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Unit information: Visions: Experiments in Creative Anthropology in 2021/22

Unit name Visions: Experiments in Creative Anthropology
Unit code ARCHM0078
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Morelli
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores a range of visual, creative and collaborative forms of research and representation in anthropology. Its central aim is to apply experimental theories and methods to investigate aspects of everyday life as well as realms of human existence that lie beyond immediate perception—such as the imagination, fantasies, dream worlds and reveries—and then bring these into view through non-textual, alternative modes of representation.

The unit has the following objectives:

  1. To review key theories in visual, sensory and phenomenological anthropology and beyond;
  2. To apply a variety of visual, creative and non-conventional methods in order to conduct anthropological research;
  3. To examine a range of experimental, non-textual forms of representation through which students will bring anthropological knowledge into view.

The unit has a strong practical component: students will be divided into groups from the start, and each group will engage in practice-based sessions together.

Every week, students will learn about different theories (e.g. the anthropology of the imagination, phenomenology, existential anthropology) and try out a specific method of research and representation – including drawing, photographic storytelling, animation, virtual reality, production of interactive displays, and many others. Students will be expected to develop an independent and coherent research project throughout the unit both individually and as a group.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key theories and debates in the fields of visual, sensory and phenomenological anthropology;
  2. Apply the above theories to understand aspects of everyday life and contemporary society;
  3. Use a range of visual, experimental, and collaborative methods for both research and representation.
  4. Apply the contents of the unit (both theories and methods) to conduct first-hand ethnographic research centred on a specific topic;
  5. Present material based on first-hand research in a critical and coherent manner, using visual methods.

Teaching Information

Weekly lectures and seminars, supported by self-directed activities

Assessment Information

A 5000-word project report (100%): ILO 1-4

An in-class formative presentation: ILO 5


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ARCHM0078).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.