USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

ANT4001 Advanced Contemporary Anthropological Theory

Semester 3, 2014 Online Toowoomba
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication

Contents on this page


Examiner: Bryce Barker
Moderator: Lara Lamb


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BAHN or MSTA

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


Although students majoring in anthropology are exposed to anthropological theory as it relates to the social sciences generally throughout their undergraduate degree, it is considered that a more intensive and anthropologically specific, in-depth grounding in theory is necessary at the Honours level, with a particular focus on recent theoretical directions and developments.


This course aims to provide a more detailed and in-depth survey of the major anthropological theoretical approaches of the later 20th century onward. Building on the major historical themes of theory development in anthropology as outlined in ANT3001, this course will provide an understanding of the more recent development of theory in the discipline including, feminism, neo-Marxism, critical theory, post-structuralism and post-modernism. Students will use the assessment in this course to develop the theoretical basis for their particular Honours topic.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary theoretical approaches in anthropology
  2. understand the practical application of theoretical perspectives to research questions
  3. have developed and applied an appropriate theoretical perspective to their particular topic.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Structure and system 5.00
2. Methods and objects 5.00
3. Biology and ontology 10.00
4. Meanings as objects of study 10.00
5. Language and method 10.00
6. Thinking and believing 5.00
7. Bodies of knowledge 5.00
8. Coherence and contingency 10.00
9. Universalism and domain terms 5.00
10. Perspectives and their logics 5.00
11. Objectivity, morality and truth 10.00
12. The anthropology of western modes of thought 10.00
13. Globalisation and the changing meaning of culture 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Students are to contact the Examiner for advice on textbook purchase.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Johnson, MJ 1999, Archaeological theory: an introduction, Blackwell Publications, Oxford.
  • McGee, JR & Warms, RL 2012, Anthropological theory: an introductory history, 5th edn, McGraw-Hill, Boston.
  • Moore, JD 1997, Visions of culture: anthropological theories and theorists, Altimira Press, Walnut Creek, California.
  • Preucel, RW & Hodder, I (eds) 1996, Contemporary archaeology in theory: a reader, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Lectures or Seminars 26.00
Private Study 139.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ESSAY 1 (CRITIQUE) 100 40 19 Dec 2014
ESSAY 2 (APPLYING THEORY) 100 20 13 Feb 2015
ESSAY 3 (CRITIQUE) 100 40 13 Feb 2015

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.