perduring systems of domination (such as poverty, racism, and sexism) and disease. It will also examine the ways in which this knowledge and its attendant morality mobilizes global concern and types of intervention. In seeking solutions to problems of global health and human suffering, it is necessary to attend to the hierarchies, and the unforeseen consequences, that can emerge when powerful global institutions seek to improve the lives of the putatively powerless. A focus on the environment will involve an introduction to important writings in the field of ecological anthropology. Since this module will coincide with the commencement of work on individual MA student research projects, it is envisaged that these cross-cutting themes will inform and deepen the analysis presented in the final thesis.
AN634T Thesis (30 credits) (Compulsory for All MA students)
Production of Masters Thesis through original research and regular contact with an advisor.
AN801 Theory and Practice for Anthropologists (Team-taught)
This course is built on the close reading of recent ethnographies, stressing theoretical, ethical and methodological issues, with practical focus on the craft of research in the discipline. The objective is to refine students' understanding of cutting edge anthropological theory and to assist students to operationalise their thesis proposal into ethnographic practice.
Prerequisites: AN601-604 or AN641-644 or equivalent
Assessment: participation + 5000-word equivalent continuous assessment
AN831 Directed Readings in Anthropology (Self-directed with mentor)
This module involves independent study facilitated by a staff mentor; the mentor may be the student's supervisor or it may be another member of the Anthropology staff. The role of the mentor is to provide specialist guidance in an area of disciplinary literature that the student wishes to explore. The module's objective is to provide a structured context in which an advanced postgraduate student can critically engage with areas of literature needed for the PhD thesis. It will enhance the student's preparedness for carrying out thesis research and/or writing the thesis. Students can only register for this module by prior arrangement with the mentor.
Prerequisites: Departmental permission only, arrangement with mentor
Assessment: A literature review essay of 5000 words
AN832-835 Research Tools in Anthropology (Self-directed with mentor)
Occasionally students pursue an anthropological research project that demands very specialised skills, from learning an exotic language to mastering advanced statistical methods. Students with such needs should discuss this with the Director of Postgraduate Studies to see if a specialised module can be designed for the student.
Prerequisites: Departmental permission only, arrangement with mentor
Assessment: 5000-word equivalent continuous assessment
AN841 Anthropology Writing-Up Seminar (Team-taught and cohort-led)
This module provides a rigorous but supportive environment for students to write up their thesis in a timely fashion. It is primarily self-directed, with staff supervision, by the cohort of students in the department who are currently in the process of writing. Seminar discussions will focus on the craft of ethnographic writing, especially focused on descriptively integrating primary data into an academic argument. Possible topics include learning writing through reading; ethnographic genres; audiences; ethnographic authority and issues of representation. Students will exchange draft chapters and read/critique one another's writing.
Prerequisites: Post-fieldwork and departmental permission
Assessment: 5000-word excerpt from the thesis-in-progress, marked by student's supervisor; engaged participation in critiquing the writing of others
AN842 Conference Participation (Self-directed with mentor)
This module involves independent study facilitated by a staff mentor; the mentor may be the student's supervisor or it may be another member of the Anthropology staff. The role of the mentor is to provide support as the student independently goes through the process of preparing to participate in a professional academic conference. The student's participation may range from presenting a paper to organizing a conference panel. The module's objective is to provide advanced postgraduate students with the experience of participating in a professional conference; it will advance their professional development by providing a structured context to facilitate the stages of the process.
Prerequisites: Departmental permission only, arrangement with mentor
Assessment: Text of conference paper and evidence of conference participation, or the panel abstract and preparatory notes for moderating the panel, along with a short essay reflecting on what the student learned from the experience
AN843 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Publication (Self-directed with mentor)
This module involves independent study facilitated by a staff mentor; the mentor may be the student's supervisor or it may be another member of the Anthropology staff. The role of the mentor is to facilitate the student's understanding of how academic publishing works, and to provide support as the student independently goes through the process of preparing a manuscript of an article for submission to a peer-reviewed academic journal. The module's objective is to provide advanced postgraduate students a structured understanding of academic publishing as well as the experience of preparing an article and submitting it to an academic journal for peer review. It will advance their professional development by providing a structured context to facilitate the stages of the process, from selecting a journal to drafting and submitting an article, through to receiving the reviewer feedback.
Prerequisites: Departmental permission only, arrangement with mentor
Assessment: Text of the article; evidence of submission to a peer-reviewed journal; short essay reflecting on what the student learned from the experience
AN851 The Use of Linguistic Data in Social Scientific Research (Dr. Steve Coleman)
This module will benefit anyone who uses linguistic data in social scientific research, whether it takes the form of interviews, questionnaires, the collection of oral narratives, life histories or folkloric material. Social scientists typically use linguistic data without taking into account the way that the social relations of research, and the discursive forms employed, constrain or even determine the nature and quality of the data collected. We will critically examine the use of verbal and textual data in previous research, investigating the discursive and generic forms these data take, and exploring their bases in the social relations between researchers and informants. We will survey a range of methodologies for the collection and interpretation of oral and textual materials, with the object of enriching the depth and range of fieldwork interaction as well as that of the resulting data.
Prerequisites: permission of the Lecturer
AN854 Knowledge, Power and Institutions (Dr. Jamie Saris)
The purpose of this module is three-fold. The first is to introduce the student to some of the ideas in the writings of Michel Foucault, who is practically impossible to ignore in any discussion of power and knowledge. The second is to introduce several ideas concerning how institutions have been theorized that echo one another to an extent, but that also diverge in crucial ways. The third is to look at some current work clearly influenced by these sources.
Prerequisites: permission of instructor
Assessment: participation + 5000-word equivalent continuous assessment
AN862 Ethnography Winter School (Dr. Thomas Strong)
Offered January 2019
This module is a comprehensive introduction to ethnography. The course is delivered in a burst-format over several days, and features the collaborative teaching of practicing ethnographers, including both academics and professional researchers, on the island of Ireland. ‘Ethnography’ is more than a ‘method’: it comprises a whole style of thought encompassing forms of observation, analysis, and writing.
Prerequisites: BA 2.1 or permission based on other consideration (e.g. experience in the field)
Assessment: Negotiated portfolio of student's own work relevant to career stage