Course syllabus



ANTHRO 760:  Anthropological Theory and the Contemporary World

SEMESTER 1, 2018

15 points

Course Convenor: 

Christine Dureau -



Christine Dureau -

Course delivery format:

2 hr seminar

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

 Summary of Course Description:              

 An analysis of foundational and current theoretical works in social anthropology and their relevance to understanding contemporary societies and cultures. The course examines anthropological approaches to long-standing disciplinary debates and contemporary issues of wider public debate.

 Course outcomes:

By the end of this course, you:

  • Should understand key aspects of the theories covered
  • Be developing an ability to discern how theoretical approaches relate to each other as complementary or contrastive approaches to different aspects of the human condition
  • Have developed insight into the nature of theoretical analysis generally
  • Have critical insight into the value of different theoretical perspectives and their potential relevance to the analysis of contemporary issues
  • Have theoretical resources appropriate to the development of Masters-level research in sociocultural anthropology.


 Assessment Summary:

Essay (2500 words) 30%

Essay (2500 words) 40%

Precis 20%

Participation 10%

Weekly Topics:

 Please see course outline

Prescribed Texts:

Ferguson, James, 1999. Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 Recommended Texts:

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press.

 Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.

Course summary:

Date Details