This course explores some of anthropology's perspectives on personhood and related concepts (self, subject, individual). It presents a body of relevant ideas and cross-cultural in-depth case studies from Melanesia, and other parts of the Pacific, Aboriginal Australia, and contemporary Western socio-cultural settings.
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:
- Recognise the cultural and historical specificity of different models of personhood found throughout the world.
- Interrogate and denaturalise assumptions about personhood found in contemporary western societies (including Australia).
- Identify the ethnocentric character of many assumptions about personhood made by anthropologists and other social scientists.
- Analyse the place and meaning, in their own cultural contexts, of a range of (often unfamiliar) knowledges and practices pertaining to personhood.
- Design and carry out an individual research project on the anthropology of personhood.
Indicative AssessmentTutorial participation (10%) [Learning outcomes 1–5]
Essay 1 (set topic), 2000 words (30%) [Learning outcomes 1–5]
Essay 2 (individually-negotiated topic), 4000 words (60%) [Learning outcomes 1–5]
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) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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