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CL4044 Anthropology and the Greeks

CL4044 Anthropology and the Greeks

Module Organiser: Dr. Ashley Clements
Duration of Course: All Year
Contact Hours: 44 (22 x 2-hour seminar)
Weighting: 20 ECTS
Assessment: 2 x 3hr end of year examinations.

This course introduces and examines a variety of domains in which anthropological enquiry and Classical Studies have complemented and can complement each other. It is broadly divided into two parts. In the first part we explore how anthropology has been used to elucidate the literary works that survive from the Greek world. Here we focus upon the work of the most influential pioneers of anthropological theory in the study of ancient cultures, J.G. Frazer, the Cambridge ritualists, E.R. Dodds, and the Paris school of J.-P. Vernant, M. Detienne, and P. Vidal-Naquet. In the second part of the course, we consider more recent applications of anthropological theory to the study of ancient culture, and move on to explore the role that anthropological perspectives can play in helping us identify and interpret cultural difference.

Introductory Reading

  • Lloyd, G. E. R. (2004) Ancient Worlds, Modern Reflections: Philosophical Perspectives on Greek and Chinese Science and Culture. Oxford.
  • Cartledge, P. (1994) 'The Greeks and anthropology', Anthropology Today 10: 3-6.
  • Redfield, J. (1991) 'Classics and anthropology', Arion 1: 5-23.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful conclusion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • sound understanding of the work of the early pioneers of anthropological theory in the criticism of ancient cultures and the anthropological models and concepts most influential to them
  • ability to critically evaluate the methodology of cross-cultural comparison and discuss its utility for critics of ancient cultures
  • thorough familiarity with a range of contemporary anthropological theories that can contribute to our understanding of ancient cultures

Last updated 21 July 2015 ryanw1@tcd.ie.