Dangerous Places: Intercultural Meetings In Film, Exploration and Anthropology

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 17 December 2021
08 October 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA LL36 Social Anthropology,
BA LL3P Social Anthropology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL6P Social Anthropology (Including Placement Year),
BA LL37 Social Anthropology with Human Rights,
BA LL38 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL39 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA QP10 English Language with Media Communication,
BA QP11 English Language with Media Communication (Including Year Abroad),
BA QP12 English Language with Media Communication (Including Placement Year),
BA QP13 English Language with Media Communication (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

Given the frequency of travel today and histories of colonization, immigration and displacement, the experience of entering another culture is one of the abiding themes of the human experience. It is the stuff of literature, film, biography and the social sciences. What does it mean to enter another culture in another social and natural landscape?

Module aims

The module will explore one of the dominant themes of anthropology – the intercultural encounter. It will expose students to some iconic essays, diaries and reports produced by those who venture out of their own societies to discover, explore or study other peoples and places. In particular, it will analyse how these writings illuminate perceptions of peoples, cultures and places, and how these become assembled into various orders of knowledge. We will examine a range of intercultural understandings and perceptions put forward in travelers’ reports, missionaries diaries, and the accounts of indigenous peoples themselves. These often occur in very tense or ‘dangerous’ circumstances. This module hopes to shows how the depictions of other societies can take many different forms; pejorative, judgmental, uncomprehending, but also empathic and even ‘romantic.’ These, however,Such depictions can be used to justify particular policies and courses of action towards peoples and their natural environments.

Module learning outcomes

One of the most important objectives of the module is to examine how the self and the other are constituted in intercultural encounters, mostly in the Americas in a range of different places at different times in hostory. We will focus on primary source materials with additional film screenings.

Module information

Please click on the link below to view the Introduction video to SC388 Dangerous Places: Intercultural Meetings In Film, Exploration and Anthropology

Learning and teaching methods

As there are still restrictions related to COVID-19 in place, some of the teaching on most modules will take place online. Most modules in Sociology are divided into lectures of around 50 minutes and a class of around 50 minutes. Some are taught as a 2hr seminar, and others via a 50-minute lecture and 2-hr lab. For the majority of modules the lecture-type content will be delivered online – either timetabled as a live online session or available on Moodle in the form of pre-recorded videos. You will be expected to watch this material and engage with any suggested activities before your class each week. Most classes labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face (assuming social distancing allows this). Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules). This module SC388-6-AU will include a range of activities to help you and your teachers to check your understanding and progress. The lectures provide an overview of the substantive debates around the topic of the week, while the classes will give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning and actively engage with your peers to develop your understanding further. The weekly classes will take place face-to-face (unless there is a change in the current COVID safety measures). You are strongly encouraged to attend the classes as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of classes is at the discretion of the teacher.


  • Lopenzina, Drew. (2015) 'Le Jeune Dreams of Moose: Altered States among the Montagnais in the Jesuit Relations of 1634', in Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. vol. 13 (1) , pp.3-37
  • (no date) Through These Eyes directed by Charles Laird, 2004.
  • Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar; Adorno, Rolena; Pautz, Patrick Charles. (c2003, c1999) The narrative of Cabeza de Vaca, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Roeg, Nicolas; Agutter, Jenny; Marshall, James Vance. (c2000) Walkabout, [U.K.]: Universal Pictures.
  • Institute Of Commonwealth Studies. (2013) 'All is not lost', in A world you do not know: settler societies, indigenous peoples and the attack on cultural diversity, London: Institute Of Commonwealth Studies., pp.19-40
  • Larson, Frances. (2021-03-04) Undreamed Shores, London: Granta Books.
  • Sandring, Sarah; Mushuau Innu Band Council. (c2010) Nutshimit: on the land, [Berlin]: Nirgun Films.
  • Echevarria, Nicolás; Diego, Juan. (2001], c1993) Cabeza de Vaca, [United States]: New Concorde Home Entertainment.
  • Hanke, Lewis. (1959) Aristotle and the American Indians: a study in race prejudice in the modern world, London: Hollis & Carter.
  • (Monday, May 11, 2015 at 3:16 PM EST) The Prize of the Pole on Vimeo.
  • Derounian-Stodola, Kathryn Zabelle. (1998) 'Six Weeks in Sioux Tepees', in Women's Indian captivity narratives, New York: Penguin Books. vol. Penguin classics
  • Hames, Mat. (2016) What was ours, [Austin, Texas]: Alpheus Media, Inc.
  • McGrane, Bernard. (c1989) 'The Other in the Nineteenth Century', in Beyond anthropology: society and the other, New York: Columbia University Press., pp.77-112
  • Wakefield, Sarah F. (2002) Six weeks in the Sioux tepees: a narrative of Indian captivity, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Beresford, Bruce; Bluteau, Lothaire; Moore, Brian. (c1991) Black robe, [Australia]: Vidmark Entertainment.
  • Marshall, James Vance. (2009) Walkabout, London: Puffin.
  • Hicks, Dan. (2020) The Brutish Museums: the benin bronzes, colonial violence and cultural restitution, London: Pluto Press.
  • Harper, Kenn; Spacey, Kevin. (2017) Minik: the New York Eskimo, Hanover, New Hampshire: Steerforth Press.
  • Brody, Hugh. (2001) 'Words', in The Other Side of Eden: Hunter-gatherers, Farmers and the Shaping of the World, London, UK: Faber and Faber., pp.165-220

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Interpretive Essay  21/01/2022  80% 
Practical   Group Presentation     20% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Colin Samson, email:
Professor Colin Samson
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, Telephone: 01206 873052 E-mail:



External examiner

Dr Aneira Edmunds
School of Law, Politics & Sociology
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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