Universität Wien FIND
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240535 SE Anthropological Writing Genres (P4) (2019S)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 13.06. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 14.06. 09:45 - 13:00 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Writing is the primary mode of communication for academics and thus for anthropologists. As the practice of writing has a central position in anthropology, it is a continuous topic for reflexive discussion, more so recently. Anthropologists spend a lot of time writing in different genres and styles. While academic writing is the most widespread genre that anthropologists have to master, they also write in many other genres ranging from journalism and administrative reports to fiction, poetry, even crime fiction inspired by ethnography.
The aims of the course are to familiarize students with different anthropological writing genres. The method is lectures, writing exercises and seminar discussions. The contents are the composition of an anthropological text, developing an argument, and writing journalism/popular texts.

Assessment and permitted materials

The course will be assessed by way of a home exam consisting of one essay of about 2000 words (an anthropological text or a popular/journalist text). All material is permitted, ranging from the reading list to internet materials such as clips, images and blogs.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The minimum requirement is that at least one reference to the reading list is included in the essay. The assessment criteria are the style, discussion, as well as organization, originality and approach.

Examination topics

Reading list

Key articles that are provided.

Fassin, Didier. 2014. "True Life, Real Lives: Revisiting the Boundaries between Ethnography and Fiction". American Ethnologist, 41(1): 40-55.
Cultural Anthropology. 2012. Special Issue on Writing Culture at 25. Volume 27, Issue 3.
Hannerz, Ulf. 2002. "Among the Foreign Correspondents: Reflections on Anthropological Styles and Audiences". Ethnos, 67(1): 57-74.
Reed, Adam. 2005. "'My Blog Is Me': Texts and Persons in UK Online Journal Culture (and Anthropology". Ethnos 70(2): 220-42.
Narayan, Kirin. 1999. "Ethnography and Fiction: Where Is the Border?" Anthropology and Humanism, 24(2): 134-147.
Narayan, Kirin. 2007. "Tools to Shape Texts: What Creative Nonfiction Can Offer Ethnography" Anthropology and Humanism, 32(2): 130144.
Shokeid, Moshe.1997. "Negotiating Multiple Viewpoints: The Cook, the Native, the Publisher, and the Ethnographic Text". Current Anthropology, 38 (4): 631-645.
Nora, Neha and Tom Boellstorff. 2012. "Anatomy of an Article: The Peer-Review Process as Method". American Anthropologist, 114(4): 578-583.
Wulff, Helena. 2016. "Introducing the Anthropologist as Writer: Across and Within Genres," in Helena Wulff (ed), The Anthropologist as Writer. Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 1-18.
Wulff, Helena 2017. Rhythms of Writing: An Anthropology of Irish Literature. London: Bloomsbury.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Tu 27.08.2019 10:08