Over the past few years I have been sharing the readings I assign for an undergraduate course I teach at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, Anthropology for Liberation. I modify the course every year in response to the conversations we have in our classroom and wider scholarly conversations.
This course takes its cue from the book Decolonizing Anthropology: Moving Further Toward an Anthropology for Liberation edited by Professor Faye Harrison. An anthropology for liberation leans into ideas of transformation and bringing about social change to make life more bearable for all people in all places. Harrison explains that it is “designed to promote equality- and justice-inducing social transformation” (1991, 2). This kind of anthropology is practiced by anthropologists “committed to and engaged in struggles against racist oppression, gender inequality, class disparities, and international patterns of exploitation and “difference” rooted largely in capitalist world development” (Harrison 1991, 2). In my view, an anthropology for liberation seeks to unsettle disciplinary boundaries, decentre Western epistemological imperialism, and foster solidarities with those working towards similar goals of liberation and otherwise worlds.
This year I redesigned the assignments to incorporate elements of labour-based grading (my colleague Grant Jun Otsuki has a nice piece explaining what labour-based grading is for those who are curious). As I was doing so, I saw two threads on Twitter by Dr Sereana Naepi and Associate Professor Sarah Martin that offered me a way to better align my assessment practices with the ethos of this course. In this post I share the assignment information I provide to students along with the grading criteria I developed. Please feel free to adapt or remix these ideas into your own course materials, and if you do I would love to hear from you!
There were three assignment for this course in 2022:
- Book review
- Research Journal (the first part of the major research project)
- Final research project
Book Review (30% of final grade)
This assignment involved an optional revise-review-submit process, where students could submit a draft of their book review for feedback prior to marking, and also to revise and resubmit their work once it had been marked. I was inspired to take this approach after reading Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (And What To Do Instead).
Your first assignment is to write a book review of one of the books on the list below. This assignment encourages deep learning of selected themes covered in this course as well as critical engagement with books dealing with contemporary social justice issues.
In ANTH 302, book reviews are not book reports that summarise a book’s content. Instead, book reviews are essays that critically evaluate how effective a book has been in fulfilling its stated goals, and how it relates to key themes discussed in ANTH 302.
What should the book review look like?
Book reviews are a common type of academic essay. You can find examples in anthropology journals such as American Anthropologist, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Anthropological Quarterly, and The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology. Your review should look like the reviews you can find in these journals.
As you will see from these journals, book reviews vary in structure but are like other types of academic essays in that they have a title, an introduction with a thesis statement expressing your evaluation of the book, body paragraphs that support the thesis statement, and a conclusion. If you refer to other sources you should also include a list of references. Subheadings are not necessary.
Your book review should contain the following features:
- A concise summary of the book, including the author or author’s goals in writing it as well as the main theories and/or concepts the author(s) use to make their argument(s);
- A critique of the evidence used by the author(s) to support their argument(s), and how well they used it;
- An evaluation of how well the author(s) achieved their goals in writing the book, and of the book as a whole;
- A discussion that shows how this book relates to key course themes.
I strongly recommend reading other published book reviews before you start work on your own. You might even be able to find reviews of the book you have chosen to write about.
Books to choose from
Alonso Bejarano, Carolina, Lucia López Juárez, Mirian A Mijangos García, and Daniel M. Goldstein. 2019. Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science. Durham: Duke University Press.
Byler, Darren. 2022. Terror Capitalism: Uyghur Dispossession and Masculinity in a Chinese City. Durham: Duke University Press.
Chao, Sophie. 2022. In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua. Durham: Duke University Press.
Dave, Naisargi N. 2012. Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics. Durham: Duke University Press.
Holmes, Seth M. 2013. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kirsch, Stuart. 2018. Engaged Anthropology: Politics Beyond the Text. California: University of California Press.
Liboiron, Max. 2021. Pollution is Colonialism. Durham: Duke University Press.
Mora Bayo, Mariana. 2017. Kuxlejal Politics: Indigenous Autonomy, Race, and Decolonizing Research in Zapatista Communities. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Shange, Savannah. 2019. Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, + Schooling in San Francisco. Durham: Duke University Press.
