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Introduction to Anthropology

A famous social anthropologist once described his job as being a sort of cross-cultural private eye, spying into people's cultures instead of their bedrooms! Anthropologists look at very different societies, often finding different solutions to common human problems, for example the problem of how to obtain food or how to raise children, or how to explain sickness or understand what happens after death. Discovering these differences (or similarities) is fascinating and brings us to the essence of Anthropology - it makes us stand back and question our own assumptions. It shows that almost no piece of human behaviour is either natural or 'inevitable'. On this course we will examine some of the ways people think and act in different cultures, including our own.

22 October 2022 – 29 October 2022
Saturday, 10:30 to 15:30
Course Code:401
£44 / £15
2 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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Everyday Anthropology: The Strange And The Familiar

'Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen...' (Margaret Mead). Anthropologists investigate how people think and behave in different cultures and societies across the world. They do this by living among them, perhaps for a year or more, while recording their findings systematically and non-judgmentally. These often challenge our commonplace assumptions about life, perhaps subverting conventional wisdom as a result. Find out how anthropologists' discoveries can enhance your everyday perceptions of what makes human beings tick.

16 January 2023 – 27 March 2023
Monday, 12:00 to 14:00
Course Code:404
£121 / £42
11 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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New: Looking At Storytelling - An Anthropological Perspective

The seanchai were traditional Irish keepers of story, travelling from village to village, telling old stories about ancient lore and wisdom as well as local news. One Irish storyteller explained the recent resurgence of storytelling like this: 'It's a need for connection.. I think storytelling nurtures connections with people in real life' (National Geographic 24/1/20). We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others; we also use stories to understand other people's worlds. Elif Shafak writes about the power of stories to bring us together, and she emphasises their importance in fighting against dehumanisation of the 'other': 'It is easier to make sweeping generalisations about others if we know close to nothing about them.. The art of storytelling is one of our last democratic spaces. Now it must become one of our main acts of resistance against dehumanisation' (Guardian 13/8/20). What sorts of stories are told in different times and places? What happens when stories are untold or unheard? How are the stories we listen to chosen? Who does the choosing? We'll investigate these and other questions with an emphasis on discussion, sharing ideas based on the cross-cultural material provided in class as well as our own individual experiences.

18 January 2023 – 29 March 2023
Wednesday, 13:00 to 15:00
Course Code:402
£121 / £42
11 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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New: Class, Money And Humour: Paths Into Anthropology

'Cultural anthropology is...valuable because it is constantly rediscovering the normal...' (Edward Sapir). Anthropologists investigate how people think and behave in different cultures and societies across the world. They do this by living among them, perhaps for a year or more, while recording their findings systematically and non-judgmentally. These often challenge our assumptions about life, perhaps subverting conventional wisdom as a result. Let an anthropological perspective widen your perceptions about social class, money, and humour.

24 April 2023 – 26 June 2023
Monday, 12:00 to 14:00
Course Code:405
£88 / £31
8 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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An Anthropological Perspective on Current Events and Issues

In this course we will examine many of the ways different cultures have thought about, presented and decorated the body. From tattooing to scarring to plastic surgery and Botox these different practices have much to tell us about how humans have experienced and expressed notions of identity, belonging, beauty and selfhood. By examining a range of case study examples, you will be able to develop your knowledge of anthropological research methods, concepts and theories, but, as always the emphasis on this course is on how we can come to learn to apply the anthropological perspective to our own way of life and in so doing make the familiar become new and strange to us.

26 April 2023 – 28 June 2023
Wednesday, 13:00 to 15:00
Course Code:403
£110 / £39
10 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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