Political Ecology and Power Generation in North London

By Rachel Parsons

MSc Anthropology, Environment, and Development

In North London, activists argue that increased recycling rates and a potential ban on single-use plastics will decrease demand and smaller amounts of residual rubbish could be routed to other existing incinerators.

Special Issue

Anthropology in the Time of COVID

Students’ Perspectives

Showcasing first-year undergraduate assessment through the pandemic in 2020

February 2021

In response to the national lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, UCL established emergency measures for online teaching and assessment. These measures were put in place to alleviate stress for students and staff who were suddenly facing unprecedented circumstances. For our first-year students, UCL moved all planned exams and coursework to a single ‘capstone assignment’. The aim was to allow students to synthesise their learning from across their programme of study in a single piece of coursework.

Departments were free to devise the assessment questions and in anthropology we came up with a choice of two questions which encouraged our students to think laterally and creatively apply their learning from across their programme. The first question, ‘What is anthropology and why is it important?’, asked our students to consider the main aims and purposes of anthropology from a synthetic viewpoint that combined their broad-based learning in biological anthropology, social anthropology, and material culture. The second question focused on COVID-19 and asked students to write an article for the general public that addressed the pandemic and its management by drawing on any aspect of anthropology encountered throughout their first year.

In recognition of the resilience and hard work of our first-year students during that first national lockdown, the department decided to publish a shortlist of the 10 best capstone essays. We are incredibly proud to present these essays in this special edition of the Anthropolitan blog, not only as a celebration of our students’ achievements under duress, but to showcase their intellectual creativity and critical mindedness with our department and beyond.

Dr. Alison Macdonald
Head of Teaching
UCL Anthropology

Reflections on Stress and Place in the Time of Coronavirus

By Thea Prosser

BSc Anthropology

This place is created as the Zoom window fills the screen of my computer, each of the members of the group join the video call and they are literally ‘framed’ in their own rectangular box.

What is Anthropology and Why is it Important?

By Christina Antoinetta Vasilescu

BSc Anthropology

It is a fundamental aid of discerning our individual as well as global realities upon which we can act to improve conditions of unjust.