AANK16100U Medical Anthropology, advanced course

Volume 2016/2017

Concerns around health and medicine are ubiquitous. With ageing populations, a rise in chronic conditions, increasing emphasis on ‘healthy’ living  as well as growing health inequalities and eruptions of violence, healthcare remains an urgent priority for societies around the world. Building on the foundations of classic medical anthropology, this course explores contemporary developments within health and medicine. The course will focus on a particular thematic field (e.g. violence, mental health, biosociality or sickness) as a way to examine how illness experience, health practices, health technologies and health systems are being shaped around the world. Literature will be thematically organized and consist of a range of ethnographic cases. The aim of the course is to develop students’ knowledge of the sub-field of medical anthropology to help prepare for a health-related Masters thesis.

Learning Outcome

By the end of the course the students should be able to display:

  • Empirical knowledge of illness experience, health practices, health technologies and health systems within a specific thematic field
  • Identify a relevant anthropological research problem related to the course’s thematic field
  • Locate and analyze empirical material by applying analytical perspectives from the course literature (using anthropological concepts and theories) in order to make an anthropological argument
  • Recognize how cultural values, social situations and relations shape understandings of and responses to the challenges of health and illness

500 pages obligatory literature + 200 pages of literature chosen by students

Literature chosen by students must be relevant to the course’s subject matter.

Course literature will be available in Absalon on the course website         

Lectures will be combined with discussions, debates, field exercises, a class project and case work.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Course Preparation
  • 95
  • Exam Preparation
  • 16
  • Practical exercises
  • 25
  • Seminar
  • 42
  • Study Groups
  • 28
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Length: The portfolio exam can be taken individually or in groups of maximum four students. The portfolio exam consists of 3-7 submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must not exceed 30,000 keystrokes for a single student. For groups of two students the maximum is 40,000 keystrokes. For groups of three students the maximum is 45,000 keystrokes and for groups of four students the maximum is 50,000 keystrokes.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

1. re-exam:

An essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted at the announced date. The students must sign up for the 1. re-exam.

Please note that the re-exam is an essay even for courses, where the ordinary exam is a portfolio exam.

2. re-exam:

A new essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted at the announced date next semester. The students must sign up for the 2. re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome