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ANTH726 – The Politics of Knowledge, Organised and Everyday Forms of Contestation

2017 – S2 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Kalpana Ram
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit examines some key debates in the politics of knowledge over the last twenty years, debates which have emerged from social movements, and made a substantial impact on academic disciplines, including on anthropology. Some of the questions we consider are: Can non-elite ('subaltern') groups 'speak for themselves'? What role do intellectuals play in these movements? What are the different kinds of intellectuals and transnational flows of ideas and organisational networks that have been generative of social movements? And how necessary are intellectuals to social movements that emerge from subordinate and marginalised groups? And finally, how do we understand contestation and more broadly, human agency, outside the context of discourses and organised projects of social movements and intellectuals?

Important Academic Dates

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Learning Outcomes

  1. Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Class preparation and discussi 30% Continuous
Essay 1 25% Week 5
Book review 20% Week 9
Research essay 25% Week 12

Class preparation and discussi

Due: Continuous
Weighting: 30%

Showing evidence of reading, consideration and reflection on key readings for the week. Evidence based on contribution to discussion and use of Discussion preparation guide.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

Essay 1

Due: Week 5
Weighting: 25%

consider how modern categories such as superstition, beliefs, tradition, dirt and ignorance have played a part in the politics of midwifery. How have midwives variously responded to this challenge?

You can address this question at one or two of the following levels:

- adaptations at the level daily practices

- at the level of organisation

- at the level of organised discourse, eg. feminist arguments as critique of biomedical birth

- else as just plain old ‘talking back’ to authority


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

Book review

Due: Week 9
Weighting: 20%

Review of one ethnography; using concepts learned in course either Foucault, de Certeau or Gramsci


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

Research essay

Due: Week 12
Weighting: 25%

You can choose any one of the types of social movements discussed in this course. In doing so:

 

  1. Trace the different ways in which the movement contests dominant representations and forms of knowledge (use Gramsci’s concept of ‘hegemony’ to think about this), and attempts to produce new styles of discourse, new forms of knowledge.
  2. In thinking about organisation and social movements, consider the transnational flows of theories, concerns and their re-localisation in particular places.
  3. How do different kinds of understand ‘rub up’ in ‘friction’ (cf. Anna Tsing) against one another in the course of a coalition and mobilisation over specific issues?

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

Delivery and Resources

 

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Film clips

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Lecture short presentation

Seminar style discussion

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PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

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This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

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Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Skills in using theoretical concepts Heightened awareness of knowledge systems that are marginalised Skills in writing and reading ethnography using theoretical concepts