The B.A. in Anthropology: Thematic modules

The B.A. in Anthropology is organised in linked thematic modules, each of which is individually self-contained and partly consecutive.

In the ‘introductory’ module students are given an initial introductory overview of subjects and questions concerning social anthropology: What is social anthropology? What are the basic topics of social anthropology? What is particular to the anthropological approach? In terms of methodology, students are taught the basic techniques of academic practice: literature research, reading and understanding academic literature and different forms of academic presentation.

Complementing these introductory courses, the lectures, seminars and tutorials of the ‘basics’ module provide a systematic and in-depth introduction into the different areas of social anthropology: economic, social, political and religious anthropology and media, arts, literature and music. Students are familiarised with specific terms and theoretical approaches.

In the ‘society and culture’ module students explore the relationship between culture and society. Working in small groups, students get to know different sub-domains of anthropological research (such as economics, land rights, political organisation, ethnicity, popular culture and literature) through the exploration of specific regions or societies. Questions of intercultural comparison, the understanding of transcultural processes, cultural dynamics and social practice are at the heart of these explorations. It is through this module, in particular, that students get to know the research carried out by the department’s teaching staff.

The ‘fundamental questions’ module builds on the introductory courses provided in the introduction and basics modules. Here students engage with central theoretical positions in the history of social anthropology and their importance for current anthropological research. At this level students are encouraged to explore interconnections between anthropological theory and other theoretical approaches in the social sciences and cultural studies. This module consists of lectures, tutorials and seminars.  

In the ‘methodology’ module students learn to use the wide arrange of anthropological methodologies. Complementing the lecture on anthropological methods and their history, a seminar on methodological questions and a tutorial offer students the possibility of actually using different methods and hence learning methodology by doing. By conducting small self-organised research projects (under the close supervision of our teachers), students get to know the potential and difficulties inherent in research and methods of social anthropology.

In the ‘specialisation’ module (Vertiefung) students critically reflect on the theoretical positions and empirical case studies of anthropological research.  This module consists of a seminar and attendance at the department’s lecture series (Institutskolloquium), and hence enables students to become familiar with the on-going research and anthropological work of both the department members and guests. Students present and discuss their bachelor thesis at a closing colloquium.

In the ‘anthropological practice’ module, students are given several possibilities for getting to know the wide arrange of applications for anthropology, such as development work, broadcasting and the media, journalism and publishing, public relations, social services and other fields, and the options for pursuing careers in teaching and research in university and museum settings through graduate studies. Students have the possibility of doing an internship, participating in a writing seminar or practical seminars on media usage, training in the use of audio-visual techniques, or participating in an exhibition project.