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ANTH322 Conceiving Reproduction

The social and cultural management of human reproduction. Features local and international anthropological studies of family formation, population control, trafficking, commoditised fertility, adoption, surrogacy, and other reproductive technologies.

This paper introduces students to the anthropological study of human reproduction and kinship. Taking nothing about our knowledge of the so called 'natural' and the 'normal' in this field for granted, we use a critical and feminist anthropological approach to explore several of the key contemporary issues in reproduction. Our critical approach draws upon the 'new' kinship studies, feminist anthropologies, social studies of science, medical anthropology and political economy. Our focus is global, glocal and local.

This paper is offered in yearly rotation with ANTH 323 Anthropology of Health.

Paper title Conceiving Reproduction
Paper code ANTH322
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level ANTH points or 108 points
ANTH 222
Schedule C
Arts and Music
This paper is designed for students with and without strong backgrounds in Anthropology.

Teaching staff

Professor Ruth Fitzgerald

Paper Structure

Internal assessment: A reflective essay drawing in part either on a book review (for non-Anthropology majors) or a very small-scale practical research project (for Anthropology majors), plus a weekly Key Lecture Point question answered electronically in class, and a poster presentation on the major findings of the reflective essay submitted digitally and then delivered in person on the last day of class in a friendly mock conference setting where the class divides into two and we swap roles as presenters and as the audience working in two large supportive groups.

External assessment: Multiple-choice end of semester exam.

The paper involves active learning, and students are requested to read their required weekly readings before attending class.

Teaching Arrangements

One 2-hour lecture per week with some informal student participation in the last four weeks of the paper.

One 1-hour tutorial per week.

Required reading is from journal articles and book chapters available electronically through the library using course reserve.
Course outline

Will be available on Blackboard at the beginning of the course.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Be able to make a reasoned judgement about the complex and culturally specific meanings of human reproduction within their chosen study site and support this interpretation with evidence
  • Demonstrate high level written and verbal communication skills

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system