Anthropology and History BA

History

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
VL16
Start date:
September 2018

Anthropology gives you an in-depth understanding of cultures and societies across the world. It helps you grasp your place in the world, so you can make a difference.

Combining anthropology and history also helps you understand how local communities and global processes have interacted across time.

“The course is fascinating, engaging and so enjoyable that I have loved my degree since the very first lecture.” Harriet HeavenAnthropology BA

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

 

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

 

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, such as a Business related course, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall average result of at least 13/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1,H2,H2,H3,H3.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole - Pass with an overall average of 4.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 6th in the UK for Anthropology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
  • Learn from experts who influence debate on topics such as gender, migration, economic and political processes, religion, health and reproduction.
  • Our teaching is informed by the latest research: History at Sussex is ranked 1st for the quality of its research outputs (2014 Research Excellence Framework).

Course information

How will I study?

You explore how we make sense of social and cultural practices across different contexts and times. You gain knowledge about the theory, methodology and applications of anthropology, as well as issues emerging from the study of exchange and kinship.

Learning is through lectures, seminars and group work. You cover world history 1500–1900, continuity and change, digital history and using evidence to assess areas of controversy. You’ll understand more about the contemporary world by evaluating historical perspectives.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2016. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

There is training in the research methods, techniques and skills used by anthropologists in the field. You learn about key areas in anthropology, such as the anthropology of politics, religion and ritual, and culture and representation.

You develop critical skills in understanding and presenting historical knowledge. You study global history and discover how connections across the world have shaped the histories of human rights, democracy and migration.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2016. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

“America is a great place for road tripping! I’m experiencing what it’s like to go to college here and I’ve learnt how other people view life.” James AckroydAnthropology BA, studied abroad at Arizona State University, US

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

 

“I’ve written for the Guardian on how boys and men are being left out of the conversation on gender equality.” Professor Andrea CornwallProfessor of Anthropology and Development

Fees

Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

The UK Government has confirmed that, if you’re an EU student applying for entry in the academic year 2018, you'll remain eligible for financial support. This applies even if your course ends after the UK’s exit from the EU. Find out more on the UK Government website.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018.

Careers

Graduate destinations

100% of Department of Anthropology graduates were in work or further study six months after graduating (HESA EPI)Recent students from the Department of Anthropology and Department of History have taken up a variety of jobs, including:

  • young refugees adviser, British Red Cross
  • events co-ordinator, Médecins San Frontières
  • account manager, Novo Energy.

(Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 and Department of Anthropology careers database)

Your future career

Our Anthropology and History BA allows you to understand cultural difference in historical contexts. You also gain careers skills in communication, teamwork and research.

You can go on to further study, or use your Anthropology and History BA for careers in:

  • libraries, archives and museums
  • international development and social and welfare services
  • the Civil Service, politics and social research.

While at Sussex, you can attend specialist careers talks, drop-in sessions and workshops with industry representatives and potential employers.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Key Concepts in Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module provides an overview of the big questions that anthropologists have contributed to and the different theoretical paradigms and concepts that they have developed or adopted. The aim is to provide you with a rapid overview of the discipline. It begins with two weeks examining the concepts of Society and Culture and their varied conceptualisations, followed by weeks that take in turn the key characteristics and assumptions of

  • British structural functionalism
  • methodological individualism and agency
  • French structuralism
  • British structuralism
  • marxism, ideology and hegemony
  • poststructuralism
  • discourse and power/knowledge
  • poststructuralism
  • 'practice' and phenomenology.

The Anthropological Imagination

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

We aim to convey a sense of anthropology as an exciting, 'living' subject, alive to the concerns of different communities and populations living across the globe. You'll also experience it as cutting edge in terms of the research conducted by anthropologists at Sussex, as we actively engage with issues of social, cultural and global transformation.

The module structure revolves around five core themes considered central to the subject. These capture anthropological thinking about culture, identity and representation:

  • kinship, self and body
  • economy as culture
  • religion
  • politics
  • work on the global-local interface.

The Anthropology of Exchange, Money and Markets

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module introduces you to how anthropologists conceptualise, research, and generate new understandings of the human activities that comprise economic life.

Studying economic life from an anthropological view requires us to rethink concepts such as work and leisure, poverty and wealth, gifts and commodities, money and markets, and the term 'economy' itself. Therefore, economic anthropology enables us to critique some of the universalisms of mainstream economics through which capitalism has become naturalised.

Traditionally, economic anthropology has been concerned with systems of exchange, non-industrial economies, and livelihood systems. In addition to covering these topics, we will examine issues of contemporary concern such as:

  • class, money, debt and shopping
  • factories, fair trade, globalisation and bioeconomies
  • new strategies and practices of resistance.

The Anthropology of Kinship and Relatedness

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The study of human relatedness and kinship has been central to the history of British social anthropology. This module introduces you to classic and new debates in kinship studies. It draws upon material from a wide range of ethnographic contexts to examine the ways that societies organise and conceptualise human relationships. It is concerned with the transformation of social structures and processes as well as the connections between kin organisations and power in developing and post-industrial societies.

You will consider both accepted and more novel ways in thinking about human kinship – how we become related through 'substance', emotion, place and technology, for example. We cover both historical ground and contemporary debates in the study of human relatedness.

The Early Modern World

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module introduces you to what may be an unfamiliar period of history by exploring some of the central themes of early modern history, and the various ways in which they have been debated by historians. It also equips you with the writing and research skills essential for a successful university career.

