Anthropology

Anthropology of Science and Technology

Module code: 852L6
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay, Coursework

You look at the production of knowledge, thought and practice around science and technology, drawing on ethnographic studies and critical theory.

You explore the kind of assumptions we hold about boundaries of humans, nonhumans and their constitutive societies and will unpack these assumptions by looking at the 'anthropology of reason' that has been constructed around science and around technology, with reference to developments in science and technology over the last century.

You'll become familiar with ethnographic research, critical theory and analytical tools through which you'll be able to explore new (virtual) spaces and ways of being (both human and nonhuman).

You work independently and in groups to apply your understanding of anthropological debates in the field of science and technology, with a focus on contemporary studies of kinship and relatedness, embodiment and the relationship between humans and nonhumans.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the history of thought in the anthropology of science and technology, and apply this awareness to contemporary socio-cultural phenomena.
  • Engage with key ethnographic accounts and anthropological debates on the relationship between humans and technologies.
  • Understand how scientific advances have prompted shifts in anthropological understandings of materiality, kinship and relatedness and what it means to be human.
  • Work independently to integrate ethnographic research, critical theory and analytical tools in written work
  • Critically evaluate and assess specific developments in science and technology, and apply this knowledge to a case study, drawing on anthropological theory and ethnographic research.
  • Engage effectively and creatively with others through group work, to achieve common goals that reflect the potential needs of future employers.