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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

ANTH48015: Advanced Studies in Exhibiting Anthropology

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


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To learn how to communicate anthropological knowledge and/or theory using ethnographic artefacts.
  • To work creatively and collaboratively with a selection of objects of your choice .
  • To curate a display case on a theme of your choice.
  • To conduct your own research into material culture appropriately contextualised.
  • To appreciate the aesthetics, politics and ethics of representing other cultures.
  • To gain practical skills in museum display and public communication.


  • The module will introduce you to issues pertaining to the display of ethnographic objects
  • The module will introduce you to the study of material culture, particularly situating objects in cultural context.

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 museum ethnography.
  • In depth knowledge of material culture and museological issues, with emphasis on interpretation and comprehensive understanding of primary or secondary data.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Deploy analytical and practical skills specific to exhibiting ethnographic objects.
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, interpretation and arguments in written form.
  • Ability to arrange museum type displays and contextualise culturally.

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

  • Classes will integrate lecture, discussion and practical components.
  • Lecture elements will provide students with an outline of key knowledge and debates in the topic area, discuss some relevant literature that students can explore, and provide examples and cases studies.
  • Discussions will develop topics introduced in lectures and encountered in arranging ethnographic displays 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 as appropriate to selected display topics related to the assessment, which will be a display and written eport).
  • Summative assessment: A virtual display cabinet of objects of your choice on a theme of your choosing (this may be a drawing or an electronic production). A Record of Research documenting the research background and development of your display project. The summative 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 components should show evidence of a higher level of engagement expected at postgraduate level.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Classes 10 Specified in module handbook 2 hours 20
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
Research project 1500 words 40%
Ethnographic display 40%
Critical reading log 1000 words 20%

Formative Assessment:

Project proposal. A draft Record of Research (500 words), including a working title, a list of objects, bullet-point notes/ description of planned display, list of 4 - 8 key references with brief sentence on each. 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