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at Goldsmiths

global social issues,
and learn how to think
creatively and critically
from a distinctive
******* Key features
Develop your
ethnographic practice and
your own research project
Debate with the best in the
field and learn from the Watch our
people behind the books
Live and learn within a diverse
film at
community in a dynamic global vimeo.com/
city and take advantage of all goldsmiths/
that London has to offer anthropology

2 www.gold.ac.uk/anthropology
Anthropology at Goldsmiths
Anthropology is a critical and comparative science that
studies what it means and has meant to be human
around the world in different epochs. Ethnography,
history and pre-history a lot to take on at once, but
they form the backdrop to detailed studies of the ways
in which the human experience has been shaped and
mediated within complex cultural settings.
At Goldsmiths, anthropology approaches Why choose Anthropology at Goldsmiths?
big questions about humankind through
the traditional sub-fields and classic studies Were interdisciplinary. As an anthropology
as well as through the investigation of student at Goldsmiths youll be able to look
modernity and contemporary expressions of at this small but intense discipline in relation
cultural identity and structure. We focus on to a whole range of others, from politics and
how anthropology can help us understand religion to philosophy and psychology.
other societies as well as our own and our
place within it. Myth, ritual, kinship, mass Were interested in getting to know you
culture, the role of museums and the role as an individual with your own particular
of ethnobotany; the disguises of power experiences and gifts, so youll never be
and the fetishism of adornment. Through just a number. You will learn through a
a balance of the local and the global, the combination of lectures, small group seminars,
scope of anthropology offers new ways practical workshops, film screenings and field
to view the world, present and past. trips, and from a committed and approachable
team whose teaching was ranked overall top
Our Masters programmes embrace the amongst British anthropology departments by
core areas of academic anthropology its students (National Student Survey, 2011).
and new developments in visual
anthropology and cultural politics, for Were offering breadth and depth. We give
example and provide the foundations you the opportunity to delve into universal
for research degrees and further study. issues covering questions of power, ethnicity,
and gender identity, discover areas such as the
As a Department were interested in anthropology of art, and apply anthropologys
pushing the discipline forward, and our distinctive ethnographic method closer to
students engage in a unique interdisciplinary home, through fieldwork focusing on local life.
environment. With 16 full-time members
of staff and five Masters programmes
consistently ranking high in the Research
Assessment Exercise the Department
caters to a wide variety of students with
interests in policy, art and aesthetics, urban
planning, development, social movements,
area studies, and visual and digital media.

Visit www.gold.ac.uk/pg/anthropology for full details of our degrees 3

Our degrees
MA in Anthropology & Cultural Politics MA in Social Anthropology
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-social-anthropology
This MA is designed both for those who
This Masters is directed at students from a want to consolidate their existing knowledge
wide range of disciplines in the humanities, of anthropology and for those who have
social and political sciences, as well as artists, no specialist background in the subject.
and professionals in the media and cultural The programme is structured around a
sectors. It addresses contemporary issues in strong theoretical and methodological core,
culture and politics from an anthropological supplemented by optional courses that reflect
perspective. The MA is organised around a your particular interests. Subjects you may
critical investigation of the central thematic wish to explore include: gender; sexuality and
concepts of its title: culture, power, and the body; religion and symbolism; political
politics, as well as anthropology itself. Each economy; psychological perspectives in
of these terms are posited as questions for anthropology; the anthropology of rights;
critical reflection, and you are encouraged to and visual anthropology. In addition, you
pursue independent research projects that will write a dissertation that provides an
investigate the meanings attributed to these opportunity to conduct a short piece of
terms in contemporary social contexts. We are independent research for those who wish
particularly interested in the intersections of to do so. The course provides excellent
culture and power, and the consideration preparation for a number of potential careers
of what may be called cultural politics. including progress to a research degree.