Focusing on the period between 1500 and 1700, debates over social polarisation, cultural differentiation, cultures of Protestantism, the context of the English civil war, issues of gender, and the meanings of monarchy and republicanism will be examined.

The Making of the Modern World

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module will introduce a period of momentous social, political and cultural change in British and European history by focusing on some of the key debates that have preoccupied its historians.

Historical controversies over events such as the British Union, the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution will be examined and used to introduce various historiographical approaches.

You will consider central themes such as gender, popular culture, conceptions of the state (from absolutism to democracy), sociostructural and demographic change, and empire and nationalism, which will give you a range of perspectives on the past and issues of continuity and change.

Ethnographic Research Methods

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you are introduced to practical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding ethnographic research in anthropology, and the social sciences more generally.

You explore methodological concerns around research design and implementation - through a series of workshops on epistemology, methodology, and ethics.

You are introduced to a range of qualitative research methods, including the research interview, participant-observation, and various participatory research methods. You also get an introduction to the analysis of qualitative data, and key issues of writing and representation.

For this module, you are assessed on a group research project. In this project, you design and conduct an independent piece of ethnographic research around a key anthropological theme, while reflecting on and applying the theoretical and practical insights gained through the module.

Global History 1500-2000: Trade, Science, Environment and Empire

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you look at how global history has helped us understand the past, the present and the future.

You'll study how societies and communities have interacted with each other through history, and explore the emergence of an integrated global society.

You look at:

  • communication and war
  • race, slavery and anti-slavery
  • colonial encounters and environments
  • civil and human rights
  • global order and disorder
  • empire, science, trade and environment.

You also study the emergence of the 'great divergence,' the widening gap in the 19th century between living standards in the Atlantic basin and those in the rest of the world, and the global expansion of European empires.

Ideas of History

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you learn about the revival of classical ideas and politics during the Renaissance and Reformation, the debate between ancients and moderns in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the nature of modern political thought as it developed from the middle of the 19th century to the present day.

The aim is to give you an ability to place modern ideas about politics in their historical context, through the study of central figures and themes whose writings continue to be cited in political argument.

The authors considered include: Machiavelli, Milton, Hobbes, Locke, Harrington, Mandeville, Montesquieu, Hume, Rousseau, Smith, Bentham, Hegel, Constant, Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Lenin, Gramsci, Schmitt, Arendt, Chomsky, and Rawls.

You look at:

  • virtue and security
  • the origins of democracy
  • absolutism and empire
  • perpetual peace
  • reason of state and amoral politics
  • the debate about commerce, luxury and markets
  • the size of the state and its form of government
  • the nature of liberty and the means of maintaining it
  • totalitarianism and slavery in politics
  • modern democracy, philosophy and the modern state
  • civil liberty, war and empire.

Politics and Power

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

You explore forms of power by drawing on political anthropology and social theory.

In Western societies the term 'politics' tends to imply a narrow range of activities and institutions, typically those focused around parties, government and the state.We use the term 'political' in a much wider sense, and link it to the operations of power.

Power is not a thing, but an aspect of a vast range of relationships from the most local to the global.

There can be no neat boundaries around this field of study. Instead our intention is to explore the way the analysis of power has widened and deepened over the last fifty years, and to suggest continuity with economic and cultural processes that you are studying in other modules.

Religion and Ritual

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module is concerned with the explanation of religious and ritual phenomena.

It explores the key theoretical issues by examining ethnographic material that deals with - among other things - initiation, myth, witchcraft, symbolism and religious experience.

There is also some treatment of more 'secular' rituals such as carnival and Christmas.

The focus is as much on how people believe as on what they believe; on why they perform rituals as much as what these rituals look like.

It explores both classic texts and more recent accounts, to give students a sense of where particular arguments have come from and where they are going.

1953: Monarchs and Murders

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In 1953 the British press and public were fixated on two events unfolding in the nation's capital. The first was the coronation of the new monarch, Elizabeth II. The second was the discovery of serial killer, John Christie's, murder victims at a house in North Kensington.

In this module, you explore what these two parallel events tell us about society and culture in Britain in the 'New Elizabethan Age.' 

You look at: 

  • the tension between tradition and modernity in Britain
  • concerns about sexuality, race and national decline
  • the resilience of the British monarchy
  • the status of empire in Britain during the mid-century
  • the press coverage of the Christie murders
  • the impact of Commonwealth immigration on British society in this period.

Cities and Urban Lives

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you are introduced to literature and debates in the fields of urban anthropology and anthropology of the city.

You explore historical processes of urbanization, focusing on the spatial, cultural, political and social characteristics of the modern cities, as well
as looking at the experiences of everyday urban life in cities across the world.

You undertake a comparative analysis of the diversity of urban forms and experiences based on specific case studies, to engage with theories ascribing universal characteristics to modern urban society and culture.

Topics covered in this module include:

  • Urban Anthropology and Anthropology of the City: methodological and epistemological challenges
  • From Nomadism to Modern City: the long march of urbanization
  • Pre-modern cities: spiritual economies and cosmopolitan spaces
  • The Colonial and the Colonised City: the spatialization of hierarchies
  • Capitalism, (de)industrialization and the modern city: urban economies
  • Modern Urban Cultures: from street corner society to urban gangs
  • Modern Urban Politics: revolutions, revolts and protests
  • Globalisation, neo-liberalism and the city: the (re)making of class privilege and exclusion
  • Post-modern cityscapes: skyscrapers, shopping malls and slums
  • Materialities of urban life-worlds: crowds, traffic, leisure, etc.

