AANA18106U Medical Anthropology, advanced course

Volume 2020/2021

The teaching in spring 2021 will be online until the 1. of April due to the Covid19 situation.

As soon as it is permitted and justifiable, it is up to the individual lecturer whether to transition to a blended format or wish to continue with full online teaching for the rest of the semester.

The individual lecturer will inform you of the above choice in the Absalon room for each course.

Courses with oral exams will be held online if the relevant restrictions have not been lifted at least four weeks before the individual exam. This will be notified in Absalon.

Courses with written exams will not experience any changes in relation to the normal exam form.


How does technology change the ways in which we live, age, and die with our bodies? How do different technologies shape what it means to be a human? What kinds of facts and imaginaries of life are produced around technologies? And, how are existing inequalities and injustices embedded in and/or challenged by these new technologies of living? In this course, we will examine changing contours of human life including the experiences of health and illness and conceptions of life and death in relation to the development, production, and use of new or emerging technology. Moreover looking into the entanglement of biomedical knowledge, policy and technology in everyday life, we will explore how life itself is made into an object of technological intervention. We will furthermore explore how this process, rather than simply offering solutions to given problems, also might reshape our bodily experiences of and relations with the world while engendering novel ethical and cultural problems for us to deal with. In this course we will engage in extensive reading, contemplation and discussion of literature in and around medical anthropology and Science and Technology. The format, with teacher introductions, interactive class activities, oral and written assignments will require students active participation.

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

- be able to identify a relevant anthropological research problem related to medical anthropology
- be able to 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
-be able to write a well-structured essay on a chosen field/case drawing on the literature from anthropology and other related disciplines

-be able to demonstrate how biomedical knowledge and technology are shaped in specific sociocultural and politico-economic contexts and further reshape our experiences of health and illness

-be able to utilize concepts and methods of medical anthropology and Science and Technology Studies in analyzing a concrete, empirical case

BSc students and MSc students: 500 pages obligatory literature.

The teacher will publish 200-300 pages of supplementary literature.

Course literature will be available through Absalon.


The course will be based on a combination of lectures and interactive seminars where students contribute actively through group work, discussions, readings and oral and written presentations.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 95
  • Project work
  • 54
  • Seminar
  • 42
  • Exam
  • 16
  • Total
  • 207
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio, .
Length: The portfolio exam can be taken individually or in groups of maximum four students. The portfolio exam consists of 2-7 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.
For groups writing together it must be clearly indicated which parts of the assignment each of the students has written.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

1st re-exam: An essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.

2nd re-exam: A new essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.

Essay length: 21,600–26,400 keystrokes for an individual submission. 6,750–8,250 keystrokes per extra member for group submissions. The maximum number of students who can write an essay in a group is four.

For groups writing together it must be clearly indicated which parts of the assignment each of the students has written.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome