Tag Archives: pedagogy

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
  • comments1
  • posted byLeah McCurdy
read post

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
  • commentsNo comments
  • posted byJohn Barker
read post

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
  • commentsNo comments
  • posted byLeah McCurdy
read post

“Creative Connections” with J.R.R. Tolkien: Teaching Anthropology with Imaginative Literature

How do J.R.R. Tolkien, his legendary stories, and other examples of imaginative literature relate to anthropology? The possibilities are endless. You can make “creative connections” in your classroom and engage students in a dialogue about the resonance of anthropology and its themes to many of their favorite imaginative universes. read more…

  • dateFebruary 11, 2016
  • commentsNo comments
  • posted byLeah McCurdy
read post

Taking Risks in Teaching Anthropology, Part II

This is the second of a two-part blog post in which Suzanne Z. Gottschang from Smith College outlines the benefits of integrating real-world examples into an introductory cultural anthropology course. read more…

  • dateFebruary 5, 2016
  • commentsNo comments
  • posted bySuzanne Z. Gottschang
read post