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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2016/2017

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Anthropology

Undergraduate Course: Anthropology of Violence (SCAN10058)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines a variety of anthropological approaches to the study of violence, ranging from evolutionary explanations for male aggression to studies of changing American attitudes toward terrorism in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It looks critically at the theoretical, methodological and ethical questions raised in studies of violence through ethnographic case studies from around the world. The course considers attempts to define violence as a concept in the social sciences and explores the possible causes, meanings, and uses of violent practices from a variety of different cultural contexts and perspectives. It gives particular attention to the political and economic conditions that promote war and other violent behaviour as well as specific cultural expressions within violent practices. It also discusses ethnographic descriptions of ┐peaceful societies┐ and examines the challenges of reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict.
Course description a. Academic Description

This course examines a variety of anthropological approaches to the study of violence, ranging from evolutionary explanations for male aggression to studies of changing American attitudes toward terrorism in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It looks critically at the theoretical, methodological and ethical questions raised in studies of violence through ethnographic case studies from around the world. The course considers attempts to define violence as a concept in the social sciences and explores the possible causes, meanings, and uses of violent practices from a variety of different cultural contexts and perspectives. It gives particular attention to the political and economic conditions that promote war and other violent behaviour as well as specific cultural expressions within violent practices. It also discusses ethnographic descriptions of ┐peaceful societies┐ and examines the challenges of reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict.

b. Outline Content

Week Topic
1 What is Violence and how do we Study it?
2 Violence and Human Nature
3 Historical Perspective: Conflicts in Colonialism
4 Remembering Violence
5 The Violence of Everyday Life
INNOVATIVE LEARNING WEEK - no classes
6 Gender and Violence
7 The Body
8 Cosmology and the Poetics of Violence
9 Interventions of the State: The War on Terror
10 Peace and Reconciliation

c. Student Learning Experience
A narrative description of how the course will be taught, how students are expected to engage with their learning and how they will be expected to evidence and demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
The course will be taught over ten sessions, including a two-hour lecture on Mondays at 11.10 ┐ 12.10 in room S.1, 7 George Square. Each student will also be assigned to an additional one-hour seminar that meets each week.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Anthropology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand how and why violence has become a major area of anthropological research in recent decades, as well as critically analyse a wide variety of theoretical approaches to violence in the social sciences.
  2. Relate specific historical and ethnographic case studies of violence to major debates in anthropology and contemporary society.
  3. Critically examine the political and ethical dimensions of research on violence.
  4. Recognise the ways in which the study of violence draws on multiple disciplinary approaches from the natural and social sciences.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate evidence from specific case studies, and use such material in building coherent arguments in essay writing and seminar presentations.
Reading List
* Scheper-Hughes, N. and P. Bourgois (eds.) (2004) Violence in War and Peace: an
anthology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
* Bourgois, P. (1995) In Search of Respect: selling crack in El Barrio. New York: Cambridge University Press.
* Taylor, C. (1999) Sacrifice as Terror: the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Oxford: Berg.
Additional Information
Course URL http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/undergrad/subject_and_programme_specific_information/social_anthropology/honours
Graduate Attributes and Skills to be confirmed
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Casey High
Tel:
Email: C.High@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Ayre
Tel: (0131 6)50 4001
Email: layre@exseed.ed.ac.uk
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