Simpson, Audra. 2014. Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States. Durham: Duke University Press.
Note: if you would like to review a book that is not on this list, please contact me (Lorena) to discuss it. I need to approve your selection before you can review it for ANTH 302. You cannot review a book that is not on this list without obtaining permission beforehand.
Critically reading your chosen book
The following questions might be useful as note-taking prompts as you read the book:
- What is the book’s central argument? If you had only one sentence to summarise the book, what would it be?
- How does the author support their argument (or arguments)? What evidence is provided? Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not?
- How is the argument structured? Does it make sense? Are you persuaded? Why/why not?
- What theories and/or concepts does the author use in their analysis?
- Why was this book was on the list of books you could choose from? How has it helped you understand key themes from ANTH 302?
- Would you recommend this book to your classmates?
- You could also consider the circumstances under which the knowledge in this book was produced (e.g. who the author is, background and training, relationship to the topic/ participants/fieldsite, theoretical persuasion).
Tips for writing your book review
- There are lots of online resources with advice about how to write academic book reviews, such as https://culturematters.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/how-to-write-a-book-review/
- Focus on critically evaluating the book, with an argument to back up your evaluation, rather than simply summarising it or describing how much you loved or hated it;
- This is a good opportunity to practice how to offer generous, constructive critique. You can be critical without being an “academic asshole” (see https://thesiswhisperer.com/2013/02/13/academic-assholes/).
The book review is marked out of 100. In this book review you are expected to:
- Concisely summarise the book (20 marks)
- Critique the evidence used by the author(s) to support their argument(s) (20 marks)
- Evaluate the book (20 marks)
- Relate this book to key course themes (20 marks)
- Structure your review appropriately (e.g. an introduction with a clear thesis statement, a main body supporting the thesis statement in a logical manner, and a conclusion) and reference correctly using the Chicago 17th author-date referencing style (20 marks)
|Course theme||An important idea, subject, or topic that is commonly discussed in an anthropology for liberation (e.g. ‘liberation,’ ‘decolonisation’)|
|Critique||Express your judgement about the evidence the author uses throughout the book to support their argument(s). Provide examples and commentary to support your critique|
|Evaluate||Present a careful judgement of book, stressing both its strengths and limitations. Provide an evidence-based argument for your evaluation|
|Relate||Explain the connection between the book and course theme(s)|
|Summarise||Give the main points in shortened form, without details, examples, comment, or criticism. Your summary should include the author or author’s goals in writing the book as well as the main theories and/or concepts the author(s) use to make their argument(s)|
Getting feedback on a draft of your book review
This assignment uses an optional submit-revise-resubmit process. This is designed to give you an early opportunity to see if you are on the right track with your book review. It works as follows:
- Submit a draft of your book review by 4pm on Monday 1 August. We will provide you with some feedback using the marking criteria above and EMRN rubric below. Our feedback will be returned by Monday 8 August.
- Revise your book review based on our feedback.
- Resubmit your final book review by the due date of 4pm on Friday 12 August.
Points to note:
- You do not have to submit a draft of your book review; this is optional.
- If you would like feedback on a draft of your book review, you must submit it on or before 4pm on Monday 1 August. This is a hard deadline. No extensions will be given. Any drafts submitted after this date will not be provided with feedback.
- You are able to request an extension on the final version of your book review.
The EMRN Rubric
We will use this EMRN rubric to provide feedback on your draft book review. It allows us to quickly identify how you are tracking in relation to the marking criteria, and areas you might need to work on for your final book review. This rubric is based on the EMRN rubric developed by Robert Talbert and I have adapted it for ANTH 302. You can read more about this rubric, its origins, and the Creative Commons licence under which Talbert published it on his website: https://rtalbert.org/emrn/
When we read your draft, we will put it into one of four categories (E, M, R, or N). We will let you know which category we have assigned it to, and we will also note which of the marking criteria might need more work (e.g. 2 Critique, 3 Evaluate). This rubric does not indicate what grade you might receive for your final book review.
