International Summer School

Anthropology

Session 1

English Folklore
Module Code: IS095
Level: 5
Field trip fee: £100
2018 Syllabus [PDF]

Ancient traditions flourish in England, a land rich in folklore. We shall examine the survival of fascinating old customs such as hazardously chasing cheeses down a steep Gloucestershire hill and the May Day processioning of a fearsome beast: the Padstow ‘Oss’. You discuss the legends of King Arthur, Robin Hood and the mysterious ‘green man’. You visit sites of world significance including the extraordinary natural feature of the Devil's Dyke, and the gigantic Long Man of Wilmington, both near Brighton. In the ancient city of Winchester, you sample the unique 'wayfarer dole' and view Arthur's Round Table. Finally, you visit the awesome 3,500 year-old sarsens and bluestones of Stonehenge, the inspiration of legend, including ‘the healing stones’.

Session 2

Power and Resistance
Module Code: IS280
Level: 5  
2018 Syllabus [PDF]

This module serves as an introduction to the core focus of study of political anthropology: the operation of power. It aims to provide students with the ability to understand how power works not only through political institutions but at the level of local everyday processes and the relationship between the production of knowledge and power. It will equip students with an understanding of the theoretical concepts of key thinkers, principally Marx, Gramsci, Bourdieu, Scott and Foucault and the ability to apply these concepts to the analysis of concrete situations through the study of ethnographic examples and students’ own projects. Ethnography here refers to a case study of a particular social situation or process based on participant observation, a method in which a researcher embeds themselves within a group of people in order to understand their point of view and the detailed complexities of their lives. The ethnographic case studies chosen will contextualise theory in settings that include the lives of Bolivian mine workers and trade unionists, indigenous peasants, the urban poor in North America and studies of the prison-industrial complex and US counter-insurgency programs. During the course we will also have the opportunity to discuss a number of films related to the themes studied. Although focused on politics and power this module will provide an introduction to anthropology and to ethnographic analysis more generally.