The Afterlife of Anthropological Teaching

  • Alice Stefanelli University of Manchester


Teaching anthropology in higher education is faced today with the urgent issue of students’ increasing disengagement with the discipline, in itself a consequence of the ongoing liberalisation and precarisation of academia. This presents us with the often neglected risk of losing our ‘legs’, as disinterested graduates are unlikely to carry with them any anthropological ideas or ethos to which they might have been exposed at university. This article argues that one important way to counter this scenario is focusing on teaching anthropology-as-praxis (Comaroff, 2010), in order to encourage an appreciation of the discipline as a pragmatic attitude towards the world that can be applied to a full range of everyday experiences unfolding outside the classroom and academia.