EMRN Rubric remixed from Robert Talbert’s EMRN Rubric, which is based on the “EMRF” rubric created by Rodney Stutzman and Kim Race and described in a 2004 article in Mathematics Teacher magazine. I replaced the text to suit the requirements of the book review assignment.
Book review revise and resubmit process
You are welcome to revise and resubmit your book review once it has been graded. The steps are:
- Read your marker’s feedback and reread your book review. Decide which of their comments you are going to address.
- Revise your book review.
- Write a short summary of how you have responded to your marker’s comments in your revisions (e.g. “I condensed my summary of the book and added a new paragraph critiquing the book, in response to the comment that my summary was too long”). This can be in bullet-point form.
- Use the marking criteria to provide an honest self-assessment of your revised book review, and give yourself a mark out of 100.
- Submit your revised book review, your summary of the changes you have made, and your self-assessment and mark to the submission link on Blackboard by 11:59pm on Friday 30 September.
I will read your revisions and let you know whether or not I agree with your self-assessed grade.
This revise and resubmit process is available to everyone in the class who would like to improve their grade. You do not have to revise and resubmit your book review if you don’t want to.
Major Research Project
In ANTH 302 you will work on a major research project throughout the course. You will choose one of the options below, conduct research for it, and prepare two pieces of assessment:
- Research Journal (2000 words, 30% of your final grade), due 23 September
- Final Research Project (3000 words or equivalent, 40% of your final grade), due 14 October
This assignment has been designed to give you the opportunity to:
- Create and carry out a piece of secondary (not primary) anthropological research that reflects critically on one or more course themes, drawing on ethnographic examples from Asia, Oceania, the United States, or Latin America;
- Review existing scholarly literature and other material (e.g. archives, pūrākau [myths, legends, stories], whakataukī [proverbs], artwork, exhibitions, pamphlets, ‘zines, government documents, blog posts, podcasts, maps, music, film) to identify and engage with core theoretical concepts, and keep a record of your activities in a research journal;
- Construct convincing arguments that connect your research findings and your own personal experiences with contemporary issues and social justice debates in an anthropology for liberation.
What will the final research project look like?
Depending on the option you choose, you are welcome to present your final project in the form of a research essay, ‘zine, blog post, poetry, podcast, or another innovative format (approved by Lorena). You are encouraged to discuss your presentation ideas with Lorena as you develop them.
We will talk about what secondary research means, the research journal, and the final research project in class and tutorials, and further information will be provided on Blackboard.
Research Project Options and Instructions
Option 1: Anthropology and activism
What does it mean for an anthropologist to be an activist? Draw on at least two of the ethnographies we discuss in this course to answer this question. You will need to critically discuss the history and goals of activist anthropology (also known as “engaged,” “action,” “advocacy,” and “militant” anthropology), what “activism” means, and the possibilities and limitations associated with scholar-activism. Use examples from the literature you consult to illustrate what such scholar-activism looks like in theory and in practice.
Option 2: Anthropology, decolonisation, liberation
How can anthropology be used in decolonising and emancipatory endeavours? Draw on ethnographic work by at least two different anthropologists to answer this question. You will need to take a position on whether anthropology can, in fact, be used in decolonising and emancipatory endeavours, critically discuss the history and central tenets of an anthropology for liberation, and critique what this kind of anthropology looks like in theory and in practice. Use examples from the literature you consult to illustrate your discussion.
Option 3: Design and enact an intervention related to a contemporary liberation movement
This option invites you to put what you have learned about an anthropology for liberation into practice by posing an intervention. The goal is to draw on anthropological practices discussed in this course, and the research you conduct, to act in solidarity with others working towards emancipatory goals. We will discuss what “intervention” means to anthropologists, as well as the ethics and politics of intervening, during lectures and tutorials.
