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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

ANTH47615: Advanced Studies in Anthropology of Tobacco

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


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To take an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural perspective on the place of tobacco in history and the contemporary world.
  • To consider the materiality of tobacco and its associated paraphernalia and their power to shape human life and thought.


  • Tobacco in indigenous contexts
  • Tobacco in history
  • Tobacco in contemporary society
  • Tobacco control

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate higher levels of knowledge and understanding of tobacco and its impact on human life and health.
  • Explain one or more of the theoretical approaches in the field broadly defined as material culture studies.
  • Apply one or more of the approaches used in material culture studies in a study of a tobacco-related object of their choice
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Applying key skills (see below) to discourses and debates pertaining to anthropological, medical and public discourses surrounding tobacco production and consumption
Key Skills:
  • Critical analysis of primary and secondary data
  • Self-reflection on knowledge and skills acquired and developed
  • Accessing library resources
  • Undertaking independent study and research
  • Preparation and effective communication of interpretations and arguments in written form
  • Analysis and interpretation of visual material

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 relevant to the anthropology of tobacco, direct students to different kinds of literature for further exploration, and provide relevant examples and case studies.
  • Classes will permit further discussion and development of topics introduced in lectures, and will prepare students for their formative and summative assignments.
  • 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 and following on from lectures and classes, and with more specialised reading related to the assessment.
  • 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 10
Classes 5 5
Advanced discussion class 1 1
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment – an illustrated account of a tobacco related object 1500 words 80%
Critical reading log 1000 words 20%

Formative Assessment:

The formative assignment will be a 500 word piece of work based on an exercise developed in the classes. This will enable students to experiment with different presentational styles found in the field of material culture studies that are relevant to the anthropology of tobacco. 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