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Educational Histories of European Social Anthropology

Edited by Dorle Dracklé, Iain R. Edgar and Thomas K. Schippers

272 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-452-4 $99.00/£60.00 Hb Published (June 2003)

ISBN  978-1-57181-905-5 $25.00/£15.00 Pb Published (October 2004)


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“Learning Fields, a magisterial two-volume consideration of Social Anthropology in Europe,…provides us with a stimulating , varied, yet deeply coherent range of ways of learning about our shared field…Dracklé, Edgar, Schippers, and the contributing authors have made a significant contribution with these two volumes: intellectually stimulating, pragmatically indispensable and epistemologically invaluable.”  ·  Don Brenneis in Social Anthropology

Aimed at professional anthropologists, their students and academic policy-makers, the contributions to this volume provide an unprecedented array of insights into the current teaching and learning of social anthropology across Europe. With case-studies from eighteen different countries this volume presents a rich panorama of local histories, contexts and experiences, which are essential contributions to current debates on the role and significance of anthropology in an era of converging Higher Education policies. More practically,the volume offers teachers and students the possibility ofdeveloping international exchanges supported by a previously unobtainable knowledge of institutional historiesand differing local contexts.

Dorle Dracklé is Professor for Social Anthropology and Intercultural Studies at the University of Bremen, Germany.

Iain R. Edgar lectures in the Department of Anthropology at Durham University.

Thomas K. Schippers has done fieldwork in the south of France, the Italian Alps and French Guyana.

Related Link: European Association of Social-Anthropologists (EASA)

Series: Volume 1, EASA Series


LC: GN308.3.E85 E35 2003

BL: YC.2005.a.8532

BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; EDU000000 EDUCATION/General

BIC: JN Education; JHM Anthropology


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Foreword (Free download)

Introduction

The present volume is the first material offspring of the EASA's Teaching and Learning Anthropology Network (TAN), initiated by Ulf Hannerz during the Barcelona Conference in 1996. It is intended as a response to one of the first themes addressed by the various TAN meetings that have taken place since: how to acquire a better insight into the variety of anthropologies taught and learned throughout Europe at the turn of the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries.

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Teaching the 'Uncomfortable Science'

Social Anthropology in British Universities

Introduction
Raymond Firth once described social anthropology as the 'uncomfortable science', a discipline that tended to 'identify problems rather than propound solutions' (Firth 1981: 198). An immediately identifiable problem in a review of disciplinary learning and teaching is the very definition of anthropology itself.

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Teaching and Learning

Anthropology in the Netherlands

Studying in the Netherlands
Eighteen is a magical age in itself, but for young people in the Netherlands there is something particularly attractive about it. Under Dutch law, eighteen is the age of legal majority: eighteen-year-olds can vote in elections and they can also leave home without parental permission. Furthermore, if they are attending a school or are enrolled in higher education they are entitled to an OV-jaarkaart, a public transport pass, which allows students to freely use public transport either on weekdays or during the weekend throughout the country. In addition, all eighteen-year-olds living with their parents receive a basic grant of about sixty Euro per month from the state, regardless of parental income. Most Dutch students consider this grant as additional pocket money.

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Teaching Anthropology in Norway and Denmark

For the outsider Scandinavian anthropology may appear as a single coherent tradition. On closer inspection, and seen from the perspective of those caught up within it, this observation hides national differences, idiosyncratic circumstances, as well as substantial variation within each country. While the British approach to social anthropology is particularly favoured in Norway, anthropology in Denmark is a composite that ideally seeks its identity independently of larger traditions of French, British and American anthropology, trying to draw from the best scholarship from wherever it may come.

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Farewell to Humboldt?

Teaching and Learning Anthropology in Germany

Is Germany ready for the transition to the knowledge society? Is our higher education system old-fashioned? Are German universities internally blocked and incapable of reform? It is questions of this kind that have been framing public debate in our country for several years now. Whenever the question of higher education reform is raised — reform widely held as necessary by all sides – the usual group of political and civil servant specialists pops up and offers whole catalogues of reform proposals. At the same time, and as a kind of alternative to plans for renewal, repeated reference is made to the origins of the modern university system as it was conceived in the spirit of German classicism by Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835).