Option 3 has two parts:
- Choose a contemporary liberation movement (broadly conceived – examples could include Free West Papua; Protect Pūtiki; Black Lives Matter; #MeToo; Pacific Climate Warriors; Rhodes Must Fall; LGBTQI+ activism; Fat Liberation; Disability Rights) and design and enact an intervention that will advance their visions of liberation. You are welcome to work individually or in groups on the intervention. The intervention can be on a large scale (e.g. a ‘zine-making session or awareness-raising event), or a small scale (e.g. Instagram or TikTok content, poster or ‘zine drop around the university, syllabus design, activist clothing). You are encouraged to discuss your ideas with Lorena as you design your intervention.
- Submit a critical reflection that introduces the liberation movement; outlines the issue you sought to bring attention to and the rationale for your intervention; situates your intervention in relation other examples of scholar-activism; explains how you applied anthropological practices and course themes to your intervention; reflects upon the impact of your intervention; and provides an honest assessment of the work you put into the intervention and what you think your grade should be based on the assessment criteria. This must be an individual submission and can be made in written (2000 words) or oral (10 minutes) form.
Option 3 is a new addition to ANTH 302 for 2022. I am grateful to Dr Sereana Naepi, who teaches Sociology at the University of Auckland, and Avery Smith, who teaches Education here at VUW, for providing the inspiration for this new option (it is based on an intervention assignment Dr Naepi has in one of her classes) and for discussing the logistics of this type of assessment with me.
Research Journal (30% of final grade)
This assignment requires you to maintain and submit a research journal containing critical analyses and reflections of course readings, class discussions, and independently sourced resources useful for your final research project. It has the following specific learning goals:
- Enable you to keep track of your activities and ideas as you carry out anthropological research relevant to your final research project;
- Develop your skills in critical reading, critical and creative thinking, and the ability to synthesise key course themes and concepts in your own words;
- Develop your technical skills in referencing while engaging in citational politics (Ahmed 2013) in a way that practices gratitude and recognition (Liboiron and Li 2022);
- Develop the argument you will make in your final research project (for Options 1 and 2), or the intervention you will design and enact for your final research project (for Option 3).
I recommend spending about 32 hours on this assignment, and starting it in Week 4. This includes conducting research, thinking, talking with your classmates, critically engaging with material and synthesising ideas, completing the main tasks listed below, and maintaining your research journal.
This assignment will be assessed using a task-based grading system. This means that your grade will be based on your ability to meet the requirements of three main tasks by their due dates.
Main tasks and due dates:
|Task 1||Contribute to a Group Bibliography||Due: 9 September|
|Task 2||Compose two emails to contemporary authors (one from our course readings, one from your research journal) that includes a quote from the reading, your response to the quote, and how the quote has informed your thinking||Due: 16 September|
|Task 3||Maintain (over a period of at least four weeks) and submit a 2000-word research journal containing critical analyses and reflections of course readings, class discussions, and independently sourced resources useful for your final research project||Due: 23 September|
What is a research journal?
A research journal – sometimes known as a research diary – is a place to track your research activities and ideas. Researchers use them to note our thoughts and feelings about a project, references to look up, summaries of articles we’ve read or other material we’ve consulted (including lectures we attend), interesting quotes (and where they come from!), connections we can see between published literature and our research topic, and research questions we might follow. We also use them to critically engage with the material we find, synthesise the main arguments and issues, and develop our arguments and refine our analyses. Your research journal will be an important source of information and inspiration for your final project.
The research journal is a new addition to ANTH 302 for 2022. I am grateful to Associate Professor Sarah Martin, who teaches Political Science at Memorial University in Canada, for generously sharing information about an assignment she teaches in one of her classes. Her work provided the inspiration for the third learning goal of this assignment.
What is “task-based grading?”
This is the latest iteration of the labour-based grading pedagogy I discussed in a recent article co-authored with Grant Jun Otsuki and Jordan Anderson entitled “The most seen I have ever felt”: Labour-based grading as a pedagogical practice of care.
Task-based grading is an alternative assessment method that aims to reward students for the time and effort they spend on an assignment, rather than the range of subjective measures normally found in assessment criteria. Task-based grading uses the number of tasks that students work through in writing their assignment to determine their grades. Your grade will be assessed by whether or not you meet the requirements of the three main tasks listed below.
