66946 - History of Anthropology (1) (M-Z)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will master the conceptual framework that characterizes the discipline and will be able to understand its different intellectual schools of thought.

Course contents

The course (12 CFU) is composed by two integrated modules that cannot be divided (Cultural Anthropology and History of Anthropology).

The course aims at presenting an introduction to the main concepts and theories that characterize cultural anthropology. Particular attention will be dedicated to the limits and potentialities of different conceptualizations of the concept of culture, to the nature/culture relationship, to the ethnographic method, to the contemporary challenges for anthropological knowledge .

Lectures will begin at the end of March.


Students will have to study the following four volumes:

For the first module "Cultural Anthropology" (1):

1. Emily A. Schultz e Robert H. Lavenda, 2015, Antropologia culturale, Zanichelli, Bologna (Terza Edizione Italiana) [Ediz. Orig., Cultural Anthropology. A Perspective on the Human Condition, Ninth Edition, 2013, Oxfrod University Press, Oxford].

2. James Clifford & George Marcus, 2015 Scrivere le culture. Poetiche e politiche dell’etnografia, Meltemi-Mimesis [Ediz. Orig., Writing culture. The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, 1986, University of California Press]

For the second module "History of Anthropology" (1):

3. Clifford Geertz (1998), Interpretazione di culture, Il Mulino, Bologna, [Ediz. Orig., The interpretation of cultures, Basic Books, Inc., Puhlishers, New York, 1973] (Chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11).

4. Ugo Fabietti, 2011-2020, Storia dell'antropologia, Zanichelli, Bologna (Third or Fourth Edition).

Teaching methods

Formal lectures with audio-visual support (when appropriate).

In each lecture, students will be engaged in order to verify the proper understanding of the discussed issues.

Assessment methods

Students will have to answer one question for each of the four volumes indicated above.

Proper language and the ability to make connections between the books' content will lead to a good/excellent final grade.

Acceptable language and the ability to resume the books' content will lead to a sufficient/fair grade.

The exam is failed if students:

- do not demonstrate to master the "learning outcomes" of the course;

- show insufficient linguistic proficiency and fragmentary knowledge of the books' content;

- do not answer all the exam questions.

Students with special needs are kindly invited to contact the lecturers in order to define together the proper assessment method.

Office hours

See the website of Aurora Donzelli