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Teaching and Learning Anthropology in a New National Context

The Slovak Case

Rapid social, political and economic changes in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 have raised intensive discussions concerning the transformation of general and higher education in all post-Communist countries. The question of modernising and internationalising curricula has become an important issue in all ethnology (cultural or social anthropology) departments.

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Teaching Anthropology in Post-1989 Poland

The article is organised into six sections. The first section discusses those features of the Polish academic system which seem to be important for an understanding of the place of social anthropology in university teaching. The second presents anthropology (ethnology) as a broad field which has developed from various social disciplines during the last one hundred years. The third and the fourth sections describe the actual content (curriculum) of anthropological studies in Poland — the subjects that are studied by candidates at BA or MA levels in ethnology, but also by students who major in other disciplines but take ethnology as a university minor. In the fifth section, fieldwork practices, ethnology students' clubs and international exchange programmes are discussed. The final section is a reflection on the perspectives for anthropological studies in Poland in the future.

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Teaching and Learning Anthropology in the Czech Republic

László Kürti has stated that many Western anthropologists, as well as Kremlinologists, failed in their attempt to conceptualise Central and Eastern Europe in past decades due to their use of generalised and empty labels such as 'communism with a human face', 'goulash communism', 'peasant workers', 'second economy', 'semi-peripheries', 'culture of backwardness', 'highly centralised states', 'command or shortage economies', 'homophobic dictatorship', 'national communism', or 'Balkan orientalism' (Kürti 1996). The application of such terms led to the excessive homogenisation of the region and to the depiction of the East as a foreign, distant or exotic field.

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From the Dictate of Theories to Discourses on Theories

Teaching and Learning Social Anthropology in Vienna

The University of Vienna is the only site in Austria where social anthropology is taught. Founded in 1929, the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology1 is the largest such institute in the German-speaking world (Austria, Germany and Switzerland).

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Teaching Anthropology in Slovenia

'Small' Languages — Chaos in the Field?

Language is much more than merely a medium of communication. It is among the most fundamental of social phenomena. In George Herbert Mead's social psychology, the self is shaped through the use of language (Mead 1997); Michel Foucault (e.g. 1991) understood discourse as a paradigm of particular historical periods; and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1976, 1986) taught us how we play language games within our mental labyrinths.

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Hungary in Anthropology and Anthropology in Hungary

Anthropology in Hungary is both a promising new area of study and an intellectual enigma. Having strong scholarly foundations in ethnography and European ethnology, it appears to be a growing discipline, which, at times, borders on the ridiculous as well as the serious. There is considerable disagreement among practitioners as to what exactly anthropology is and whether the name of anthropology itself is appropriate. Its development and current popularity is restricted in both time and space. It is certain that anthropology in Hungary — and my guess is that this may be the case in most European countries — will not be able to develop in future without serious reference to its 'Western' (i.e. Western European or North American) counterparts (see Kürti 2000). In what follows, I shall describe briefly the background and unfolding of Hungarian ethnography and its current anthropological offshoot. In particular, I shall highlight those aspects of Hungarian developments that relate to the current state of anthropological scholarship. I shall conclude by focusing on those problematical elements that should be taken into consideration when the future of Hungarian anthropology is being discussed.

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Rethinking Local and Global

New Perspectives among Swiss Anthropologists

The vivacity of ethnology1 in Switzerland, in its many and varied expressions, is a result of complex historic dynamics. For a long time, the discipline was considered as a kind of orchid, a rare and precious plant only appreciated by a few experts of either exotic cultures or of Swiss rural traditions and everyday culture. This perception has been challenged in recent years not only by institutional and intellectual developments, but also by a large increase in student numbers as far back as the 1970s in Zurich2 and nowadays in Basle, Berne, Fribourg, Lausanne and Neuchâtel, too.3

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Then and Now

Teaching Anthropology in France

Teaching the discipline: a brief historical outline
One can speak of five generations or 'cohorts'1 of anthropologists in France. The first generation is constituted of those who were taught by Marcel Mauss and Paul Rivet between the opening of the Institute of Ethnology in 1925 and the Second World War.2 This was succeeded during the Occupation by a second generation, which was trained by M. Griaule and M. Leenhardt and whose intellectual formation preceded the theoretical revolutions initiated by C. Lévi-Strauss and G. Balandier3.

