Cultural Anthropology (2007/2008)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Vanessa Anne Maher
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. II A dal Feb 18, 2008 al Apr 12, 2008.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course will encourage students to develop the ability to place behaviour and relationships in their cultural context, with the help of anthropological concepts and methods developed for that purpose. Particular attention will be paid to the way language, emotion and daily experience are interconnected especially in learning situations and students will have practice in observation and ethnographic description .


Bearing in mind the conceptual paradigms and new subjects which have emerged since the 1970s( Maalouf), the first part of the course will take into account, on the one hand, examples of reflexive ethnographies which highlight the changed nature of the relationship between anthropologists and their subjects, and, on the other, the questions which the movements of people and information pose for the ethnographic description of local situations ( Schultz e Lavenda, Abu Lughod). The second part of the course will focus on the relationship between emotion, communication, gender and social hierarchy with special reference to some Middle Eastern societies( Abu Lughod , Duranti).

Prescribed texts

Schultz, E.A. e Lavenda, R.H, Antropologia Culturale, Zanichelli, Bologna, 1999( cap.1-4,9-12).
Maalouf, A.,L’identità, Bompiani, Milano, 2005
Duranti, A., Etnografia del parlare quotidiano, Nuova Italia Scientifica, Roma 1992.
Abu Lughod, L. Sentimenti velati. Onore e poesia in una società beduina, Le Nuove Muse, Torino 2007.

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination will take the form of a written essay and its discussion, for the students who regularly attend the course, and in an oral examination for those who do not.