Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module ANTH3357: Violence and Memory

Department: Anthropology

ANTH3357: Violence and Memory

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to L602
Tied to LF64
Tied to LL36
Tied to CFGO
Tied to LMVO
Tied to L622
Tied to L693
Tied to L620
Tied to L600


  • • Political & Economic Organization (ANTH2051) OR Kinship & Belief Systems (ANTH2041). Cultures and Classifications (HUSS2191)


Excluded Combination of Modules


  • To consolidate and extend understanding of key themes encountered in the Political and Economic Organisation module (ANTH 2051) and Kinship and Belief Systems (ANTH2041).
  • To engage in detail with recent and theoretically sophisticated anthropological literature.
  • To provide a research-led enquiry into current debates in one specific field of socio-cultural anthropology. A detailed account of the thematic contents is available in the module handbook.
  • To explore in detail the various ways anthropologists and major thinkers in related disciplines have approached the selected topic, and have been influenced by, and shaped, ideologies and philosophies of current times.


  • Students are introduced to cutting edge theoretical and ethnographic debates in a specific area of contemporary sociocultural anthropology.
  • This course critically examines violence inflicted by the state and the processes through which it is remembered, forgotten, made present or absent in the evocations by the state, its citizens, historical texts, various collectives, social movements and individuals.
  • It engages with current social anthropological, feminist, sociological, political, historical, curtural and discursive interdisciplinary debates regarding violence and memory.
  • Hence it highlights the transnational interlinkages that exist between the binaries of - collective, personal, private and public memories.
  • Students are introduced to a range of theoretical and key socio-cultural issues relating to the phenomena of violence and memory and the way that anthropologists have approached these topics ethnographicall.
  • It explores the methodological and ethical issues through which violence and memory can be studied either through remembering historical pasts or the ways in which violent memories exist in the everyday.
  • In the process it shows how violence and memory is gendered, classed, embodied, performed and reflects on the relationship between state violence and bio-power, neonationalisms and victimhood, lost pasts and social movements, heritage, monuments and museums.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Factual material: Students will - Have a thorough awareness of the intellectual topography related to selected current issues in socio-cultural anthropology.
  • Have a demonstrable in-depth knowledge of certain key issues.
  • Integrate and evaluate a range of information and data from ethnographic and theoretical sources.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Be familiar with, and ability to demonstrate, links and differences between the ideas and approaches adopted by various anthropologists.
  • Able to evaluate and critically analyse anthropological literature and related social thought.
  • To discern and establish connections between intellectual arguments.
  • To present a coherent demonstration of the theoretical implications of different arguments.
Key Skills:
  • To identify a researchable problem independently and explore it.
  • To find relevant information and utilise socio-cultural anthropological sources effectively.
  • To construct an effective argument that demonstrates an awareness of the subtlety and complexity of selected theoretical issues.
  • Demonstrate an ability to explore the issues creatively in writing.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The formal components of the module use a range of teaching modes and methods, within an integrated framework to contribute to the intended learning outcomes as listed above.
  • The module benefits from a balance between lectures and seminars, geared to the specific needs of the material.
  • The lectures and seminars are carefully integrated.
  • Audio-visual aids (videos, slides, summaries and diagrams on overhead projection sheets etc.) are used where appropriate.
  • The informal components of the module utilise a variety of methods, including posting course documents and information and DUO, seminar presentations and associated oral discussions.
  • Lectures will cover topics relevant for providing students with an understanding of theories currently available for the study of current issues in sociocultural anthropology.
  • Lectures provide a traditional method of communicating not only fact but clear understandings of process and the relationship between issues.
  • They are used for the primary delivery of material in current issues in sociocultural anthropology because they allow clear transmission of information in an active learning environment where students can question and seek clarification.
  • Lectures introduce students to issues, structure the subject matter and provide a grounding in principal issues so they can progress to further learning and study.
  • Lectures provide the framework for analysis and relevant background, theoretical and/or historical information, and are used to assist in the assimilation of technically demanding or conceptually difficult material.
  • Seminars provide an opportunity for students to discuss a series of topics and to make oral presentations.
  • Difficult, sensitive and unresolved issues can all be approached successfully through discussion in seminars.
  • Seminars will cover topics relevant to the content of the module.
  • Seminars imply a higher degree of student involvement and teach subject-specific and generic skills.
  • For anthropology students this medium cannot simply be replace by texts or websites, though both are important adjuncts.
  • Summative essays test skills of understanding, analysis, information collection and presentation, while final written examinations test assimilated knowledge and understanding and the ability to write succinctly and analytically at short notice.
  • Formative assessment takes place on a regular basis and may be regarded an integral part of the day-to-day teaching process.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 1 hour 10
Seminars 5 Fortnightly 1 hour 5
Preparation and Reading 85
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3,000 %

Formative Assessment:

A short piece of written work submitted and returned with comments. Students also receive regular feedback on their progress in seminars

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University