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Cultural and Social Anthropology in the Portuguese University

Dilemmas of Teaching and Practice

Introduction
In common with other European countries, the emergence and consolidation of anthropological discourse in Portugal took place in the second half of the nineteenth century, and was influenced by the Romantic currents of the time. Although the 'study of popular customs had not been a decisive factor in the formation of the Nation-State' (Pina-Cabral 1986: 22), it is true that until the 1960s the history of Portuguese anthropology combined ethnographic knowledge of peasant traditions with a search for defining elements of the national identity and imagery of one of the oldest nation states in Europe (Leal 1998).

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Teaching and Learning Anthropology in Italy

Institutional Development and Pedagogic Challenges

Introduction
The recent history of anthropology in Italy has been marked by the unusual extent and rapidity of the changes which have occurred both in the discipline and in the wider social scene. In the early 1960s Italian anthropology was still the outpost of old-fashioned Continental traditions. Thus, the theoretical gap filled in the last four decades has been greater than elsewhere. No less importantly, anthropology teaching has been forced to adapt to a sudden and massive rise in the number of students.

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Between Self and Others

The Academic Establishment of Greek Anthropology

After the end of the Second World War, the gradual decline of Western colonialism and the eclipse of the world of so-called 'primitives', as well as their concomitant ideological (and scholarly) constructs, the Mediterranean region in general, and Greece in particular, has become one of the first places elected as a new type of anthropological 'field', enabling an enrichment of prior ethnographic studies. But if since the 1950s Greece has become the locus of some thorough ethnographic research, anthropology has not been lectured at any Greek university for decades. The (rural) Greek population remained the object of anthropological investigation, mainly done by scholars of West European or American origin.1

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The Legacies of a 'Nation-Building Ethnology'

Romania

The Other is the very object of anthropology, or so most scholars in the field would claim. How then is anthropology possible in a country whose almost sole concern was the Self? In this paper I shall try to provide an answer to this question, recounting, in brief, the history of 'anthropological becoming' in Romania, a history shared, to some extent, by many other 'young nations'.

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The Past, Present and Uncertain Future of Georgian Ethnography

'Social Anthropology? — we heard this term a couple of years ago', commented a colleague ironically when I mentioned that I was supposed to write an article on the history of teaching social anthropology in Georgia. In spite of my international experience, I too experienced a sense of confusion upon first reading Iain Edgar's e-mail containing the suggestion to write an article. 'What are you?' 'What do you call yourself?' This question, which Arjo Klamer used to put to multinational participants of his weekly seminars at Rotterdam University, sounded quite to the point (especially since the majority of colleagues present claimed to use multidisciplinary approaches, too). Since 1989, when the 'door' was opened and academics from the East and the West faced each other, I have often found myself explaining the various terms and their contents to my colleagues. 'If someone said they were an ethnographer I would think that they worked at a museum,' said an American PhD student. 'if you study "yourselves", I would say sociology,' noted an Italian colleague while raising her eyebrows. For others, I had to explain that I am not doing folklore1 etc.

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In Search of a New Academic Profile

Teaching Anthropology in Contemporary Russia

As a starting point for this paper, we may first recall some recent experiences. We have both lately had several opportunities to speak about teaching and learning anthropology in Russia in front of international audiences, including EASA conference participants. Here our presentations have often met with strong surprise and even doubt on the part of our foreign colleagues. We generally started with the following question: 'How many departments of anthropology do you think existed in the former Soviet Union?'

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