ANTH4100 – Core Themes in Contemporary Anthropology

Course content

Since the 1990s, globalisation has become the main term in the social sciences and beyond to describe a set of related developments involving economic integration, the re-organisation of political institutions, and the various social and cultural implications of the increased movement of people, goods, and ideas. This course aims to give you an overview of a contemporary anthropology of the global situation that is also attentive to history, situating contemporary forms of globalisation within longer trajectories of military, political and economic expansions that have reconfigured people’s sense of time and space. This course introduces you to key anthropological conceptual and methodological tools enabling a deeper understanding of:

  • How to think about the state in the era of globalisation
  • The contentious role of social media today
  • People (e.g. migrants, refugees, tourists), things (e.g. consumer goods, species, electronic devices) and ideas (e.g. religions, economic doctrines, populist politics) on the move
  • Anthropological responses to the threat of eco-collapse and other crises
  • The rise of indigeneity amidst forms of ecological destructions

Learning outcome


  • An overview of the anthropology of globalisation
  • Analytical perspectives on phenomena such as social media, refugees, and crises
  • Methodological tools enabling multi-scale ethnographic research and ethnographic research on global phenomena
  • Detailed knowledge about specific empirical fields relevant for an understanding of the implications and effects of contemporary globalisation processes


  • The ability to analyse current affairs related to processes of globalisation from an anthropological perspective
  • An improved understanding of the history of anthropology and the recent history of the world
  • A heightened critical awareness concerning the everyday academic concept of globalisation


  • Deepen the capacity for independent academic thought
  • Enhance the ability to express arguments both written and oral
  • Improve competence in academic essay writing/argument construction.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must be enrolled in the master’s programme for Social Anthropology, and must have taken Error: java.lang.NullPointerException​, Error: java.lang.NullPointerException​, and Error: java.lang.NullPointerException​.


3-hour teaching blocks with a combination of lectures and in-class group discussions moderated by the lecturer.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


A written essay (5,000 words, +/- 10 percent).

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language