The MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics is an interdisciplinary programme in anthropology, directed at students from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social and political sciences, artists, and professionals in the media and cultural sectors. http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-anthropology-cultural-politics/
The objective of the MA is to address contemporary issues in culture and politics from an anthropological perspective, drawing on the commitment of the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths to build a public anthropology.
The MA is organised around a critical investigation of the central thematic concepts of its title: 'culture', 'power', and 'politics', as well as 'anthropology' itself.
Each of these terms are posited in this programme as questions for critical reflection and students are encouraged to pursue independent research projects that investigate the meanings attributed to these terms in contemporary social contexts.
The programme is particularly interested in the intersections of 'culture' and 'power', and the consideration of what may be called 'cultural politics'.
- How and when does 'culture' become apprehensible as 'political'? - How and when does 'power' operate upon or within 'culture'? Is it even tenable to uphold and retain this distinction? - If so, what are the analytical or interpretive benefits? - What may be the disadvantages or pitfalls? - If not, what is implicated in the politicisation of 'culture' or the culturalisation of 'power' and 'politics'? - How can these concerns be studied in the ongoing struggles over 'culture' in everyday life?
In addition to the core modules, options can be selected from several departments and centres.
The MA is made up of four parts: - Anthropology and Cultural Politics (30 credits) - Anthropology Theory (30 credits) - Option modules [within the Department of Anthropology, or the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, Media & - Communications, Politics, Sociology, or Centre for Cultural Studies] (60 credits) - Dissertation (60 credits)
- Anthropology and Cultural Politics:
What is the relationship between culture and power?; How is power manifested or articulated 'culturally'?; In what ways may culture be understood to be 'political'?
This module is centrally preoccupied with social and political theories organised around the question of 'culture' and its relation to 'power', and vice versa, and with comprehending what may be the stakes of the politics of 'culture'. The module elaborates upon the problem of 'politics' and its always complex configuration with respect to what comes to be deemed to be 'cultural', specifically in relation to creative and productive labour, alienation, capitalism and commodification, the state, ideology, and hegemony.
We also consider the concepts of the critique of everyday life, the society of the spectacle, and the production of space. While principally concerned with a series of theoretical problems, the module will nonetheless also marshal the insights that may be gleaned from ethnography, in the effort to situate the discipline of socio-cultural anthropology in relation to the problems posed by or for 'cultural politics'.
- Anthropological Theory:
The aims and objectives of this module are to introduce you to major subfields of modern anthropology and to do so in a broadly historical and comparative framework.
The lectures will enable you to see how different anthropologists approach a number of central contemporary issues. The topics chosen will focus upon some of the theoretical developments and methodological strategies pursued in response to profound and widespread social transformations. Each week the module will focus on a single technique, methodology or strategy in anthropology in the work of a specific anthropologist.
Dissertation – a thorough critical discussion of existing knowledge in a relevant area; reports; take-home papers. Options may require a presentation or production of visual material.
Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.
As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.
Skills & Careers
The programme is great preparation for any role that involves research and communication. Graduates have pursued opportunities in journalism, other media, policy, education and public debate; they have also gone on to research degrees, either at Goldsmiths or elsewhere.