In short, if you complete the requirements of all three main tasks listed below, you will receive an “A” grade for this assignment regardless of the quality of your work. It will not matter what your lecturer, your marker, or your classmates think of your research skills. It will only matter that you complete the requirements for the tasks on time, in the manner and spirit they are asked (in other words, no bullshit), and work with your classmates and lecturer in a way that contributes to the success of the course as a whole.
It is important to note that the quality of your research journal still matters. We will read your research journal and give feedback designed to help you in your final research project.
If you would like to learn more about alternative assessment methods, check out these resources:
Blum, Susan D. 2017, November 14. “Ungrading.” https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2017/11/14/significant-learning-benefits-getting-rid-grades-essay
Inoue, Asao B. 2019. Labor-based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse.
Robinson, Ken. October 2010. “Changing Education Paradigms.” RSA Animate. https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms
Stommel, Jesse. 2020, February 6. “Ungrading: an FAQ.” https://www.jessestommel.com/ungrading-an-faq/
How does task-based grading work for this assignment?
Task-based grading values all of the effort that goes into maintaining a research journal: choosing a topic; finding and critically reading/viewing/listening to relevant resources; talking with classmates and teachers and friends and whānau; practising gratitude and recognition in our citations; as well as thinking, daydreaming, making connections, and developing your argument. This effort is not always visible in a 2000-word written assignment. My goal is to free you from the concerns of “getting it right” so you can focus on doing research, planning your final research project, and developing your citational skills.
Your assignment is graded out of a total of 100. Your grade will be based on whether or not you complete the requirements for the three main tasks listed below. Each task is designed to develop a particular skill, meet the learning goals, and help you create a strong basis for your final research project.
You must complete the requirements for Task 3 in order to pass this assignment. If you only complete Task 3, you are guaranteed a C (57%) for this assignment. If you complete Task 3 and one other task, you will receive a B (72%). If you complete the requirements for all three main tasks by their due dates, you will receive an A (87%).
We will review the tasks you submit to see whether they have been submitted on time and meet the requirements. If they do, we will mark them as “Complete.” If you do not submit a task by the due date or meet the task requirements, then it is “Incomplete.” You can submit Tasks 2 and 3 late (by 4pm on 23 September) and have them marked as “Complete,” but you will not receive feedback on late tasks. You can request an extension for Task 3.
|Research journal overall grade||No. of main tasks completed|
|B (72/100)||2 (Task 3 and one other)|
|C (57/100)||1 (Task 3 only)|
|D (45/100)||1 or more tasks but not Task 3|
Task 1. Contribute to a Group Bibliography
Due: 9 September, 4pm
In ANTH 302, we use the Chicago 17th author-date system to format our references. Task 1 helps us develop our technical skills in using this referencing system. We will do this by creating a Group Bibliography together. This will be a shared resource that everyone in the class can draw on and contribute to as they conduct research.
During the lecture in Week 3, when we discuss the politics of knowledge production, we will collectively decide on the format our Group Bibliography will take. For example, we might decide to create a shared library in Zotero, a free and open-source reference management software (https://www.zotero.org/). Alternatively, we might decide to create a shared document on Google Docs or OneDrive. Once we have decided on format, I will set up our Group Bibliography during Week 4 and share it with the class.
What you need to do: contribute a minimum of two peer reviewed resources that you think will be useful for the final research project to our Group Bibliography, formatted using the Chicago 17th author-date referencing style. If you see that someone has already added the resources you chose to the Group Bibliography, you have two options: you can either go and find two new peer reviewed resources; or you can find one new resource and add a short annotation to one of the resources someone else found that briefly summarises what it is about and why you endorse it being in our Group Bibliography.
- Your resources must be different from the ones in the course reading list on Talis and from the list of books you can choose for your Book Review.
