AN226     
Political and Legal Anthropology

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Mathijs Pelkmans OLD 5.08, Prof Deborah James and Dr Andrea Pia

Availability

This course is compulsory on the BA in Anthropology and Law, BA in Social Anthropology and BSc in Social Anthropology. This course is available on the Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Cape Town), Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Fudan), Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Melbourne), Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Tokyo) and LLB in Laws. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Course content

The anthropological analysis of political and legal institutions as revealed in relevant theoretical debates and with reference to selected ethnography. The development of political and legal anthropology and their key concepts including forms of authority; forms of knowledge and power; political competition and conflict; colonial transformation of indigenous norms; writing legal ethnography of the 'other'; folk concepts of justice; the theory of legal pluralism; accommodation of religious practices in secular laws of European states.

Teaching

10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

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. This course has a reading week in Week 6 of MT and LT.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare discussion material for presentation in the classes, and to submit one essay in the MT and one mock exam question in the LT to their class teacher on which they will receive formative feedback.

Indicative reading

Leach, E, 1954, The Political Systems of Highland Burma; Sharma, A and Gupta, A, 2006, The Anthropology of the State; Verdery, K, 1999,  The Political Lives of Dead Bodies; Navaro-Yashin, Y. 2012. The Make-Believe Space: Affective Geography in a Postwar Polity; Moore, S F, 1978, Law as Process; Malinowski, B, 1916, Crime and Custom in Savage Society; Bohannan, P, 1957, Justice and Judgement among the Tiv; Comaroff J and Roberts S, 1981, Rules and Processes. Detailed reading lists are provided at the beginning of the course.

Assessment

Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2020/21: 71

Average class size 2020/21: 14

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information