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How to Pay Attention

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The main challenge in running a seminar on the anthropology of attention is that such a thing doesn’t exist.* While anthropologists often think quite deeply about attention, worrying about our own noticing practices or what our interlocutors focus on, we rarely write about the concept head-on. When we do write about attention, we rarely problematize it in the way we …

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Is Health Activism a Collective Responsibility?

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During the tumultuous “repeal and replace” frenzy in the spring and summer of 2017, the US House of Representatives and Senate moved quickly to consider bills intended to either eliminate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) or restrict its various provisions. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) in …

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Teaching Medical Anthropology

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I am grateful to those who have shared their medical anthropology syllabi here and thought I would add mine to the mix. There is so much one could cover in a med anthro course! I am always concerned with overwhelming my students, especially those not only new to the subdiscipline but also to anthropology and even to social science (ah, …

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Making the theoretical practical: Engaging undergraduate students in research methods

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I am currently an undergraduate student in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. The Department’s UG program offers students the opportunity to study social aspects of health and medicine in a multi-disciplinary context with close collaboration between the social sciences, life sciences and biomedicine. In addition, a great emphasis is put on methods training …

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Bending the Odds: Pedagogy and Dialogue in Large Lecture Courses

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As academics in large public research universities, I am always amazed that when we speak of an ideal pedagogy, we speak about our small intimate seminars where we have the time and resources to experiment with 25 students or less. In my 13 years of teaching, I look forward to those settings when I get to teach one small undergraduate …

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Teaching Medical Anthropology

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In the decade since becoming a full time professor, medical anthropology has been one of my core courses. I have taught it seven times.  Although the basic structure of the course remains similar, emphases have shifted over time. Perhaps I can best highlight the evolution of the course through a discussion of readings I use since readings are the backbone …