- Your resources must be peer reviewed; in other words, they need to have been evaluated by a group of experts in the field. Academic books and journal articles are peer reviewed. An official TED talk is peer reviewed. A film that has been screened as part of a film festival or on a streaming service (e.g. Netflix) is considered to have been peer reviewed. Some websites peer review their blog posts before publication (e.g. https://allegralaboratory.net/, https://anthrodendum.org/, and https://footnotesblogcom.wordpress.com/). YouTube channels or Instagram accounts are not peer reviewed (although they can be subject to complaint). I recommend spending up to 30 minutes formatting and/or annotating your peer reviewed resources, and adding them to the Group Bibliography.
Task 1 Requirements:
- EITHER submit a minimum of two peer reviewed resources to our Group Bibliography, formatted using the Chicago 17th author-date style; OR submit a minimum of one peer reviewed resource formatted accurately and one annotation and endorsement of a peer reviewed resource to our Group Bibliography (if someone already added resources that you chose).
- Go to the Task 1 assignment submission link on Blackboard and briefly describe what you did (e.g. “I submitted Tuck and Yang’s 2012 article “Decolonization is not a metaphor” and Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s 2012 book Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (2nd edition)”); OR “I submitted Tuck and Yang’s 2012 article “Decolonization is not a metaphor” and added an annotation and endorsement to Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s 2012 book Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (2nd edition)”).
- Complete Task 1 by 4pm on Friday 9 September
Task 2. Compose two emails to contemporary authors
Due: 16 September, 4pm
This task is based on Associate Professor Sarah Martin’s assignment, which showed me how I could bring classroom discussions of citational politics into this assignment. I am grateful to Prof Martin for tweeting about assessment practices.
Task 2 encourages us to engage with academic citation in the style of an anthropology of liberation: as a political (Ahmed 2013; Harrison 1997) practice of gratitude, recognition, and connection (Liboiron and Li 2022). We will discuss what this means, why it matters, what it looks like, and how to do it, in class throughout the course.
What you need to do: compose two emails to contemporary authors (one from our course readings, including the people on the list of books to choose for the book review; and one from your research journal) that includes a quote from the reading, your response to the quote, and how the quote has informed your thinking. Please note that you don’t necessarily have to send these emails; it is enough for this task just to compose them. Once we have commented on your emails, you could consider sending them to the authors you chose. If you do, let us know if you get a response!
This task is best completed after you have started keeping your research journal. This is because you will use your journal as a way to engage with the resources you consult and start thinking through (and writing about) the connections you can see between the resource, course themes, ideas discussed in lectures in tutorials, and your research topic. You will be able to refine your thinking in your research journal and draw on that work to compose your emails.
Your emails must:
- Have an informative subject line
- Be formal and in appropriate language: e.g. start with Dear/Tēnā koe Dr/Professor [Surname], end with Yours sincerely/Ngā mihi
- Introduce yourself: e.g. “I am a 3rd year student in Cultural Anthropology at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.”
- Explain how you found out about their research: e.g. “For one of my courses, I read your article/book/chapter [insert name of resource] …”
- Explain why you are emailing: e.g. “I wanted to let you know how much of an impact/how useful/etc your work has been for a research project I am working on.”
- Include a specific quote from the resource by introducing it: e.g. “This quote in particular … [insert quote]”
- Include a concise response to the quote and how it has informed your thinking. Try to keep this to 2-3 lines.
- Have a clear end point: e.g. “Thank you for taking the time to read my email.”
- Sign off with your full name.
I recommend spending up to 1 hour on this task.
Task 2 Requirements:
- Submit the text of two emails (containing all of the features listed above) to the Task 2 assignment submission link on Blackboard by 4pm on Friday 16 September.
Task 3. Maintain and submit a 2000-word research journal
Due: 23 September, 4pm
What you need to do: maintain a research journal over a period of at least four weeks, and submit a 2000-word research journal to the submission link on Blackboard by 4pm on Friday 23 September. We will discuss how to start and maintain a research journal during lectures (including how to show evidence of work over time), and set aside time to write in them during tutorials. I recommend spending up to 30 hours on this task.
