Placing Personhood: Ontology, The Life Course, and Cemeteries

Main Article Content

Cathrine Degnen

Abstract

This article considers the challenge of teaching the anthropology of personhood to third year sociology and combined honours undergraduates at a British university. It draws on the experiences of the author in developing such a module, and in particular the difficulties of making the theoretical and empirical concepts at stake more tangible to this cohort of students. The article explores one solution, namely a seminar-based fieldwork exercise in a local cemetery. The exercise sought to bring personhood into view in the urban landscape and in everyday practices with a follow-up series of student presentations. The discussion here highlights the theoretical framing of personhood and ontology taken by the module; the dilemmas of finding real world and emplaced sites for the students to try out these ideas; and some of the reflections on teaching personhood via this exercise that resulted for both students and lecturer.

Article Details

How to Cite
DEGNEN, Cathrine. Placing Personhood: Ontology, The Life Course, and Cemeteries. Teaching Anthropology, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, may 2011. ISSN 2053-9843. Available at: <https://www.teachinganthropology.org/ojs/index.php/teach_anth/article/view/387>. Date accessed: 11 dec. 2018. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.22582/ta.v3i1.387.
Section
Articles