SOSANT2120 – Regional ethnography: Africa

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course gives a critical introduction to the anthropology of one broad traditional anthropological 'region', with a particular emphasis on current research interests related to that region, and how these are shaped by historical the legacy of colonialism and the global political economy. The course reflects critically about regional ethnographic knowledge-making, and provides thereby the basis for a productive engagement with the tradition of 'comparative ethnography'.

In the beginning, the students will be given a brief overview of anthropological research traditions and themes related to the region and their historical context. The main part of the course will then focus on recent and current subject matters that shape contemporary anthropological research on and from the region, and on on-going debates about the discipline's place in the region.

Learning outcome


  • Overview of the region’s contribution to anthropology.
  • Familiarity with some recent and current themes in regional anthropology.
  • Critical reflection about the history and contemporary conditions of anthropology of and from the continent.


  • Competence in regional ethnography and familiarity with some main themes in the region’s contemporary anthropology.


  • Ability to engage with and communicate contemporary social anthropological Insights.
  • Understanding and respect for social and cultural, as well as historical variation, as well as for theoretical and methodological differences between regional anthropological approaches.
  • Critical reflection about the role and responsibility of anthropology and the anthropologist in the context of a particular region.


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

Basic knowledge in social anthropology.


Lectures and seminars.


Take-home exam.
The exam paper must be minimum 2 900 words and maximum 4 400 words including cover page and foot- or endnotes. The list of works cited may not exceed 1 page and is not to be included in the total number of words.

Previous exams

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

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.

Facts about this course






The course is offered irregularly.

Teaching language