ANTH308-18A (HAM)

Melanesian Ethnography

20 Points

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Division of Arts, Social Sciences and Law
School of Social Sciences
Anthropology

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: frances.douch@waikato.ac.nz

Placement Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: jillene.bydder@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5 or 9 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
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Paper Description

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For over a century, the region known as Melanesia has been a source of crucially important ethnographic and theoretical developments within the discipline of anthropology. From Mead, Malinowski, and Fortune to Strathern, Robbins, and Wagner, anthropologists working in this area have remained among the vanguard of those shaping the discipline as a whole. This course provides students with a picture of Melanesian ethnography in both its historical and contemporary modes. Spatially broad and temporally deep, the course aims to canvass a wide range of ethnographic examples and also seeks to chart the changing theoretical and thematic concerns of anthropologists working in this area over the decades, from Malinowskian functionalism in the Trobriand Islands to the New Melanesian Ethnography of Strathern based in the New Guinea Highlands.
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Paper Structure

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The paper is taught principally through a weekly 2 hour lecture within which the core content of the course will be communicated. In addition, weekly readings will be assigned, as listed below, which will be made available on the Moodle page. Students are expected to complete the required readings, write a one page summary (which will form the basis of their learning journals), and come prepared to discuss this material in a weekly tutorial meeting. While the core mediums will thus be verbal and written, ethnographic film will also be used regularly throughout the course to better capture the sensory aspects of local Melanesian cultures and illustrate points and concepts encountered in lectures and readings.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Understand the historical construction of Melanesia as a cultural region
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  • Appreciate the unique and varied local cultures within Melanesia through a thorough reading and analysis of the ethnography
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  • Reflect critically upon the changing theoretical currents within Melanesian ethnography from the colonial period through to the present day
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  • Grasp the crucial importance of Melanesian ethnography in shaping disciplinary trends more generally
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  • Begin conceptualising advanced anthropological research at the postgraduate level in Melanesia based upon a sound knowledge of the regional ethnography.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Students will be assessed principally through their ability to compose critical scholarly essays, however, marks will also be given both
for attendance and participation in class as well as providing a comprehensive record of their learning within a journal.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Essay 1
13 Apr 2018
5:00 PM
30
  • Email: Lecturer
2. Essay 2
1 Jun 2018
5:00 PM
30
  • Email: Lecturer
3. Learning Journal
8 Jun 2018
5:00 PM
30
  • Hand-in: In Tutorial
4. Participation and Attendance
22 Jun 2018
5:00 PM
10
  • In Class: In Lecture
  • In Class: In Tutorial
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Each week there will be required and recommended readings supplied via Waikato Reading Lists. The required readings are compulsory and will be summarised in the learning journal.
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Recommended Readings

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Rcommended readings will also be provided and while not compulsory, students are still encouraged to complete them.
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Online Support

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Moodle will be utilsed throughout the course.
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Workload

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200 hours total
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