- Code ANTH2136
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Anthropology
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Development Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Criminology
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Co-taught Course
What is piracy? Is it: outright theft, a critique of exploitative pricing and labour systems, a culture outside of law? All societies define a boundary between sanctioned and illegitimate ownership, and this course considers the role of piracy in mediating those struggles. We explore these conflicting perspectives on piracy in a range of historical and contemporary settings in order to ask broader questions about the cross-cultural role of property, ownership, marginalization, and security today. In developing an anthropology of piracy, the course emphasises power, identity, and resistance as key thematics. From histories of slave revolts to the hacker collective ‘Anonymous,’ we track new political configurations and the rebels they engender. A vital aspect of the course involves applying anthropological theories of value to everyday forms of economic governance in families, communities, states and global institutions. Students will consider wider issues of sovereignty, intellectual property, race, colonialism, gender and sexuality, morality, mobility, and globalization.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Develop an understanding of the cultural and historical
transformation of property and discuss its variation across different
- Draw upon and analyze primary sources and apply key
concepts in political, legal, and economic anthropology to real world examples
- Identify major issues with modern property and piracy to
reflect on their impact in areas of social life including work, kinship,
gender, morality, mobility, and globalization.
- Write essays that develop a critical argument about the war on piracy.
Tutorial quizzes (One per week for 12 weeks with 5 minutes to complete in class) 10% [LO 1]
Two Applied practicums 1,000 words each (30%) [LO 2,3]
Biography of a "pirated" property 750 words (25%) [LO 3,4]
One film analysis Presentation (5-7 minutes) (10%) [LO 1,2]
Final Writing Project 1,500 words (25%) [LO 3,4]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 43 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 12 hours of lectures and 11 hours of tutorials and 20 hours of film screenings and discussions; and
b) 87 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Dawdy, Shannon Lee. "Why pirates are back." Annual Review of Law and Social Science 7 (2011): 361-385.
Dua, Jatin. "A sea of trade and a sea of fish: piracy and protection in the Western Indian Ocean." Journal of Eastern African Studies 7.2 (2013): 353-370.
van Velzen, Diura Thoden. "The world of Tuscan tomb robbers: Living with the local community and the ancestors." International Journal of Cultural Property 5.01 (1996): 111-126.
Coleman, Gabriella. Hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower, spy: The many faces of Anonymous. Verso Books, 2014
Musaraj, Smoki. "Tales from Albarado: The materiality of pyramid schemes in postsocialist Albania." Cultural Anthropology 26.1 (2011): 84-110.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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