MA in Development & Rights MA in Visual Anthropology

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-development-rights www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-visual-anthropology

Development has come to represent the This Masters is designed for those with
political relationship between rich and poor a background in anthropology who want
countries following the end of colonialism. to continue their studies through a unique
This programme offers a critical approach to combination of theory and visual practice.
development through the lens of anthropology. The central aim of the programme is the
It explores the historical role of anthropological production of visual work within a critical
engagement in development, and encourages and conceptual framework provided by
you to rethink concepts, policies and practices anthropology. You will be introduced to
underwriting global inequality. Offering a range of topics including: the anthropology
a critical exploration of the concept of rights of art; visual anthropology; ethnographic film
(human, indigenous, or gender, for example) and cinema studies; and anthropological
and how it is mobilised to make various kinds consideration of representation. The
of claims, the degree presents diverse programme is taught through lectures and
perspectives on how we might address global seminars, as well as hands-on training in the
inequality. The MA includes a placement (half use of digital camcorders, sound recording
a day a week) with a development-related equipment, and video editing. You will
organisation, which you will negotiate. This produce a series of practical projects
is an opportunity for critical reflection on throughout the year, and your final project
some of the issues raised in the classroom. will be a 20-minute video.

4 www.gold.ac.uk/anthropology
MRes in Anthropology MRes in Visual Anthropology
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mres-anthropology www.gold.ac.uk/pg/
The MRes is designed to serve as the first
(training) year of a research degree (MPhil/ Like the MRes in Anthropology, this degree
PhD) for those starting MPhil/PhD studies is normally for those who already have an
at Goldsmiths, although it can also be taken undergraduate or MA degree in Anthropology.
as a stand-alone programme. It is usually for It includes research design, visual practice,
students who already have an undergraduate qualitative research methods, and a
or Masters degree in Anthropology. It provides dissertation, which together prepare you for
you with a wide range of generic training in undertaking doctoral research in visual
social science research methods, and in-depth anthropology. You will gain an understanding
training in anthropological methods and of visual theory and practice in order to carry
research issues. These include: research out visual-based research. You will develop
design; research methods (quantitative and a thorough knowledge of the key aspects of
qualitative); and optional language training. current visual theory and different strategies
The dissertation prepares the ground for of visual communication. You will be given a
fieldwork or other data-gathering. You will wide range of generic training in social science
receive close supervision on the MRes, research methods, and in-depth training in
enabling you to focus on your own research anthropological methods and research issues;
and helping you tailor the training to the learning to plan, design and present a research
individual proposal you are developing. project and evaluate the research of others.

Student insight
MA Development & Rights
Its truly a privilege to be able to study under
such dedicated and gifted lecturers in the
Department of Anthropology. I chose to attend
Goldsmiths because there is a different
atmosphere compared to other universities.
I think it is the feeling of strong community
among the students and staff. The programme
gives us the opportunity to explore other
avenues by undertaking a development
placement with an organisation in London,
and through that we are able to relate
theory to practice.

Visit www.gold.ac.uk/pg/anthropology for full details of our degrees 5

Our degrees continued
MPhil & PhD Anthropology MPhil & PhD in Visual Anthropology
3-4 years full-time, 4-6 years part-time 3-4 years full-time, 4-6 years part-time
www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ www.gold.ac.uk/pg/
mphil-phd-anthropology mphil-phd-visual-anthropology

We offer supervision in a wide range of The MPhil/PhD in Visual Anthropology can be

areas for the MPhil and PhD. In addition achieved through two main strands: research
to the particular research interests of projects that centre on the study of visual
each member of our academic staff cultures, such as various forms of media
(read about these at www.gold.ac.uk/ representation or art; the use of specific visual
anthropology/research), we have a number methodologies as a central feature of the
of postgraduate students undertaking research project itself. The programme
research of contemporary social and focuses on the visual as a vital and defining
political relevance in Britain and Europe. factor in the research project as a whole.
Current students are engaged in research Additional practical training can be provided,
projects covering a broad range of subjects, alongside some access to the departments
and located in Africa, Europe, Latin America, audio-visual equipment and facilities, but we
and the Middle East. generally expect you to have an appropriate
level of practical visual production skills and
to be largely self-sufficient in this area. This
programme has a global scope, with current
students carrying out visual projects in India,
Mexico, Argentina, Lebanon, Israel, and the UK.

