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Theory & the Anthropological Imagination (ANTH30013)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeANTH30013
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This is the Capstone subject for students majoring in Anthropology. Focusing on contemporary issues (such as relatedness, identity, personhood, value, modernity and embodiment) that have been encountered through the course of the Anthropology major, the subject is designed to enable students to reflect on and demonstrate what they have learned about anthropology as a discipline. Its format thus differs from other subjects, being built around a series of seminars that explore actual research projects of staff in the anthropology program and how, in each case, theory and ethnography inform the research process. Students will also work together in small groups to critically analyse and contextualise a particular ethnography, developing research and teamwork skills in doing so. The aims of the subject thus are simultaneously theoretical and practical; it will provide students with experience in recognising how theory shapes the ways questions are both asked and answered, and with the ways that 'doing' anthropology in turn shapes theory.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • apply critical analytical skills to explore how comparative perspectives and a tradition of ethnographic enquiry can inform developments in theory, and conversely, how theories inform the research process;
  • examine in detail the interplay between historical and contemporary evidence and theory in relation to key topics in social and cultural anthropology;
  • demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of written and oral formats;
  • demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with peers.

Eligibility and requirements


Only students completing a Major in Anthropology and Social Theory or a Graduate Diploma in Anthropology can enrol in this subject.



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • A 1-page outline plan for a group research project (10%) due during semester.
  • A 1500 word essay (40%) due during semester.
  • A group class presentation (10%) due during the last two weeks of semester.
  • A group report, produced collaboratively by three or four students, of 5,000-6,000 words (40%) due during the examination period.
  • Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of seminars in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in workshops is required.
  • Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10 marks per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorMonica Minnegal
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours2 hour seminar per week & presentation day in Week 12 of Semester.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Readings will be provided online through the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of semester.

  • Subject notes

    This is the Capstone Subject for the Major in Anthropology. All students completing a major in this area must complete this subject.

    This is a compulsory subject in the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Anthropology).

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 1 June 2019