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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Anthropology

ANTH47415: Advanced Studies in Anthropology, Art and Experience

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To introduce students to classic and contemporary anthropological debates around art and material culture
  • To develop an understanding of concepts such as aesthetics, agency and style from the perspective of social anthropology.
  • To understand how anthropological approaches to art and material culture can further our understanding of social processes, notions of the person and of time.
  • To provide students with analytical tools to study anthropologically material and visual cultures.

Content

  • The module deals with the social anthropology of art and material culture with a particular attention to ethnographic approaches that foreground how everyday social interactions are mediated, produced and transformed by systems of objects and images.
  • The module will cover a range of subjects such as: primitivism and modernism, art as a category for experience, the agency of art objects, anthropological approaches to aesthetics and style, art and notions of time.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate advanced levels of current knowledge and intensive understanding in social anthropology research.
  • Deploy analytical skills specific to social anthropological understandings of art and material culture.
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • In depth knowledge of the social anthropology of art and material culture, with emphasis on interpretation and comprehensive understanding of primary or secondary data.
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, interpretation and arguments in written form.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will provide students with an outline of key knowledge and debates in the topic area, discuss the literature that students should explore, and provide relevant examples and cases studies.
  • Tutorials will develop topics introduced in lectures and required reading to analyse aspects or case studies in greater depth and to prepare students for their summative assignment. Practical components will provide students with hands-on experience of the research.
  • Advanced discussion classes will allow students to develop their skills of critical thinking and evaluation, as well as how to synthesise and interrogate material at a level commensurate with postgraduate attainment.
  • Student preparation and reading time will allow engagement with specific references in advance of tutorials and general and particular reading related to the assessment, which will be a written assignment (such as an essay or report).
  • Summative assessment will be a 2500-word written piece where students will apply concepts and perspectives in social anthropology to relevant ethnographic and/or media materials related to art and material culture societies, and a critical reading log. The critical reading log is an annotated bibliography in which the evidence and arguments presented in readings selected by the student and relevant to the development of their summative assessment are evaluated and critiqued. This along with the other summative component should show evidence of a higher level of engagement expected at postgraduate level

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Tutorials 5 Fortnightly 1 hour 5
Advanced discussion class 1 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 2500 words 80%
Critical reading log 1000 words 20%

Formative Assessment:

500 word assignment. Reading log sample.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University