ANTHY207-19B (HAM)

Magic, Witchcraft and Religion

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Anthropology

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: rachel.gosnell-maddock@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, 9 or 3 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.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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Throughout history, religion has been perhaps the most dominant force shaping human social and cultural life. It is out of religion and
ritual that human groups fashion their laws, morals, art, philosophy, indeed, the cultural frameworks within which they live meaningful
lives. This course is an anthropological investigation into the topic of religion and considers how religious beliefs and practices are expressed in a wide range of areas including witchcraft and sorcery, cosmology and origin stories, death and the afterlife, healing and many others. We will also look at topics that are deeply significant to the contemporary world, such as religious fundamentalism and violence, as well as trends toward secularisation and irrelgion. In addition to examining these various topics within the anthropology of religion, students will also be introduced to historic and contemporary theoretical trends within this field of knowledge and be shown how anthropological understandings of what religion is and what it means to people have undergone considerable change from the emergence of the discipline to the present day. As students will see, anthropologists are taking the spiritual and religious worlds of indigenous peoples increasingly seriously, with many no longer reducing them to made up worlds of cultural belief but rather appreciating them as compeltely different worlds with diffierent possibilities for reality.
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Paper Structure

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In terms of content delivery, the paper will be organised into the sessions per week, both of which students are expected to attend.

The first session, Wednesday 9am - 11am, will be a 2 hour lecture within which the core content of the course will be presented. In addition to the lecture, this session will ocassionally include the screening of relevant ethnographic films to illustrate certain topics, and will also be utilised for spontaneous discussions of lecture content, should the need arise. Powerpoint lecture slides will be made available to students before each week's lecture through Moodle, and it is advisable for students to familarise themselves with these before each lecture. Lectures will also be recorded using Panopto.

The second session of the week will be a one hour tutorial class taken by the course tutor, Ahere Hapi. These classes will serve two main aims. Firstly, they will be used to reiterate and clarify the key points from the lectures. Secondly, they will be used to facilitate discussion of the readings assigned for that week. As such, students are expected to arrive to class having completed the assigned readings and should be fully prepared to enter into a productive and critical discussion about them with their classmates. The tutorial classes will also be an important place for students to receive more detailed information about assessment items. Students will sign up for these classes in the first week of the semester.

Regarding the overall structure of the course, each week will be dedicated to a different topic within the anthropology of religion, which will be addressed in both the lecture and the readings for that week.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Gain an appreciation of the pervasive influence of religion within human life and throughout human history
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  • Develop an understanding of the main theoretical trends within the anthropology of religion
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  • Recognise the incredible diversity of religious systems found throughout the world
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  • Be able to interrogate and critique the relationship between religion and violence
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  • Appreciate the complex place of religion in the contemporary, globalised world
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  • Be able to conceive and construct original research topics within the anthropology of religion
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Students will be assessed based on a variety of academic skills, including sitting tests, writing original research essays, as well as tutorial attendance and participation. In terms of assessment, each half of the semester will be structured in an identical way. After the first three weeks of class, students will be given a one hour test covering the preceding two weeks' lecture and reading material, which will be worth 15% of the final grade. Then, at the end of six weeks there will be an essay due, worth 30% of the final grade. The nature and timing of assessment in the first six weeks will be repeated in the second six weeks after the mid semester break, so that again there will be a test worth 15% after the first three weeks of teaching followed by an essay due in the last week of the semester, again worth 30%. As well as tests and essays, students are expected to attend and participate in tutorials each week, which constitutes 10% of the overall grade for the course.
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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. Tutorial Participation and Attendance
10
2. Test 1
24 Jul 2019
10:00 AM
15
  • In Class: In Lecture
3. Essay 1
16 Aug 2019
5:00 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Test 2
18 Sep 2019
10:00 AM
15
  • In Class: In Lecture
5. Essay 2
11 Oct 2019
5:00 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
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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Students will be required to read one article per week, which will be discussed within the tutorial sessions. All required readings will be made available as PDF files through the course Moodle page.
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Online Support

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Moodle will be the key online platform through which all course content will be delivered. Powerpoint lecture slides, readings, tutorial questions, and any other relevant information, will all be available through the course Moodle page.
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Workload

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150 hours total
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