Culture and Representation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you focus on the anthropological master trope of 'culture' and on the political dimensions of representing culture or 'cultures'.

You consider how anthropological understandings of 'culture', as well as anthropologists' modes of analysing and representing it in anthropological work, developed over the 20th century, partially in conversation with other disciplines.

You also examine how 'culture' operates as a key idea in the public domain, used by politicians, community and human rights activists, artists, scientists, museum curators and others, in relation to a wide range of issues and debates when distinctions between 'ourselves' and 'others' are at stake.

Finally, you look at some activities within the cultural domain (such as music, dance, theatre, verbal artistry), which have a performative dimension. You consider how anthropologists have approached these activities to address questions about structure and agency, embodiment, experience, art and aesthetics, creativity, power and protest.

Ethnographic Field Research

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

History Short Period: America in the 20th Century

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module probes the social, political and economic development of the United States since the end of the Reconstruction era. It is organised on a broadly chronological basis with primary stress on key topics such as:

  • the emergence of racial segregation in the south
  • the construction of a modern, industrial society
  • the emergence of the United States as a 'great power'
  • progressive reform
  • the economic crisis of the 1930s
  • the American experience in World War II and the ensuing Cold War
  • the civil rights and 'New Left' movements of the 1960s, and the concomitant rise of conservativism.

Notable themes include the growth of federal power, the steady erosion of localism, the development of a corporate-dominated consumer society, the limitations of modern liberalism and the political influence of American religion.

The module will apprise you with landmark political change, such as the failure of populism and the changing Republican party constituency in the South, as well as important legal rulings such as Brown v Board of Education, and Roe v Wade. A close analysis of the New Deal, a transformational moment in 20th-century US history, frames an extended assessment of the rise and fall of the so-called 'New Deal order'.

In addition, you will become familiarised with critical historiographical debates over the role of American labour, the impact of war on American society and culture, and the growth of the imperial presidency.

Although the focus is primarily on domestic events and structural trends, the United States' growing engagement with the wider world receives full attention.

History Short Period: Britain in the 20th Century

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module concentrates on British history since 1914. You will be introduced to some of the major themes in the social, cultural and to a lesser extent, economic and political, history of 20th-century Britain, and will critically examine the most important contributions and debates within the historiography of each topic.

You will also be introduced to some of the sources available to the historian of this period. We will cover a number of topics including war, work, leisure, youth culture, and immigration, in a broadly chronological fashion.

Fundamentally, the module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to a historical understanding of Britain across the 20th century.

History Short Period: Europe in the 20th Century

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The module addresses the long sweep of European history from the First World War to the present.

While essentially chronological in structure, it hinges around the apparent contrast between the two halves of the century. On the one hand, the history of 20th-century Europe in particular has been overshadowed by the disastrous events of the first half of the century. On the other, and from a bird's eye point of view, the second half of the century seemingly forms the prosperous 'happy ending' to what has sometimes been called the 'Age of Extremes'. The extent to which Europe has escaped the influence of the first part of the century will therefore be one of the key questions of the module.

Alongside this consideration of the overall narrative structure of 20th-century European history, you are invited to take a broad comparative approach. The module identifies specific themes of overall importance and explores how they emerge within particular national trajectories. The module therefore ranges across Europe as a whole, cutting across distinctions of east and west, north and south, and encompasses a way of approaching certain events that is designed to draw out common features across the continent over the last century.

History Short Period: South Asia Since 1880

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This second-year module examines the history of South Asia since 1880. It concentrates on the impact of colonialism on the Indian subcontinent and on the formation of the modern South Asian states of India and Pakistan.

The culture of colonialism, the nature of the colonial state and the emergence of nationalism are themes which are explored. Gandhi and his nonviolent struggle for Indian independence emerges as one of the defining moments of Indian nationalism.

The key themes of the module are colonialism, nationalism and the emergence of the postcolonial nation states of India and Pakistan. The module is taught by lectures and seminars.

History Short Period: The Middle East and North Africa since 1908

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you examine the key political, social, cultural and economic themes in Middle Eastern and North African history since 1908.

You look at the:

  • politics of reformism
  • impact of World War One
  • rise of pan-Arab nationalism
  • impact of World War Two
  • foundation of Israel
  • end of British and French Empires
  • Suez and the politics of pan-Arabism
  • rise of political Islam.

Time and Place 1851: Science, Empire and Exhibitionism

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In 1851, the census results revealed that Britain's population stood at about 20 million, having more than doubled in the first half of the century. But what was more astonishing was that the majority of the British people now lived in towns and cities. At mid-century, Britons were living in what one contemporary observer called 'the age of great cities'.

This course will examine life in Victorian town and cities by using contemporary poetry, novels and journalism to analyse people's experiences of modernity. The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace was, in many ways, an exhibition of the things the Victorians perceived as having changed their world, from cheap, manufactured consumer goods, to the latest scientific discoveries and devices, and above all the wealth of the expanding empire.

The sciences and technologies that were exhibited in 1851, and which made the exhibition itself possible, are central topics for this course. However, the Exhibition put the Victorians themselves on display, allowing large crowds from diverse classes to meet in public and celebrate their sense of themselves as a unified, modern nation. This course will subject the Victorians' self-congratulatory sense of themselves to close critical scrutiny.

