Thursday, August 09, 2007

Diary for 9th August -15th August 2007: Courses Special


With this week's news in the Times that a lady called Phylss Taylor has received a Masters in Anthropology at 94 (after doing her undergraduate degree at 70), it's clear that it's never too late to learn some anthropology! With this in mind I'm doing an evening/Saturday course special on anthropology this week and each day I'll be investigating a different course.

You might be surprised to find out that there are actually lots of anthropology courses available for people who don't want to study anthropology in a traditional university degree context, who just want to learn about it for pleasure rather than a qualification, or who want a little taste before committing to a degree. Most of these evening and Saturday courses start after the summer and are taking bookings now. This definitely isn't an exhaustive list, so if you are interested in a doing a little life-long learning than check out universities/colleges etc... near you to find out if they offer any anthropology-flavoured courses (on university web-pages they might be listed under the life-long learning or continuing education departments). Sometimes there is a minimum (not maximum!) age requirement so be carefully to check before you book.

THURSDAY 9TH AUGUST - The Battlefields of World War I

If you are looking for something to do immediately, this is your last chance to sneak onto a course being run next week in conjunction with Cambridge University called Excavating Memories. Combining archaeology and anthropology, over five days course members study the material culture of the Great War, including objects recovered from excavations of front line trenches. It is being held at the Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley Hall, which runs a variety of courses over the year, including several in social anthropology, that often include field trips. For more information, you can have a look at the brochure online, or contact the courses registrar on 01954 280399 or

FRIDAY 10TH AUGUST - Health, wealth and human remains at London's only specialist provider of evening Higher Education

For those of you looking to start something after the summer Birkbeck College in London, offers a wide range of evening courses in various aspects of anthropology. Their Certificates of Higher Education in Social Anthropology are divided into modules of 16 weeks each in length and you need to do a combination of modules to complete the certificate. Most course start around the beginning of October, and subjects range from basic theory to the Anthropology of Space, Architecture and Landscapes. The certificates are qualifications in their own right, but can also be used to gain entry onto degree programmes.

If forensic anthropology is more your thing, you might be interested in Birkbeck's new London Bodies Course, which teaches you how to analyse human remains every Wednesday night for 24 weeks, using the archaeological remains at the Museum of London. No prior knowledge is required!

Birkbeck has a university open evening on 6th September, or you can contact the anthropology department directly on 0207 631 6640 or by emailing

SATURDAY 11TH AUGUST - Short courses: studying in the City

If you want something a bit shorter, City Lit in London runs adult education sessions in the evenings or as one-off day events. They have four different anthropology options - A Taste of Anthropology is a one day introductory course, and the next one begins in December. Otherwise, they run the twelve week "Ways into Anthropology 1, 2 & 3", split into modules that cover cross-cultural comparison, fieldwork and religion and globalisation respectively. Ways into Anthropology 1 is the one to plump for as an introduction to the subject and the next one begins on the 17th September. You can enrol online here, or contact the humanities department for more information on 020 7492 2652 or email

SUNDAY 12TH AUGUST - A Radical Anthropology evening class

Another London based evening class is run by the Radical Anthropology Group. Anthropology professor Chris Knight from University of East London, together with several visiting lecturers, runs the class called "A Human Revolution" which has a strong emphasis on Native American, African and Australian Aboriginal mythologies. The class is very sociable and members are invited to come a bit before the class to discuss anthropology over a hot vegetarian meal. It can be taken as a University Certificate or done just for fun. Last year it started in September and was run in a community centre in Camden, but this is subject to change so make sure you email for full details (contact details can be found on their website)

MONDAY 13TH AUGUST - Shamanic Sussex

Like most universities, the University of Sussex has a Centre of Continuing Education, and come October they are also running a few interesting anthropology courses. These include evening classes in shamanic consciousness (over eight weeks) or a broad overview of the discipline in 'Ways of Seeing'. You can enrol online here or by telephoning the CCE on 01273 678527. If you are interested in studying an anthropology degree full time at Sussex, the department is having an Open Day on 13th October.

UST - Boogie down to Bristol.

Today I'm going to check out the short courses available in archaeology and anthropology as part of Bristol University's Lifelong Learning network. There's a whole host of different aspects of anthropology on offer, from religion to the environment to fieldwork methodology. Particularly interesting is the two day course (run over a couple of Saturdays) this October in Rhythm, Bodies and Culture, which looks at the meaning of dance in various different cultures. The course starts on 20th October, but places are booking up quickly already. You can download the enrolment form online, or for more information contact the course organiser, Sean Caveille, on 0117 9546070 or at

WEDNESDAY 15TH AUGUST - Film & Identity at Goldsmiths

The final option I'm going to list this week is the Professional and Community Education (PACE) courses run by Goldsmiths College. Starting in October, there are two courses on offer - "Film & Anthropology", and "Space, Place & Identity" which explores issues of diaspora in the contemporary world. Both courses only require you to attend for two hours per week and run until the end of May. At Goldsmiths, you can also do a Foundation Certificate in Social Anthropology over a year, for which you need to attend two evenings a week, but you can progress onto a full time BA from this course if you are hooked. For more information, please contact Jenifer Mayo-Deman on 020 7919 7953 or at