AN479 Half Unit
Anthropology of Law
This information is for the 2020/21 session.
Dr Andrea Pia OLD 6.09
This course is available on the MRes/PhD in Anthropology, MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management, MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Social Anthropology and MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course will be of particular benefit to anthropology students who are interested in political and legal developments as well as political economy perspectives in anthropology. It will also be interesting to law students with an interest in socio-legal, critical, criminological and anthropological approaches to the study of law. Students from other departments are encouraged to take this course if they wish to learn more about the anthropology of law. The course complements the Anthropology of Politics (which already runs as a stand-alone half term unit) but it stands as an independent half unit.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to major developments and debates in legal anthropology both across time and space. The course is divided into three parts. The first part introduces students to the origins and early developments of the discipline. Students will learn about legal anthropology’s encounter with colonialism, its post-colonial critics and the legacy these debates have left on the sub-discipline today. The second part moves on to core debates in contemporary legal anthropology, including on human rights, citizenship and violence and law. In the third part of the course, you will learn about the limits of the law and law’s relationship to other social, economic and political domains.Topics will include the policing of the migrant crisis, the criminalisation of poverty and indigenous peoples’ struggles over cultural recognition.
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.
The course will be taught through a combination of weekly lectures and seminars. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual lectures, classes and online interactive activities. The contact hours listed above are the minimum expected. During reading week (week 6), students will also be asked to conduct a court visit and to write up a short ethnographic project. This will be discussed in seminar after reading week.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.
Some useful background/overview readings include:
Roberts, Simon 2013. Order and Dispute: An Introduction to Legal Anthropology. New York: Penguin
Fuller, Chris 1994. Legal Anthropology, Legal Pluralism and Legal Thought. In Anthropology Today 10(3): 9-12
Just, Peter 1992. History, Power, Ideology and Culture: Current Directions in the Anthropology of Law. In Law and Society Review 26(2): 373-412
Moore, S.F. 2001. Certainties Undone: Fifty Turbulent Years of Legal Anthropology, 1949 – 1999. In Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 7(1): 95 – 116
Snyder, Francise 1993. Law and Anthropology: A Review. Florence: European University Institute. Working Papers in Law 93/4
There are also a number of edited collections that are useful:
Moore, Sally Falk 2005. Law and Anthropology: A reader. Malden: MA Blackwell
Mundy, Martha 2002. Law and Anthropology. Aldershot: UK Ashgate.
Starre, June and June F. Collier 1989. History and Power in the Study of Law: New Directions in Legal Anthropology. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Lazarus-Black, M. and Susan Hirsch, 1994. Contested States: Law, Hegemony and Resistance. After the Law. New York and London: Routledge.
Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2019/20: 15
Average class size 2019/20: 15
Controlled access 2019/20: Yes
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Commercial awareness
- Specialist skills