Time and Place 1937: Mass Observation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module explores the diverse ways in which the everyday lives of so-called ‘ordinary people’ were documented and analysed across the middle years of the twentieth century. The module spins around a case study of the British group, Mass Observation, an organisation established in 1937 with the aim of creating ‘anthropology of ourselves’. Its approach was eclectic but included social investigation, often based in particular localities, the accumulation of diaries, and the collection of responses to a monthly questionnaire called a ‘directive’.

Following the establishment of the Mass-Observation Archive at Sussex University in the 1970s, a new Mass-Observation Project emerged which continues to generate life histories up to the present. Taken as a whole this material offers mediated access to the ways in which individual men and women experienced, perceived and remember the profound social cultural, political and economic shifts of the twentieth century. It also demonstrates clear shifts in the value attached to lived experience and allows us to explore the interrelatedness of social research practices and historical context.

Throughout the module the research practices and findings of Mass Observation are set alongside the work of documentary filmmakers and photographers, journalists, state-sponsored organisations and social scientists. What does their work tell us about the changing nature of mid-twentieth century Britain and who, ultimately, has the authority to represent the lives of ordinary people?

Time and Place 1957: Ghana's Independence and Africa's Postcolonial Dream

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

You explore African economic, political and intellectual history and examine influential writings by economists, anthropologists and political scientists. You also look at key texts in postcolonial thought and literature. 

In this module you study topics, including: 

  • paths to decolonisation and the heritage of colonialism
  • African capitalism and socialism
  • military governments and dictatorships in the 1970s
  • capitalism and apartheid in South Africa
  • the uneven trajectory of Pan-Africanism
  • agriculture, industry and economic growth
  • the World Bank, neoliberalism and structural adjustment policies in the 1980s
  • the political economy of war and state failure
  • the challenges of HIV and Ebola.

Time and Place 1992: Fortress Europe

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you analyse how national policies in the 20th century have contributed to shaping refugee policies in the European Union. 

You examine how Europe has dealt with large numbers of people seeking help, and why there has been some resistance with the creation of restrictive legislation.  

You explore:

  • the reasons for this ever more stringent approach
  • its implementation from drafting restrictive legislation to setting up especially trained police forces guarding the borders
  • how refugees are housed and treated once they have crossed the border, legally or illegally
  • (political) self-organisation by refugees to safeguard their interest
  • the chances of being granted asylum or even integrated into the host society.

Time and Place 2008: The Spectacle of the Beijing Olympics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you explore the socio-spatial transformation of Chinese cities, with particular emphasis on Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai.

You analyse each city's history, its multi-layered society, its distinctive culture, its politics and economics, and its evolving position in national, regional and global frameworks. 

You look at major Chinese events including the Beijing Olympics.

You also examine how Beijing's political power has been constructed, how it is expressed, maintained and reproduced, and will also analyse how citizenship is defined, investigating the relationship between Beijing citizens, migrants and foreign settlers.

Time and Place: 1796: Lithography and the Mass Produced Image

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Time and Place: 1831: Slave Revolts

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In August 1831, Nat Turner launched the most significant slave revolt in American history. Murdering 60 whites in a bloody spree, Turner's revolt convulsed the region. Seventy two hours later, militia units crushed the revolt. The backlash was frenzied with at least one hundred enslaved people executed by local militiamen. Yet despite Turner's subsequent execution, neither the rebel slave nor the insurrection he initiated could be entirely exorcized from the minds of contemporary southerners.

In December 1831, 60,000 enslaved people in western Jamaica rebelled against the island's slaveholding elite. It was the final, and one of the largest, revolts in the history of Caribbean slavery.

These revolts laid bare the revolutionary capability of enslaved people, they exposed the enmity that most slaves bore toward their masters, and they visibly revealed that enslaved people would adopt desperate means to secure their freedom. They also demonstrated how enslaved peoples utilized evangelical and small-scale trading networks to mobilize communities. And the revolts exposed how rebel leaders exploited national and transatlantic tensions over the future of slavery and harnessed direct action to the political tide of anti-slavery in Britain and America. But the frenzied backlash also revealed white anxieties over slavery, the nature of race, and the longeveity of slavery. As enslaved rebels demonstrated their rage against slaveholders and their aspirations for freedom, whites responded with fear, resentment, and paranoia to the rebel threat. Some condemned outside agitators, notably vocal abolitionists and evangelical liberals, while others redoubled their commitment to racialized slavery.

This module will address:

  1. the role of enslaved peoples (and the concept of 'agency') in shaping liberation movements in a comparative context
  2. the factors underpinning the disintegration of Jamaican slavery and its defense in America
  3. the growth of anti-slavery in the Anglophone Atlantic and the expansion of abolitionist sentiment in Britain and the USA
  4. white slaveholding identities and meanings attached to slave ownership, including anxieties surrounding the loss of white racial authority during and after the revolts
  5. the value of comparative methodologies for understanding historical change.

In short, the module examines the material, political, psychological, and gendered parameters to racial slavery and emancipation within the early nineteenth-century Atlantic world and considers the rise and fall of slavery in two key settings.

Time and Place: 1861: The Coming of the American Civil War

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module you explore the causes of the American Civil War.

You study:

  • President Polk's decision to go to war against Mexico in 1846
  • the Compromise of 1850
  • the demise of a national party system that had held the Union together since the 1830s
  • the rise of North-South tensions in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • the sources of southern proslavery nationalism in the 1850s
  • the rise of the antislavery Republican Party
  • the South's response to Lincoln's election.

