Proposing a Harry Potter and Anthropology Course

My discussion last month centred on the emerging trend for developing disciplinary courses in concert with popular culture themes. The possibilities for relevant and insightful connections are as endless as the imaginations of fiction authors, screenwriters, musicians, and other artists. In this post, I want to delve deeply into a course at the intersection of popular culture and anthropology that certainly would have held my attention as an undergraduate. Here, I propose a Harry Potter and Anthropology course that uses Harry Potter as a gateway to discussions of the important themes of four-field anthropology. read more…

  • dateApril 20, 2016
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  • posted byLeah McCurdy
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The Construction of Anthropological Knowledge and the Construction of Research

To mark the publication of the newest ethnography in the Teaching Culture series, Merchants in the City of Art: Work, Identity, and Change in a Florentine Neighborhood, the author, Anne Schiller, provides some background on how she involved student researchers in her ethnographic fieldwork. read more…

  • dateApril 15, 2016
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  • posted byAnne Schiller
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Ancestral Lines, Second Edition

At the core of the Teaching Culture series of ethnographies is John Barker’s Ancestral Lines: The Maisin of Papua New Guinea and the Fate of the Rainforest. This book has been tremendously successful in college and university classrooms because of its beautiful writing, its clear organization, and because it does not talk down to or bore students. This week, the book is available in a new edition, and we asked John Barker, the author and editor of the Teaching Culture series, to say a few words about its publication and the history behind the book. read more…

  • dateApril 4, 2016
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  • posted byJohn Barker
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Popular Culture Courses for Anthropology

There are some important distinctions to make regarding popular culture and/or imaginative literature as an aspect of a course. First, what is the primary focal point of the course: popular culture or the academic discipline as a whole? There are many courses in media studies, sociology, or anthropology departments that focus on popular culture or media as a subject of inquiry and critical analysis. Here, I highlight courses in which introductory disciplinary understanding is the primary goal and popular culture serves as a lens through which to focus student attention and the development of their disciplinary knowledge. read more…

  • dateMarch 15, 2016
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  • posted byLeah McCurdy
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Public Anthropology

To mark the publication of Public Anthropology: Engaging Social Issues in the Modern World, the author, Edward J. Hedican, provides us with a few thoughts on the impetus behind the book, why students can benefit from learning more about public anthropology, and some highlights of key anthropologists who are featured in the book. read more…

  • dateMarch 4, 2016
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  • posted byEdward J. Hedican
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