University of Sussex Business School

Anthropology of Latin America (L6096D)

Current Themes in the Anthropology of Latin America

Module L6096D

Module details for 2022/23.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

The aim of this module is to provide a framework for understanding current social, cultural and political issues in Latin American. Throughout the module we will engage with anthropological understandings of a number of key ideas including indigeneity, race, gender, colonialism, nation states and the environment. Each week will be centred on ethnographic pieces that offer interesting reflections on contemporary issues as well as anthropological theory.

We 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 us 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 we emphasise the heterogeneity of Latin America while giving you some basic ideas and theoretical approaches to the continent and its people that will then allow you to find a topic or idea that interests you and that can form the core of your essay.

Essay (4000 words)Semester 1 Assessment Week 1 Wed 16:00100.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterSeminar3 hours11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.