Time and Place: 1938: Kristallnacht

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

During the night of 9 November 1938, SS and SA forces launched an assault on German Jews, their property, their synagogues, and their businesses. This so-called ‘Kristallnacht’ can be understood as a violent rehearsal for the Holocaust, which Nazi Germany implemented three years later. It also marks the end of over a century of a prolific and (mostly) peaceful co-existence between Jews and Christian non-Jews.

In this module, you learn about the relationship between Jews and Christian non-Jews since the early 19th century. You look at the complex processes of political emancipation, of social integration, and of cultural adaptation through which Jews became an integral part of the German political, social and cultural life. At the same time, these processes changed Jewish religious, economic, social and cultural life.

You'll focus on the period from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the Holocaust, emphasising Jewish life in Imperial and Weimar Germany, as well as under Nazism. You'll discuss issues of Jewish identity along with aspects of modern anti-Semitism.

Time and Place: 1942: Holocaust

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module offers an opportunity to study the attempt by the Nazis to create a new world order by annihilating the Jews of Europe and targeting other groups – including gay people, gypsies and people with disabilities – for discrimination and death. It provides a multilayered examination of the transition from prejudice to exclusion, to extermination, placing the Holocaust within the broader conceptual framework of genocide in the 20th century. 

The module will consider issues such as: how was the so-called 'Final Solution to the Jewish problem' put into effect? Why is 1942 a key year in the development of the Final Solution? What part was played by the perpetrators across occupied Europe? It will deal with the reaction of the victim, and explore possibilities of resistance. It will ask whether is it accurate to characterise most people as bystanders, and will discuss the rescue options. The module will also deal with question of justice and memory.

Studying what happened will inevitably raise many questions about why it happened. The module will pay close attention to how it was possible for such a plan of mass murder to be carried out so effectively in such a short time at the hub of western civilisation; a plan which relied on the active involvement of many people and the acquiescence of even more.

Time and Place: 1984: Thatcher's Britain (Observing the 1980s)

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

George Orwell's 1949 novel 1984 describes a totalitarian government bent on total manipulation. For many on the left, Margaret Thatcher's government represented elements of an 'Orwellian' state, in which the social democratic consensus established after the end of the Second World War was replaced by a free-enterprise economy and a centralised state. For those on the political right, the 1980s Thatcher governments championed the reassertion of individualism, British nationalism and a retreat from the so-called 'nanny state' in which the fight against the 'enemy within' was as important as the fight against the enemy without. In cultural terms, most writers point to the 1980s as being marked by creative pessimism, with 'anti-Thatcherism' the dominant cultural theme.

This course will examine key events of the 1980s and reflect upon whether Margaret Thatcher's most famous quote, 'There is no such thing as society', is a suitable epitaph for the 1980s. Topic studied include: the 1982 Falklands War; the 1984 miners' strike; the reemergence of mass unemployment, peaking in 1986 at over 3.5 million; privatisation of industry and challenge to trade union power; and the violent mass protest against the Community Charge in 1990.

Rather than producing a top-down political history of the period, this course is interested in exploring the wide variety of evidence available to the contemporary historian. It is built around the 'Observing the Eighties' project which includes oral histories from the British Library and holdings of the Mass Observation Archive and ephemera from the University of Sussex.

Time and Place:1780 The Gordon Riots: Blood Community and Retribution - London 1780

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Visual Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you become familiar with theories and applications of visual anthropology.

You have the opportunity to study complex legacies of visual representation in anthropology as well as contemporary, activist visual work. You explore cross-overs between anthropological and other relevant visual epistemologies in the social sciences.

You also undertake visual research projects.

History Special Dissertation

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

This is a final-year module, which will require you to address an historical problem in depth. You will set your own research project and its questions, resolve those questions by means of a module involving the design of a research outline and the carrying out of your own research on primary historical sources. You will also develop the skills necessary to write an extended piece of written work based on this (usually archival) research.

Anthropology of Fertility, Reproduction and Health

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module uses social and cultural perspectives to examine academic and policy work in the area of reproduction, sexuality and health. It draws on the insights of medical anthropology, especially in relation to the body, gender and power, to critically reflect on reproduction, sexuality and health issues across the global North and South. A particular concern is with the existence and experience of sexual and reproductive inequalities in diverse social and cultural settings. Contrary to popular belief, reproduction is a process which is as much about men as it is about women, and is studied in the context of, for example, male fertility/infertility, masculinity, fatherhood and male sexual health. The module builds upon the theoretical perspectives introduced in the second year on kinship, procreation, social reproduction, sexuality, personhood, reproductive technologies, human rights and applied anthropology.

Anthropology of Islam and Muslim Societies

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module introduces you to anthropological debates concerning Islam and Muslim societies. Focusing on the complex and diverse experiences of being Muslim in different ethnographic contexts, it explores intersections between religious practice - Islamic knowledge, authority, prayer, ritual and piety and political, economic, social and cultural processes. On the basis of ethnographic studies, the module questions whether 'Islam' can be considered as a unified experiential and analytical category, and how anthropologists have participated in the production of Islam as a specific field of study. The module considers actual instances or expressions of religiosity and how these are the ground of everyday contestations and, at times, conflict between different sects and groups.

Anthropology of Migration

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you engage closely with the anthropology of migration.

You cover topics such as:

  • migration, development and modernity
  • transnationalism and diaspora
  • belonging and home
  • multiculturalism and cultural identity
  • refugees and asylum seekers
  • borderlands and the state.

And through these topics, you explore the ways in which anthropologists have critically engaged with debates surrounding migration - from early work on the South African Copperbelt, to contemporary work which interrogates the nature and politics of mobility and immobility.

