Contemporary Ethnography in Environmental Anthropology - SE893

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
7 15 (7.5) DR R Puri







Students will be expected to read eight ethnographies over the course of 24 weeks (one every three weeks). A three hour seminar will be held to discuss the work. For each seminar, students will be expected to prepare, for evaluation, a book review. In discussing each study substantive issues concerning the case studies will be highlighted. Theoretical issues will be raised concerning the representation of anthropological knowledge, book organization and writing styles, and the relationship between theoretical perspective and presentation. In addition attention will be drawn to the way fieldwork and ethical issues are presented and discussed in ethnographies


This module appears in:

Contact hours



Autumn and Spring Terms

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is by 100% coursework, which will consist of 8 short book reviews (800 words each) testing the level of reading and critical analysis, each assessed at 12.5% of total mark.

Indicative reading

The list of books may vary from year to year but the following can be considered indicative of the range of materials which will be discussed:
Johnson, A. 2003. Families of the Forest: The Matsigenka Indians of the Peruvian Amazon; Kosek, J. 2007. Understories: The Political life of forests in Northern New Mexico; Orlove, B. S. 2002. Lines in the Water: Nature and Culture at Lake Titicaca; Lansing, S. J. 2006. Perfect Order: Recognizing Complexity in Bali; Anderson, D.M. 2002. Eroding the Commons: The Politics of Ecology in Baringo, Kenya 1890s-1963; Sciama, L. D. 2005. A Venetian Island: Environment, History and Change in Burano; Sturgeon, J. 2006. The Politics of Akha Land Use in China and Thailand; West, P. 2006. Conservation is our Government Now: The Politics of Ecology in Papua New Guinea.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module MA/MSc students will be able to:
1) identify contemporary theoretical and applied problems in environmental anthropology
2) discuss critically the structure, style and content of ethnographic writing
3) discuss critically a range of ethnographies containing environmental anthropological information
4) To review critically book-length ethnographies

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.