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working online feels like specs of graphite flying off, a constant sharpening of pages, debris all over, a  newer edge to the pencil, the promise of a smooth line...



Residential Anthropology Learning and Teaching Material(ities)


Teaching, learning and strategies for enhancing the delivery of teaching materials: positioning, talking, building dialogue with students


I taught many courses over the years, these ones below are from the period 2000 to 2008 which I recently concluded. I taught an average of 18 residential modules, between four to six modules per term. I co-taught an additional four modules and offered lectures to general modules like Study Skills, Advanced Issues and Theory Group. I created and convened 11 of these over six years. My classes were between 12 to 30 students, with some exception of larger classes. In the evening and weekend I did e-learning teaching and tutoring.

I spent many summers and nearly any scarce spare hour preparing teaching materials, or what I call teaching materialities here. These include many kinds of 'materials', from lectures, to handouts, curriculum strategies, photocopies, overheads, PowerPoints, student notes, websites, portfolios, reading packs, photograps, emails, notes, books, field notes, articles, materials gathered during fieldwork.


These below were materials for me and for students to use. In class I talk through all sorts of materials, lecture notes, online sites, quotes, student's notes. I position myself within larger anthropological debates using as many authors and sources as possible. I rarely read lectures; rather I talk through the lecture and with the students.


So I guess another teacher may do a very different use of these materials here. Ultimately, in a pedagogic process, it is not the lecturer's notes  that matter most but the way in which the students use these in their learning process. Thus, what is distinctive of some of these materials, and where I put most work with, was in building up personal, shared, learned materials into a framework that would be conducive to helping students improve their learning process.


My overall aim in the makign of these courses was to build up and design a learning context that would allow students and teacher come togehter in the production of anthropological knowlege.


All these materialities here were approved, mediated internally, shared and assessed by external examiners. I only show my personal archive of these.


Level Credits Module Name    Details Reflections/teaching
1 & 2 40 Visual Anthropology / Visualising Ethnography BA

Shared & Developed T

2 & 3 30 Economic Anthropology BA Created T
1 20 Reading and Writing Anthropology BA Created T
1 20 Understanding Culture and Religion in Japan BA Created T
1 20 Understanding Cultures and Religions BA Created & Co-taught
2&3 20 Japanese Ethnography BA Created T
3 20 Gender and Sexuality BA Shared & Developed T
30 Fieldwork, Ethics and Methods BA Created T
1 5 Study Skills Foundt Shared Contribution T
2 & 3 5 Advanced Issues in Anthropology BA Shared Co-taught
4 20 Anthropology Theory Group BA Shared Contribution
3 20 Political Anthropology BA Shared & Co-taught
40 Research Methods I and II MA Created T
4 20 Key Debates in Anthropological Theory MA Shared & Created T
3 20 Body and Society: bodies and cultures BA Created not taught
2 & 3 10 Contemporary Japan: film, fashion and identity BA Created T
3 20 Project design BA Created T
Admin Handouts and Handbooks
Admin Curriculum Strategies
Admin Additional Course Materials


How did you do them?


I always get asked about the conditions that saw the creation of so many courses. These here and the e-learning ones. The answer was lack of staff but very creative staff, bad line managers but a brilliant departmental administrator. I put all the hours I had into it. I learned from many people. I had great companions in my journey through it.


Looking back, I worked in dreadful contractual conditions: from 11 month-contracts, to underpaid salaries, to the fear of not knowing when contracts or if they would be renewed, constant resignations of senior staff, eight departmental moves, numerous heads of department coming and going with each crisis, three different Vice-Chancellors, lack of research opportunities or funding, lack of time for publications, lack of appreciation of teaching, failing student numbers, three recruitment strategy projects, lack of appointments, lack of staff, gradual erosion of pedagogic directions, redundancies, discrimination, bullying. What a list!


I also worked with great people and even greater students. Small numbers of students brought great joy to seminars and classes. I was always so happy to have the chance to teach anthropology. I made a point of overcoming all the above if only for my students.  


I saw all of my colleagues and friends resign before me, but each of them, and each of our students, made be a better teacher, and I can say, proudly, they all contributed in one way of another to build up a curriculum we were proud of to show to our external examiners and to deliver to our students.


Aided by always professional and supportive external examiners the curriculum grew and teaching gave room for a genuine context for learning social anthropology. Our external examiners also made me a better teacher and made me want to see it through.


The materials here don't mirror that process, of course, they are now out of context, my notes, here and there.



A Time Capsule


When our working conditions were made worst by constant episodes of managerial and financial crisis replacing each other and lack of staff I submerged myself into creating and teaching courses with passion, as a way of making anthropology good for my students, and as a way of dealing with the sourrounding environment. 


I eventually resigned to be near my family, to refuse and to address the alienation of my working conditions, to find a place where to be proud of about learning and teaching anthropology.


It is because I know my period of teaching through these materials is now closed and it is time to build a new one, that I feel, this 'materialities' are now in a time capsule. I feel it is good for them to be here as a testimony that 'their lives' have been intense and full of joy, shared by many, improved thanks to so many different people.




[go back]

The Project list is an archive of the residential teaching materials I used between 2000-2008 



Most of the modules and courses I taught were created and delivered by me. There are, however, some courses that I co-taught with other members of staff, lecturers, tutors, visiting lecturers. On these cases I have tried to be careful in locating each element of authorship as carefully as possible.


Some of these teaching 'materialities' were composed using borrowed material (explicitly borrowed and consented within departmental practice) and using examples of good practice already found amongst my colleagues and online. The use of these materialities was sometimes eclectic but it was always strategically used within a pedagogic intention and developed as a larger teaching programme that served the purpose of teaching the anthropology curriculum.


As with all the course and teaching materials, the delivery, the 'actual' teaching is not replicated in the notes here.



For queries, an email.