Head to Head: Untangling the Global Trade in

Human Hair. Sorting temple hair in Chennai (right).
Stitching a weave at the Mississippi International Hair
Show and Expo (above).

Photos taken by Emma Tarlo, 2013

With thanks to George Cherian
at Raj Hair Itnl. and Deedee

6 www.gold.ac.uk/anthropology
Our research
The Department is a flourishing centre of research, with a
focus on specialist subject areas relevant to contemporary
public life. Its why our research, cited as internationally
excellent*, is policy-oriented and addresses areas as
diverse as aesthetics, emotions and urban planning.
Current research projects include:
The Centre for Visual Anthropology
Head to Head: Untangling the
Global Trade in Human Hair
This research centre houses the Department
This project (pictured left) traces the
of Anthropologys postgraduate
architecture of the expanding global market
programmes that involve photography,
for human hair, and explores the significance
filmmaking, museum studies and
of hair as it passes from head to head and
anthropology, and provides a strong focus
becomes incorporated into different personal
for our departmental research initiatives in
and cultural projects of self enhancement.
visual theory and practice. These frame
The project is led by Professor Emma Tarlo, for
Western contemporary art as well as other
which she obtained a Leverhulme Trust Major
traditions in comparative and historical
Research Fellowship (September 2013-2016).
perspective. The MA, MRes and MPhil/PhD
in Visual Anthropology include substantial
Makeshift City (Wick Session)
practice components and the Centre is
This is a collaborative event that will bring
equipped with its own studio facilities.
together anthropology students with art
and architecture practice public works.
The Centre for Visual Anthropology is
The project will include a walking tour, public
linked with an international community
debate and a zine publication. Our students will
of anthropological filmmakers and
contribute to the events curation, organisation,
photographers, and maintains strong
documentation and a follow-up publication,
connections with documentary and museum
giving them relevant experience of working
activities in London. As well as its academic
in a creative and culturally oriented SME.
pursuits, the Centre provides a public forum
for screenings, talks and seminars related to
all aspects of anthropology, documentary
This project looks at the impact of development
and the visual arts.
on livelihoods, transmissions of knowledge,
and innovative responses to changing local
Recent work carried out by the Centre has
and global circumstances. Focusing on four
focused on subjects as diverse as horse
detailed case studies (in Argentina, Slovakia,
domestication, music production, plant-
Spain and Brazil) the project traces connections
based alcoholic remedies on sale in London,
between forms of employment, relations of
and photography in the Soloman Islands.
solidarity and cooperation, and entrepreneurial
Visit www.gold.ac.uk/visual-anthropology/
projects across the social spectrum.
visualanthropologyresearch to find out
more about our research projects.
Visit www.gold.ac.uk/anthropology/research
to find out more about the specific
research interests our academic staff. * Research Assessment Exercise 2008

Visit www.gold.ac.uk/pg/anthropology for full details of our degrees 7

Contact us
See www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ To find out more about us,
anthropology for full details go to www.gold.ac.uk/
of our degrees. If you need anthropology or email
more information, please email anthropology@gold.ac.uk.

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Student insight
Johanna, MA Anthropology
& Cultural Politics
As soon as I read about
Goldsmiths I knew I was in front of
something particularly different a place
of avant-garde. The programme and the
2014. Printed on 100% recycled paper

professors from the anthropology department

embody a strong critical spirit and a wide
interdisciplinary perspective that address
the best of the anthropological towards an
understanding of contemporary societies.
Attending conferences, plays and film
clubs, I realise that this spirit
runs all over the place!