Anthropology of mobility and sedentarisation

LANTR2040  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Anthropology of mobility and sedentarisation
4.0 credits
22.5 h

Ménard Anaïs ;
Main themes
Le cours abordera à travers des exposés magistraux et des travaux de lectures: A titre d'exemple, les thématiques et concepts suivantes: Nomadisme, Pastoralisme, Sédentarité, Chasseur-Cueilleurs, Mobilité, Spatialité, Itinérance, Errance, Lien à la terre, Et les populations suivantes : Tsiganes, Bédouins, Kung, Pygmées, Mongoles, Inuits, Guarani, etc. Through lectures and readings such themes as : nomadism, pastoralism, sedentarisation, hunting and gathering, mobility, space, travelling, wandering, roots… will be critically analysed
Initiation into the theories and themes relevant to an anthropology of mobility and sedentarisation Deepening awareness of a specific issue in this field Relating this theme to the end of term paper

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.


The course addresses the theories and themes of mobility and sedentarity with examples taken in various contemporary societies. It provides students with an introduction to the anthropology of human mobility and links it to contemporary issues and social transformations. The class also invites students to reflect on the implications of anthropological knowledge for policy-making.

The objectives of the class are:

  • to introduce anthropological concepts related to mobility
  • to identify mobility practices and situate their role and importance within human societies
  • to understand the relevance of mobility for other dimensions of social life
  • to contrast practices of mobility with practices that characterize sedentary societies
Evaluation methods

The first requirements for this class are regular attendance and active participation. You need to do the required readings and be prepared to engage critically in discussions. Active participation requires preparation: read the texts and compare them, write your questions down and be ready to express what you think of them. The readings prepare you to discuss the topic at hand.

Class preparation: the class is organized in pairs of students. Each pair is asked to fill in a reading form (2 pages max.) that summarizes the (selected) key readings, provide comments and/or comparisons between the readings, and include questions for the author(s). These forms are a support for class discussion and will be handed in at the end of each class.

Oral presentation: each pair of students will prepare a short oral presentation (15min max.) once during the semester. The presentation is either a book review or a response to a key question addressed in class. It focuses on one ethnographic example and shows the students’
ability to analyze the readings and provide a critical assessment of them.

Students who are not part of the master in anthropology (jury system) will have to hand in an essay (10,000 words) to be sent by email by Week 11. The essay should include references to the key readings, use concepts learned during the class and offer an elaborate and critical answer to a question. Students will show their ability to comment readings and discuss concepts.

  • Le support de cours sera établi ultérieurement par l'enseignant qui sera chargé du cours.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Program title
Master [60] in Sociology and Anthropology

Master [120] in Sociology

Master [120] in Anthropology

Master [120] in Philosophy

Master [60] in Philosophy