SOSANT2525 – Overheating: The anthropology of accelerated change

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

How do people and communities around the world respond to, take part in, or resist fast changes affecting their lives?

In the 21st century – the era of electronic communication and global neoliberalism – change is, in many parts of the world, fast, volatile and unpredictable. While the anthropology of globalization and of transnationalism is well established, the anthropology of accelerated global change and connectedness is still incipient. This course aims to present these topics as well as to contribute to their development.

The anthropological literature on globalization has always emphasized the primacy of the local, the dual forces of homogenization and heterogenisation characterizing globalizing processes, and frictions between small-scale communities and large-scale projects. Concepts such as localization, hybridity, multi-sited fieldwork and the informal sector have shaped the field.

This course introduces some new conceptual and methodological tools enabling a deeper understanding of:

  • the connections between localities and global or transnational systems
  • connections between localities, facilitated by intensified communication networks, increased trade and mobility, and an increased awareness of the challenges facing humanity and the planet as a whole

The course aims to give an outline of a global, comparative anthropology attentive both to the uniqueness of the local and the characteristics of the global.

Learning outcome


  • An overview of the anthropology of globalization and transnationalism.
  • Analytical perspectives on the anthropology of accelerated change in the Anthropocene.
  • Methodological tools enabling multi-scale research and research on complexity.
  • Detailed knowledge about specific empirical fields relevant for an understanding of accelerated, globalized change.
  • Knowledge about the Overheating research project, its aims and methods.


  • The ability to analyze current affairs in the domains of food, climate, identity and neoliberal economics from an anthropological perspective.
  • The ability to distinguish clearly between levels of scale in a given situation.
  • The ability to develop an argument, based on academic sources, on the relationship between local life and large-scale processes.
  • An improved understanding of the history of anthropology and the recent history of the world.
  • A deeper understanding of current affairs and world news.
  • A heightened critical awareness concerning everyday academic concepts such as development, growth, poverty and democracy.


  • Achieve independent academic thought
  • The ability to express arguments both written and verbally


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.


Essay on a chosen topic.

You are to submit an essay on a chosen topic.

The topic must be approved beforehand.

You submit your essay in the digital examination system Inspera.

Previous exams

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

You may submit your essay in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

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

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.

Facts about this course


The course is offered irregularly.

Teaching language