Seminar in Ethnography and Fieldwork

Course Info

Course Number/Code: 21A.112 (Spring 2008)
Course Title: Seminar in Ethnography and Fieldwork
Course Level: Undergraduate
Offered By: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Department: Anthropology
Course Instructor(s): Prof. Stefan Helmreich
Course Introduction:
Syllabus Course Description

This advanced course in anthropology engages closely with discussions and debates about ethnographic research, ethics, and representation.


Students are required to give two seminar presentations, in which they offer a critical evaluation of positions represented in readings for their chosen days. Written documentation of those presentations will be due the week following the presentation. A final research paper of 15-20 pages will be due on Ses #12. Prospectus for this paper due on Ses #5.


Grading will be based on:

Grading criteria.ACTIVITIESPERCENTAGESClass participation50%Final paper50%Required Books

Please see the readings page for a schedule and list of readings. Look for used or new copies online or in local bookstores.

CalendarCourse calendar.SES #TOPICS0Meeting to construct syllabus1Ethnographic method and writing2Ethics and engagement3Anthropological controversies: military uses of anthropology4Anthropological controversies: the truth of other worlds, from Mead to Menchú5Nationalism and indigeneity6Activist anthropology / double presentation day7Comparison / double presentation day8Mobility and/or nomadism / double presentation day9Global environments10Engineering culture11Class presentations12Final paper