SOSANT2000 – Central themes in contemporary anthropology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course presents central thematic areas and theoretical questions in contemporary anthropological research. It builds on the institute’s basic BA courses and aims to lay a foundation for further specialization, first through the bachelor essay and, eventually, in the Masters course and fieldwork.

The course covers a range of more recent anthropological topics such as:

  • Complex society and modernity
  • Identity and ethnicity
  • New conceptualisations of field and fieldwork
  • Kinship and relatedness
  • Body and nature
  • Power and resistance
  • History and temporality
  • Class, art and experimental anthropology
  • Science and Technology
  • Engaged anthropology

The lectures will situate these topics in the history of anthropology, but the course focuses in particular on recent texts, which broadly illustrate contemporary scholarship.

Learning outcome


  • overview of contemporary key areas and central texts
  • overview of important theoretical and methodological directions
  • understanding of theoretical diversity in contemporary anthropology
  • understanding of connections between diverse theoretical orientations


  • ability to place contemporary anthropological texts in relation to earlier orientations.
  • personal theoretical, methodological and thematic interests within a disciplinary context
  • ability to appreciate disciplinary diversity, and place ones interests within wither theoretical orientations

General competence

  • to be able to present social scientific material clearly and analytically
  • ability to critically interrogate others’ anthropological studies


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that all students have completed the following courses:


This course combines lectures and seminars throughout the semester. Participation in the seminar groups is strongly recommended. Usually there are 12 lectures and seven seminar sessions. How to change seminar groups.


6 hours school exam

Previous exams (in Norwegian)

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

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

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. 
You find the explanation in Inspera.

Ask for an explanation of your grade

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

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.

Report: Evaluation spring 2013 (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language