Anthropology of the Body

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the body from an anthropological perspective and considers how different societies and cultures conceptualise and experience the human body. In recent years, anthropologists and other academics have become increasingly interested in the body, including authors such as Foucault and Bourdieu. Some draw upon Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological approach with its emphasis on the senses, while others attempted to resolve the tensions between experience and agency. The module asks how the body represents a challenge for anthropological research, and explores recent ethnographic contributions to this field. We consider the body as a site on which social and cultural processes are inscribed, where power relations converge and are articulated and as a site where agency is performed. Materials are drawn from both non-Western and Western societies.

This module will be assessed by a 5,000-word essay.

Anthropology Thesis

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

During your final year you are required to undertake an individual project based on original research, which culimates in a ten thousand word dissertation. Whilst some of you may wish to conduct fieldwork for your dissertation (which we anticipate would be done during the spring / summer of Y2), others may choose to work on secondary sources. In order to prepare for this work, you will have been given methodological training in the module 'Ethnographic Methods' (TB1, Y2). By the end of TB1, Y2, you will be allocated a supervisor, who will help them prepare for their research, and supervise their project as they write it up over a course of regular meetings during Y3.

Current Themes in the Anthropology of Latin America

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you develop a framework for understanding current social, cultural and political issues in Latin American.

Throughout the module, you engage with anthropological understandings of a number of key ideas including:

  • indigeneity
  • race
  • gender
  • colonialism
  • nation states
  • the environment.

Each week is centred on ethnographic pieces that offer interesting reflections on contemporary issues as well as anthropological theory.

You begin with a basic history of the continent that sets up some of the key issues that underpin the current cultural and social diversity of the region.

This includes both the dichotomy between the European 'conquerors' and indigenous groups, as well as the introduction of African slaves and notable distinctions based around urban and rural living, and nation states and their peripheries.

In doing this, the emphasis is on including both European-based understandings of events and ideas - but also local, alternative understandings of the world, particularly in the form of Amazonian cosmology and ideas of perspectivism.

This cultural and historical knowledge then gives you the foundations from which to look at key contemporary issues including:

  • race and identity
  • rural to urban migration
  • cities, slums and current attempts to 'pacify' and control them
  • music and festivals
  • the Latin American diaspora and the creation of transnational cultures and communities.

Throughout the course, the heterogeneity of Latin America is emphasised, while you explore some basic ideas and theoretical approaches to the continent and its people. This allows you to find a topic or idea that interests you and that can form the core of your own 5,000 word essay.

Development, Business and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the role of business in development and the rise of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement.

In recent years, the private sector – transnational corporations (TNCs) in particular – have become increasingly important players in the development process. The business and development movement has emerged as part of the dramatic rise of CSR over the past decade – providing a new vision for the role of business in society as 'corporate citizen'. Development institutions (such as DFID and the UN, as well as global NGOs) have become increasingly interested in mobilising businesses, not only as donors, but as partners in development. At the same time, ethical trading initiatives, the fairtrade movement and pro-poor enterprise models offer different opportunities for harnessing the power of the market in the service of development.

We will explore a number of key questions concerning the role of business in development and the rise of the CSR movement, from the perspective of both its proponents and opponents.

Environmental Anthropology

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you consider the cross-cultural study of relations between people and their environment.

Like the focus of many environmental movements, much recent work in ecological anthropology has been crisis-driven.

Whilst covering this literature, the focus of this module will be broader, taking a wider perspective, including the context in which the research itself is being done. Current work on the human dimensions of deforestation, or global climate change, for example, can be informed and strengthened by an understanding of the century-old intellectual lineage of the underlying issues.

Therefore, in this module you cover the evolution of environmental anthropology, using ethnographic exemplars that relate to contemporary environmental issues, whilst at the same time probing debates such as:

  • the Nature-Culture trap, and beyond
  • Ecology and Social Organisation
  • the Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment (including environmental anthropological contributions to mining, resource conflict etc.)
  • knowing (and the limits to knowing) and researching the environment.

Human Rights

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module focuses less on human rights rules and laws, and more on the assumptions of human rights, and the historical context and issues around their operation and implementation.

It draws from a new and growing literature on the sociology and anthropology of human rights that seeks to move beyond the assumptions of legal positivism (rights as being 'read off' from lists of human rights covenants) in order to develop the 'legal realist' argument. This argument focuses upon the living law of the operation of courts, the police, and the everyday understandings that citizens give to notions such as truth, justice, and morality.

Race, Ethnicity and Identity

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module focuses on theories of race, ethnicity and identity. You will apply diverse approaches to race, ethnicitiy and identity to historical and contemporary ethnographic contexts.

As well as examining the ways in which racial and ethnic identities have been constructed across time and space, we interrogate these constructions with specific reference to:

  • the development of anthropology
  • slavery and colonialism
  • scientific racism
  • postcolonial political regimes
  • postcolonial feminism
  • conflict and genocide
  • identity-based mass violence
  • diaspora, transnationalism and the Black Atlantic
  • contemporary understandings of race and racism in its myriad forms
  • multicultural lives and hybridity.

You are assessed by a 7,000-word dissertation.

Special Subject: Domesticity and its Discontents: Women in Post-War Britain

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the history of women in Britain from the end of the Second World War to the rise of Second Wave Feminism, with a particular focus on the 1950s. The fifties have been associated with the 'new look' in fashion, a movement back into the home and the efflorescence of women's and girls' magazines. Recent historiography, however, points to more complex social and economic experiences: the period is increasingly seen as one of contradiction and instability. Historians are beginning to ask new questions about femininity, desire and representation in the period, and there is a wealth of comparatively unexplored source material available allowing ample opportunities for original essay and dissertation research.

