Teaching Anthropology 2024-01-13T13:02:25-08:00 Dr Gavin Weston and Dr Natalie Djohari Open Journal Systems <h3><em><img src="/ojs/public/site/images/fukuzaw1/pandemic_large.jpg"></em></h3> <h3><em>Current issue:&nbsp;</em> Spring Issue<a title="Current Issue" href="">, Vol 9 No 2 (2020)</a></h3> <p>This issue of Teaching Anthropology contrasts with the unprecedented times that we are currently living in.&nbsp; As the COVID 19 pandemic closes educational insitutions and individuals practice social isolation and online learning, this Issue focuses on active experiential learning.&nbsp; The articles explore different ways that anthropology can take students out of the classroom to engage in collaborative research, ranging from community engagement, social justice, walking as an ethnographic tool, performative integration, as well as public and environmental anthropology. In these reflexive teaching practices students examine their positionality and see how anthropology can transform the way we communicate and work within the world around us.</p> <p><em>Image: 1918 influenza epidemic St. Louis Red Cross Motor Corps personnel wear masks as they hold stretchers next to ambulances in preparation for victims of the influenza epidemic in October 1918. (Library of Congress)</em></p> <p><a class="btn btn-primary read-more" href=""> View All Issues </a></p> Facing the Consequences: The Case for Transformative Fieldwork in Undergraduate Curriculums 2024-01-13T13:02:25-08:00 Ryan Hornbeck <p>In this paper I argue that <em>transformative fieldwork</em> can and should be a pillar of an undergraduate education in anthropology. By transformative fieldwork, I mean long- or medium-term immersive participant observation that challenges the investigator’s beliefs, bodily experience (embodiment), and/or ethics, prompting adaptive responses that, collectively over time, fundamentally alter their experience of the world. My proposal has two parts. First, I advance the “senior thesis” – an in-depth research project undertaken in the final year of undergraduate study – as a viable placeholder for substantive fieldwork in an undergraduate curriculum. Such fieldwork, carried out locally or online, has advantages in accessibility, affordability, and authenticity relative to the conventional undergraduate gateway to fieldwork experience: methodological “field school.” Second, addressing a significant challenge to doing fieldwork on local (culturally familiar) terrain, I argue that such fieldwork can be transformative, and not merely a replication of familiar experiences, if students and their advisors design participant observation projects that carry significant consequences for the student’s beliefs, bodily experience, and/or ethics. I outline strategies for designing such projects, illustrated by examples drawn from my own students’ senior theses. The concluding section addresses three potential reservations about undergraduates undertaking “consequential” research.</p> 2024-05-03T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Ryan Hornbeck The Craft of Teaching. Cultivating Uncertainty and Moving in Playfulness as Pedagogical Strategy 2023-10-05T08:05:46-07:00 Lydia Arantes <p>I have long tried to move away from teaching as “passing on knowledge” and moved towards practicing teaching as co-creating knowledge. I have come to regard teaching as a joint act of exploration, also taking into account students’ everyday life experiences. In the last academic year, I decided to expand my pedagogy by including playfulness. This required openness and vulnerability on behalf of me as the person developing the course as well as a new kind of engagement and involvement on behalf of my students. In doing so, the courses opened up space for making visible “epistemological journeys” (Arantes, 2021) and “liminal knowledges” (Burgos-Martinez, 2018). In this paper I give insights into some of the chosen approaches – of which a few involved playing with the idiom ‘business before pleasure’ – and reflect on their implications. I suggest that anthropology not only move within playfulness in the realm of research and representation but also on the level of teaching. Ultimately, I also reflect on what learning and teaching playfully and giving space to <em>homo ludens</em> (Huizinga, 1950) can teach us about the broader role of play for anthropology.</p> 2024-05-03T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Lydia Arantes Towards Teaching a Humanistic Anatomy: Confronting Racism in Human Anatomy Courses 2023-09-19T08:23:25-07:00 Marcy Ekanayake-Weber <p>Historically, the study of human anatomy has had a very complex relationship with race and racism in the United States. Today, BIPOC students are disproportionately excluded from the health sciences, in part because anatomy courses play the role of “gatekeepers” for the health professions. Anatomy instructors–including biological anthropologists teaching anatomy-may passively support white supremacy in science and medicine by ignoring anatomy’s problematic history and by teaching in outdated, exclusionary ways, rather than using anatomy courses as opportunities to provide insight into structural racism and support the success of students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color (BIPOC). The objectives of this work were to 1) uncover how latent racism in anatomy and anatomy education may be contributing to marginalized students’ exclusion from health care careers, and 2) offer recommendations which will promote the success of BIPOC health sciences students and produce antiracist healthcare practitioners of all identities. Historical, anthropological, and critical pedagogical analysis of anatomy education was conducted. Paolo Freire’s <em>Pedagogy of the Oppressed</em> (2018) was used as a theoretical framework for dissecting the ways in which the traditional pedagogy of anatomy may be particularly exclusionary for BIPOC students in the US. Pedagogical recommendations and recent case studies were collected from the academic literature. Anatomy instructors and medical schools are encouraged to develop a new, humanistic way of teaching anatomy, which requires extensive changes to the anatomy curriculum. Five categories of reform are recommended: improving pedagogical training for anatomy instructors, reconsidering course organization and modalities, emphasizing variation, implementing culturally-responsive teaching and improving culture, and including history in the anatomy curriculum.</p> 2024-06-11T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Marcy Ekanayake-Weber The Slow Reading Ethnography Experiment 2023-09-19T05:57:22-07:00 Rosie Jones McVey Margaret Westbury <p>While much has been published in anthropological discourse and teaching forums about the skills, practices and positionality of ethnographic writing, very little attention has been paid to the practices and experiences of ethnographic reading. Our project set out to investigate the potential for ‘slow reading’ within anthropological pedagogy. We invited anthropology undergraduates to select a book and engage in a period of slow reading over the vacation, before reporting back on their experiences through a focus group discussion. Students found that their ideals for slow reading were hard to realise, and we learned about the importance of appropriate spaces, times, and communities in practices of reading ethnography.</p> 2024-05-15T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Rosie Jones McVey, Margaret Westbury