OverviewThis module is intended to enable students to discuss critically the relationship between people and other organic species, in terms of the social and knowledge systems of which they are part, using anthropological approaches and data. The module deals with the ways in which different societies and cultures have come to perceive, know, use, classify and symbolically represent plants and animals. It also introduces students to the ways anthropologists have approached the study of local systems of classification and knowledge, and people's management and use of plants and animals.
This module appears in:
Method of assessment
The module is assessed by 100% coursework. Two analytic notes (1000 words each) worth 50% and a one hour in-class course test (50%).
Anderson, E.N., D. Pearsall, E. Hunn and N. Turner. 2011. Ethnobiology. John Wiley & Sons.
Atran, Scott 1990 Cognitive Foundations of Natural History. Toward an Anthropology of Science. Cambridge University Press
Berlin, Brent 1992 Ethnobiological Classification: Principles of Categorization of Plants and Animals in Traditional Societies. Princeton University Press
Cotton, C. M. 1996 Ethnobotany. Principles and Applications. John Wiley & Sons
Ellen, R. (ed.) 2006 Ethnobiology and the Science of Humankind. JRAI Special Issue. Also published as book. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hsu, E. and S. Harris 2010. Plants, Health and Healing: On the Interface of Ethnobotany and Medical Anthropology. Berghan Books.
Minnis, P. E. (ed.) 2000 Ethnobotany: a reader. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
On successfully completing the module MA/MSc students will be able to:
1) Critically discuss the relationship between people and other organic species, in terms of the social and knowledge systems of which they
are part, and using anthropological approaches and data
2) Apply various methodological approaches within ethnobiology
3) Understand the ways in which different societies and cultures have come to perceive, know, use, classify and symbolically represent
plants and animals
4) Appreciate the ways in which anthropologists have approached the study of local systems of classification and knowledge, and peoples'
management and use of plants and animals
5) Present case studies through which these concepts can be thought and critiqued
6) Develop a nuanced comparative perspective on these concepts engaging ethnographic and ethnobiological materials
7) Appreciate the potential challenges and benefits of ethnobiological research in local, regional, national and international settings