This module will cover a number of topics including girlhood, sexuality, prostitution, crime, migration, motherhood, employment, domesticity, politics and pleasure, locating these within the wider context of post-war British history.

You will be introduced to a range of source material including social surveys, film, parliamentary papers, magazines, oral history, autobiographies and the Mass Observation Archive, and will be instructed in the use of these sources.

The module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to a historical understanding of the complex social position of women in the period, the broader context of postwar Britain and the nature of historical representation and change. Our key focus is upon the ways in which historians set about interpreting and understanding the past. What kinds of 'evidence' do they use, and what are the problems involved in using these various kinds of evidence?

Special Subject: End of Empire: Nationalism, Decolonisation and the British Raj in India 1937-1950

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

You will examine the national movement in late colonial India in the context of decolonisation. Concentrating on the last phase of colonial rule you will examine the changing relationship between the Indian National Congress and the Raj and discuss the different imaginings of the Indian nation both by political parties such as the Congress and the Muslim league and also peasants, workers and women. Gandhi and his non-violence movement emerges as a key feature of the period. His ultimate failure and the resulting partition of India is an important focus of the module. Partition violence and the upheaval of the years leading up to the creation of the democratic Republic of India in 1950 will also form part of the study.

In seeking to redress the elitist bias in Indian history the module draws upon subaltern historiography in order to understand popular consciousness at the time of decolonisation. The perspectives of colonial policy makers such as Lord Mountbatten, Viceroy at the time of independence and other important government functionaries will also be considered. Decolonisation was presaged on may things, but most importantly on Britain's role in the changing world. The creation of the Republic of India was to make India into the largest democracy in the world. The first term will concentrate on general issues related to the subject while in the second term emphasis will be placed on the use of primary sources that throw light on the issues raised in the first term.

Special Subject: Genocide

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

Genocide, the term and the concept, was invented by Raphael Lemkin at the end of the Second World War in an attempt to intellectually grasp the horrors of what Churchill called a 'crime without a name': the Shoah. And it was Raphael Lemkin who in 1948 succeeded to get the UN General Assembly to ratify the Genocide Convention to prevent similar crimes in the future. Since then the term has become widely used in public and in academic scholarship describing mass murders as far back as the Assyrian Empire, but the practice did not come to an end with the Shoah turning the concept of genocide into a pivotal analytical tool in understanding the violent history of the 20th century.

Throughout the module you will combine an in-depth analysis of various genocides with an investigation of genocide as a generic concept. In the first part, you will examine the international discussion leading up to the adoption of the Genocide Convention and the Shoah as the event which not only shaped the specific content of the convention but also guaranteed the necessary support at the General Assembly. In the second part you will analyse case studies ranging from the killing of the Herero and Nama in German South West Africa to Darfur focussing mainly but not only on the social dynamics that lead to mass killings, the motivation of the perpetrators and the construction of the victim groups. In the last part, you will examine and contrasts various recent definitions of what constitutes genocide, exploring their merits and limitations and discussing alternative concepts.

Special Subject: Gone with the Wind? The Civil War in American Memory

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

The ongoing sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War in the United States highlights the continuing capacity of that sanguinary conflict to generate controversy in the present.

This module provides you with a detailed examination of the war's impact on generations of Americans since 1865. It focuses specifically on the construction of southern white, African American and official unionist memories of the Civil War. These three key strains of historical memory evolved in the late nineteenth century under the press of postbellum reconciliation between North and South and the concomitant growth of a segregated society. They took a variety of forms, notably the potent and profoundly racist 'Lost Cause' memory of the Confederate cause which underpinned the Jim Crow South for more than half a century, a marginalised African-American 'counter-memory' which sought to keep alive remembrance of emancipation and black military service in the armed forces of the United States, and an official national memory which depicted the Civil War as a tragic brothers' war which nevertheless had the effect of unifying and strengthening the United States in preparation for its emergence on the world stage as a Great Power.

The module will focus on the impersonal social and economic forces at work in the construction of these distinctive and frequently intertwined memories as well as the inherently political activities of different groups involved in the memory-making process. These groups include southern white women who founded the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the veterans themselves who contributed significantly to sectional reconciliation, novelists, poets and historians of all kinds, filmmakers and dramatists, and politicians with a wide range of vested interests. The module will introduce students to a broad range of illustrative 'texts' in order to familiarise them with the diverse manifestations of Civil War memory – not only writings by Ulysses S. Grant, Carl Sandburg, and Douglas Southall Freeman but also monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC; movies like Gone With the Wind and Glory; and commemorative events including the ill-fated centennial of the 1960s which was moulded by both the Cold War and the modern civil rights movement.

In many respects the module functions as a detailed case study in historical memory, a concept of growing interest to historians and one that has already generated a rich secondary literature. You will be encouraged to engage closely with this broader literature in order to make cross-national comparisons and to apply at least a modicum of theory to the primary and secondary texts at their disposal.

Special Subject: Modernism

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module looks at the history of political and aesthetic modernism. Particular attention is paid to the relation between demands for political revolution on the one hand, and demands for cultural innovation and artistic experimentation on the other.

Authors and artists include Baudelaire, Marx, Rimbaud, Kafka, Cezanne, Adorno and Beckett. Movements include impressionism, postimpressionism, anarchism, communism, surrealism and situationism.

