MA Peace and Conflict Studies
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
Anthropology of Violence and Reconstruction
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course will explore the link between violent conflicts and everyday life. The focus will be on survival and reconstitution of life through encounters with both state and non-state actors, but also moral means of coping and sense making of traumatic experiences of pain and suffering. The course readings will, in Nancy Scheper-Hughes' words, 'continually juxtapose the routine, the ordinary - the symbolic and normative violence of everyday life ('terror as usual') - against sudden eruptions of unexpected, extraordinary or 'gratuitous' violence (as in genocide, state terror, dirty wars and civil wars).' The course will draw on ethnographies and other anthropological work to get an understanding of interests, issues, and challenges faced by individuals who decide to be scribes to human suffering. Finally, the course will show the ways in which violence shapes the everyday reality of survivors, perpetrators and witnesses and affect their capacity to engage in everyday life.
Introduce students to key issues in the Anthropology of Violence and Conflict.
- Provide a cross-cultural reading of ethnographic material on historical and contemporary conflicts from different regions of the world to draw out key issues that get operationalised after conflicts.
- Provide an understanding of the psychological and material coping after conflict.
- Enable students to acquire an understanding about what political, economic and institutional factors shape conflict response and how each of these are lived?
Knowledge and understanding
- Understand the social, spatial, economic and political disruptions in everyday life after conflict.
- Understand the lived meaning of conflict.
- - Identify the key state and non-state actors that play a role in 'post- conflict' lives. .
- Engage with the ethical and moral dilemmas that anthropologists face while working in conflict situations.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Critically engage with terms like 'post-conflict', 'reconstruction', 'reconstitution' and 'reconciliation'.
- Understand how anthropological knowledge can be used to develop policy interventions
|Group book review||25%|
Scheper Hughes, N & Bourgois, P (eds) Violence in War and Peace : An Anthology (Oxford, Blackwell, 2004)
Das, V, Kleinmann, A, Lock, M, Ramphela. M and Reynolds. P, (eds) Remaking a World. Violence, Social Suffering and Recovery. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2001).
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Rubina Jasani||Unit coordinator|