You can record entries in your research journal using whatever method works best for you. This might include bullet points, mind maps, drawings, freewriting, or a visual representation of how you file pdfs and other relevant material. Your journal could include definitions of key theories and concepts, the search strategy you use to find resources, and quotes (with citations). There is no specific format required for the style of your research journal, but it does need to be legible, converted into an electronic document for submission, and meet the 2000-word requirement.
Your research journal should:
- Track your ideas and how you are thinking about the final research project.
- Show evidence that it has been maintained over a period of at least four weeks (e.g. by including your thoughts and reflections on lectures, tutorial discussions, or assigned reading material from different weeks).
- Contain critical analyses and reflections of course readings, lectures, tutorial discussions, and independently sourced resources.
- Format citations using the Chicago 17th author-date referencing style.
- Show that you have engaged with a minimum of eight resources relevant to your topic. This could include peer-reviewed literature and other resources such as archives, pūrākau (myths, legends, stories), whakataukī (proverbs), artwork, exhibitions, pamphlets, ‘zines, government documents, blog posts, podcasts, maps, music, dance, and film.
- Develop the argument (for Options 1 and 2) or intervention (for Option 3) you will make in your final research project, based on your research.
We will read your research journal and provide written feedback designed to help you with your final research project. The quality of our feedback will depend in part on the quality of your research journal. For example, if you don’t discuss the argument or intervention you plan to make in your final research project, we won’t be able to provide you with any feedback on it.
Task 3 Requirements:
- Submit a 2,000 word research journal that has been maintained over a period of at least four weeks, engages with a minimum of eight resources relevant to your topic, and contains critical analyses and reflections of course readings, lectures, tutorial discussions, and independently sourced material.
- Your research journal must be no less than 1900 words and no more than 2100 words in length.
- You must use the Chicago 17th author-date referencing style in your research journal.
- Please include your name, ID number, and the word count for your research journal either in a document header or at the start of your journal.
Submit your research journal in electronic form to the Task 3 assignment submission link on Blackboard by 4pm on Friday 23 September.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have an extension on the main tasks?
You can submit Tasks 1 and 2 up until 4pm on Friday 23 September without penalty. Please note that while you will not be penalised for lateness, you will not receive feedback on late tasks. In most cases it will be much better to hand in what you can on time rather than try to do a good job later.
You can request an extension for Task 3 (the 2000-word research journal). Please email Lorena before the due date to discuss this. If you submit Task 3 late without an extension, a late penalty of 5% per day will be applied to the assignment.
I didn’t do Task 3. Can I still pass the assignment?
No. You must complete Task 3 in order to pass the assignment. If you were not able to do so, please contact Lorena to discuss your circumstances and what you might do in order to complete it. We want you to complete the course to the best of your ability so please do get in touch.
Are there any other ways I can improve my grade?
(E.g. I got a B but I want an A)
Yes. If you submit Task 3, you can increase your grade by doing the optional supplementary tasks listed below on or before 4pm on 23 September.
Please note that extensions do not apply to these supplementary tasks. You will not be able to complete them after 4pm on 23 September.
Optional supplementary tasks
These optional supplementary tasks are each worth an additional 5% grade increase. You can complete a maximum of three in order to receive a 15% grade bump on your assignment. You can complete an additional supplementary task designed to give one of your classmates, and not you, the 5% grade bump. Supplementary tasks are assessed by their completion, not on the quality of the task itself.
- Book a 15-minute Zoom meeting with Lorena to discuss the argument or intervention you will make in your final research project. The meeting needs to take place before Friday 16 September. (Space is limited. First come, first served.)
- Create a short description of the method you are using to keep track of your searches (this could take the form of a table or spreadsheet) and any criteria you developed for assessing the material you find (e.g. must be peer reviewed; must be ethnographic; must contain a specific term such as “liberation”). Upload this description to the ANTH 302 Discord server (or send it to Lorena to upload on your behalf) by 4pm on Friday 23 September. You also need to mark supplementary task 2 as complete in the optional supplementary task submission link folder on Blackboard (otherwise Lorena might not see it).
