General Debates in Anthropological Theory
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Antropoloogiateooria üldised küsimused
Course title in English
General Debates in Anthropological Theory
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2020/2021  Autumn semester
õppejõud on määramata
lecturer of 2020/2021  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
By the end of the course students are 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.
Brief description of the course
This course will examine some current and past debates that anthropologists have grappled with. Class discussions will connect these issues to broader theoretical and methodological concerns.
Independent work
Essays must be between 3500 - 5000 words students and are required a minimum of 5 cited references. It is advisable that, for the purpose of the essay, students find and use academic resources not listed in the course outline.
Learning outcomes in the course
The course will be organized around specific themes that will be addressed throughout various sessions. The format of the sessions will be akin to a Seminar or Reading Group. A student, or group of students, will commit themselves to doing an oral presentation on the assigned readings for the session. This presentation will be followed by a group discussion of the themes brought up during the oral report.
Assessment methods
Students will be assessed on the basis of the oral presentations and on the submission of a single-authored written essay.

Attendance 10%
Class Participation 20%
Oral Presentation 30%
Final Paper 40%
Dotsent Carlo Cubero Irizarry
Replacement literature
Ingold, Tim (editor). 1996. "Social Anthropology is a Generalizing Science or it is Nothing". Key Debates in Anthropology. London, Routledge.
E. E. Evans-Pritchard. 1950. Social Anthropology: Past and Present the Marett Lecture. Man
Vol. 50, (Sep., 1950), pp. 118-124.
Ingold, Tim (editor). 1996. "The Concept of Society is Theoretically Obsolete". Key Debates in Anthropology. London, Routledge.
Sahlins, Marhsall. 1999. "Two or Three Things that I Know about Culture". The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 5, No. 3. (Sep., 1999), pp. 399-421.
Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1991. "Writing against culture." Writing 1 (1991): 3. Ingold, Tim (editor). 1996. "Human worlds are culturally constructed". Key Debates in Anthropology. London, Routledge.
Freeman, Derek. 2001. Chapter 1. Human Nature and Culture. Dilthey’s Dream: Essays on Human Nature and Culture. Pandanus Books, Canberra.
Ingold, Tim (editor). 1996. "Language is the essence of culture". Key Debates in Anthropology. London, Routledge. McDowell, Nancy. "Derek Freeman, Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth." Pacific Studies 7.2 (1984): 99-140.
McDowell, Nancy. "Introduction: The Essentialization of Margaret Mead."Pacific Studies 28.3 (2005): 4-18.
Shankman, Paul. "The History if Samoan Sexual Conduct and tie Mead‐Freeman Controversy." American Anthropologist 98.3 (1996): 555-567.
Shankman, Paul. "Derek Freeman and Margaret Mead: What Did He Know, When Did He Know it?." Pacific Studies 32.2/3 (2009): 202-221.
Wendt, Tuaopepe Felix S. "Derek Freeman, Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth." Pacific Studies 7.2 (1984): 92-99.
Wade, Peter (ed). 1995. "GDAT - Advocacy is a personal commitment for anthropologists, not an institutional imperative for anthropology". University of Manchester.
Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. "The primacy of the ethical: propositions for a militant anthropology." Current Anthropology 36.3 (1995): 409-440.
Robins, Steven, and Nancy Scheper-Hughes. "On the Call for a Militant Anthropology: The Complexity of" Doing the Right Thing"." (1996): 341-346.
Hastrup, Kirsten, et al. "Anthropological advocacy: a contradiction in terms?[and comments]."Current Anthropology 31.3 (1990): 301-311.
Wade, Peter (ed). 1995. "GDAT - The Right to Difference is a Fundamental Human Right". University of Manchester.
Winch, Peter. "Understanding a primitive society." American Philosophical Quarterly 1.4 (1964): 307-324.
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. "Multiculturalism, individualism and human rights: Romanticism, the Enlightenment and lessons from Mauritius." Human Rights, Culture and Context: Anthropological Perspectives (1997): 49-69.
Wade, Peter (ed). 1995. "GDAT – In Anthropology, the image can never have the last say”. University of Manchester.
Anderson, Kevin Taylor. "Towards an Anarchy of Imagery: Questioning the Categorization of Films as" Ethnographic". Journal of Film and Video 55.2-3 (2003): 73-87.
Chopra, Radhika. "Robert Gardner's Forest of Bliss: A Review." Visual Anthropology Review 5.1 (1989): 2-3.
Henley, Paul (2007) "Beyond the Burden of the Real: Anthropological Reflections on the Technique of a Master Cutter”. Barbash, Ilisa & Taylor, Lucien. (eds.). The Cinema of Robert Gardner. Berg Publishers, London.
Moore, Alexander. "The Limitations of Imagist Documentary: A Review of Robert Gardner's" Forest of Bliss". Visual Anthropology Review 4.2 (1988): 1-2.
Ostor, Akos. "Is That What Forest of Bliss is All About?: A Response." Visual Anthropology Review 5.1 (1989): 4-8.
Parry, Jonathan P. "Comment on Robert Gardner's" Forest of Bliss".Visual Anthropology Review 4.2 (1988): 4-7.
Ruby, Jay. "An anthropological critique of the films of Robert Gardner." Journal of film and Video 43.4 (1991): 3-17.