Anthropology of Anthropology
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Antropoloogia antropoloogiast
Course title in English
Anthropology of Anthropology
ECTS credits
Assessment form
lecturer of 2021/2022  Autumn semester
lecturer not assigned
lecturer of 2021/2022  Spring semester
Eeva Kesküla (language of instruction:English)
Course aims
This course provides the basis for reflection on the major trends, ideas, methods and theories in the wide ranging reflexive genre of social anthropology. It will examine some of the main debates, both current and historical that anthropologists have grappled with. Discussions will connect these issues to broader theoretical, methodological and epistemological concerns within the humanities and social sciences.
Brief description of the course
Anthropology has traditionally been conceived as the study of the ‘Other’ and non-Western cultures. The reflexive and critical approaches within the social sciences, especially during the mid-20th century, have re-focused the epistemological lenses of theory and methodology (amongst others ‘ethnography’) back at many such things as the Imperial gaze and Empirical haze, Western intellectual thought and academic pursuits themselves – hence back at the very activities of the discipline itself. This move was accompanied, perhaps even prompted, by an historic shift in the field for accepting the validity of situated studies of the ‘self’, anthropologies at home and even the auto-deconstruction of western intellectual communities. After exploring such epistemological questions, the course examines the effects of recent socio-political transformations in the traditional ways of doing socio-cultural anthropology and of being a card-carrying ‘anthropologist’. Consequently, a number of themes will be dealt with implicitly. These include: identity and the nationalisms of ideas; post-colonialism; multiculturalism; intellectual diasporas and transnational migration of anthropologists; and so on.
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
- is expected to be familiar with some topics and approaches that anthropologists have contended with and be able to relate these issues to their own research and practice.
Eeva Kesküla