- Present an excerpt from your research journal in a 10-minute presentation to the class during tutorials in Week 6 or Week 8. You can share an interesting research finding or show how you are organising your research journal. You cannot present a description of your search method (the subject of supplementary task 2) as supplementary task 3. Your presentation can be a live oral presentation or a recorded video played to the class. (Space is limited so you will need to book this in advance by emailing Lorena.)
- Write a short self-assessment of your research journal (Main Task 3) that answers the following questions:
a) What were your goals for this assignment? How have you met them, or not met them? Give an example.
b) What are the specific strengths of your research journal? What makes you most proud? Provide an example.
c) What are the weaknesses of your research journal? What could you do differently in future?
Upload your short self-assessment (no more than one page) to the submission link on Blackboard.
- Write an email to Lorena nominating one classmate from ANTH 302 who has helped you with your research journal in some way, explaining how they helped and what their help meant to you. You will need to show how they helped you – and give an example –rather than wax lyrical about what an awesome person they are. Note: for this task, the nominee (rather than you as the nominator) will receive the 5% bump. Nominees can only receive one 5% grade bump regardless of how many people nominate them.
- You may also propose your own supplementary task that relates to the course in some way and will be helpful to other students. For example, a student in a different course recorded themselves reading one of the required readings and provided this as a resource for other students. If you are interested in proposing your own supplementary task, please get in touch with Lorena before completing the task. Your task must be pre-approved for you to receive credit, and the task must be completed by 4pm on Friday 23 September.
If you complete all three main tasks and three of these optional supplementary tasks, then you will receive an A+ (100%) on this assignment. If you did not submit Task 3, you are not eligible to receive a supplementary grade bump.
Final Research Project (40% of final grade)
The research project is the final phase of your research. You will draw on your research journal to address your central argument or intervention, critically discuss your findings, and critically reflect on them in your final project. I recommend spending up to 40 hours on the final research project.
Final Research Project presentation
Depending on the option you choose, you can present your final project in the form of a research essay, ‘zine, blog post, poetry, podcast, or another innovative format (discussed with Lorena).
For Options 1 and 2, your final project is what will be assessed (meaning if you create a podcast, we mark your podcast). Because of this, you are also required to submit a paragraph of no more than 300 words (not included in the final research project word count) that:
- Explains the rationale for your chosen format (e.g. if you present your findings in the form of a research essay, explain why that is the most appropriate format for your topic); and
- Provides an honest assessment of the work you put in to the final project and what you think your grade should be based on the assessment criteria.
Option 3 involves designing and enacting an intervention related to a contemporary liberation movement. In addition to the intervention (which is not assessed) you are required to submit a critical reflection about your intervention and how it relates to ANTH 302 (which will be assessed). For your critical reflection, you are required to introduce the liberation movement; outline the issue you sought to bring attention to and the rationale for your intervention; situate your intervention in relation other examples of scholar-activism; explain how you applied anthropological practices and course themes to your intervention; reflect upon the impact of your intervention; and provide an honest assessment of the work you put into the intervention and what you think your grade should be based on the assessment criteria. This must be an individual submission and can be made in written (2000 words) or oral (10 minutes) form.
Final Research Project Assessment Criteria
Your final research project will be assessed out of a possible mark of 100 using these criteria:
- Your ability to follow the instructions for the topic you chose, as outlined in the ANTH 302 Research Project Overview document (10 marks)
- Your ability to construct and present a convincing argument that answers the research question (for Options 1 and 2) or that shows how your intervention was designed to advance the visions of liberation of your chosen liberation movement (for Option 3) (20 marks)
- Your ability to critically engage with and apply core theoretical concepts and course themes (20 marks)
- Your ability to synthesise and analyse at least eight relevant resources (20 marks)
- How well your work is presented (e.g. spelling, grammar, layout, subtitles, production quality, use of colour) and the appropriateness of the format to your topic (10 marks)
- The accuracy of your referencing technique (10 marks)
- Your ability to critically reflect upon your position within this research (10 marks)
These assessment criteria need to be visible regardless of the format of your final research project. Marks will be deducted if we cannot easily see how your work meets these criteria.
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