RESA: Research School for Swedish Anthropology
PhD course open to: PhD students in Cultural Anthropology, and PhD in other disciplines, subject to the approval of the instructor
Course title: Anthropology’s Classics and History of Ideas
Dates: October 2018-May 2019
Location: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University
Course coordinator/instructor: Sverker Finnström, senior lecturer, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University
ECTS: 7.5 credits (15 credits also possible)
Contact: Sverker Finnström (

Course objective

To provide an orientation in the development of anthropology and its roots, and a familiarity with the most cited scholars and theories in the discipline, and their historical groundings.

Learning outcomes

After accomplishing the course the student is expected to:

  • Possess an in-depth understanding of the historical development of the discipline of Cultural Anthropology;
  • Be able to identify and discuss major contributions to the development of Anthropology;
  • Be able to elaborate on implications of some of the classical works in Anthropology for the student’s own thesis project.

Course content and method of instruction

The course consists of either: (1) an instructed course of seminars on major methodological concerns and practices, including ethics; or, (2) a reading course based on the attached literature list.

Students are required read the required books and articles, attend and actively participate in all seminars, and write and discuss reaction papers. Reaction papers must be written in essay form (so no bullet points or fragmentary summaries).

Method of assessment

Attendance at scheduled seminars (when the course is given as an instructed course) and meetings with supervisor (when the course is a reading course) are obligatory. Students are assessed based on active participation in discussions, on the quality of the reaction papers, and final essay. The course grades are “U” or “G”.

Language of instruction

The default language of instruction is English.

Course literature

See a separate list.