No detailed prior knowledge of art or literature is required; slides, AV material, and films will be used where appropriate.

Special Subject: The Century of the Gene

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

At the beginning of the 20th century no-one knew anything about genetics (the word itself had yet to be coined), yet by the century's end you could buy cheap, do-it-yourself genetic tests on the internet. You will investigate the ways in which advances in scientific knowledge have affected our sense of ourselves, so that the very phrase 'human nature' has increasingly come to mean something fixed by our genes.

The language of genetics has had a powerful effect on political dismodule; the eugenic ideal of creating a superior type of human was supposed to have died with Hitler, yet seems to live on in routine genetic testing and screening, and in the fantasy of 'designer babies'. The idea of a genetic blueprint, and of being able to read, and perhaps edit and re-write, the DNA 'code', has shaped popular culture from television and cinema to novels and computer games.

You will examine a broad and diverse range of primary sources, from accessible scientific texts to science fiction (novels, TV and movies), to examples of how the mass media report science, in order to track the often imaginative uses of ideas like cloning, mutation and genetic engineering.

No knowledge of biology is needed for this module.

The goal is for you to understand the ways in which non-expert publics have understood genetics. Biology's grip on the public imagination helped it become the defining science of the 20th century. Genetics redefined the public sphere in 20th century because of the promise, or threat, that it would reshape humans and the world we live in.

Special Subject: The Civil Rights Movement

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

The civil rights movement was one of the most remarkable and important developments in twentieth century American history.

Focusing primarily on the period from the Second World War up until the end of the 1970s, you chart the course of African Americans’ fight against racial discrimination and segregation across the nation as a whole, and its impact upon American society and politics.

From the beaches of northern France to the Supreme Court, from the National Mall to the wooden shacks of the black rural South and urban ghetto streets, African Americans’ fight for racial equality and economic justice transformed many of the nation’s key institutions.

You also explore the various developments that shaped the course of black protest, including:

  • migration and urbanization
  • domestic anticommunism and anticolonial struggles worldwide
  • suburbanization and the white conservative resurgence
  • divisive struggles over foreign policy at home
  • the fight over affirmative action and busing in the 1970s.

Throughout the module, you learn about the key organisations, debates, events, and leaders of the civil rights movement, and the Black Power movement that followed it. You also engage with the major historiographical debates concerning the period.

The course concludes by considering the relationship between the historical reputation of Martin Luther King and ‘master’ narrative of the period, and conservatives’ efforts to roll back the gains made by African Americans in the decades since.

Special Subject: The European Experience of the First World War

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

The First World War was a pivotal event in 20th century history, which, on the eve of its centenary, provokes intense public interest and academic inquiry. This 'Special Subject' module is inspired by the vibrant cultural history in the field of First World War studies and takes a thematic approach in order to examine the European experience of the conflict in a comparative and transnational manner. Within the context of the larger political and military framework the module will explore the physical and emotional dimension of the war experience of both soldiers and civilians across Europe.

Weekly themes will include:

  • the myth and reality of war enthusiasm
  • combat and killing in industrial war
  • fear and trauma in the trenches
  • religious faith and rituals in war
  • mass death and bereavement
  • artistic responses to the conflict
  • motherhood and marriage in war
  • notions of courage and heroism
  • labour and forced labour
  • the dynamics of violence
  • atrocities, rape and genocide
  • and also the controversial issue of the memory of the war across Europe.

This module offers a fresh and challenging analysis of the conflict with a particluar emphasis on the human experience of war between 1914 and 1918.

The Anthropology of Africa

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you are introduced to contemporary anthropological approaches in culture and society in Africa.

The guiding thread of the module is an exploration of the relationship between macro and micro levels of analysis in understanding of African society, through a selection of thematic lenses such as:

  • economy
  • politics
  • religion
  • health
  • gender
  • conflict
  • power.

The assessment for this module is a 5,000-word essay.

The Anthropology of Europe

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Anthropology is generally thought to be the study of non-European societies, but actually has a long and significant history of research on societies within Europe. This module examines this European tradition, focusing particularly on how anthropologists have tried to understand the sociocultural transformations of Europe since World War II. The guiding theme is an exploration of the relationship between macro and micro levels of analysis in our understanding of European society: what are the relationships between Europe and its constituent regions, nation states, communities? How do broader trends within European society and politics impact upon the everyday life of Europeans today?

The Anthropology of Food

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Understanding Contemporary India

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module introduces you to some key contemporary debates in the study of South Asian societies, with a focus on India.

Starting with an interrogation of anthropological representations of South Asia, the module will explore debates about caste and hierarchy, leading to a discussion of everyday experiences of caste and its changing meaning and importance in contemporary India. It will question why bonded labour, patronage, inequality and poverty are so persistent in one of the world’s fastest growing regions. It will explore how neoliberal policies and ideologies are reshaping South Asian subjectivity and society.

The module will then turn to the politics of identity as shaped by class, caste and religious affiliations. It will explore the rise of the middle classes and its links with consumption, urban restructuring and the new enterprise culture, as well as its implications for growing inequalities of class and wealth. It will look into religious and communal identity formation and conflict, and will explore the nature of popular religion in South Asia. Finally, the module will look at the role of the state and politics in the making of contemporary South Asia. The state will be considered as a key actor in the shaping of neoliberal policies and ideologies, as a terrain of patronage and politics, and as the deliverer of new social welfare policies.

This module will be assessed by a 7,000-word dissertation.

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