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About the AnthNav Site


You are have reached the old AnthNav site. Feel free to browse… or head on over to the shiny new site, by CLICKING HERE







AnthNav is an online resource designed to help you get familiar with the field of social/cultural anthropology. On this site we have curated a variety of links (to videos, graphics, websites, and more), and laid them out in connection to concepts that are key to ‘getting’ social anthropology.


How to Use AnthNav


If you are totally new to the field, we recommend you look through the ‘About Social Anthropology’ sections first. But it’s up to you – you can engage with different sections in any order. For any specific terms or ideas you feel unsure about, or are particularly interested in, we recommend going beyond the brief written explanations and checking out some of links we’ve curated.

Site Map: You can navigate around these sections of the site using the menu on the left (at the , or links between related sections that are embedded in the text.


Some Background to the AnthNav Project


The idea for AnthNav was based a common scenario at our tertiary institution, where many students enter social anthropology courses at upper levels, without any prior experience with the field.

An art project completed by 200- and 300-level social anthropology students, at the University of Otago (2018).

Our goal was to both support these students, and take some pressure off teaching staff, by providing an accessible multimedia toolkit that they could use to independently ‘bridge’ themselves into the discipline. But we believe it will be also handy for more experienced students who needed a refresh on basic concepts, too, or for those considering (at high school level, or first year, or later) whether to take up social anthropology.

The research towards compiling this kit was funded by a University of Otago Teaching and Learning Development Grant. This research allowed us to do surveys of undergraduate students, focus groups with postgraduate students, consultations with other teaching staff, evaluate existing online resources, and analyse the structure of a range of introductory textbooks…. all of which fed into decisions about what to include on this site, and how to arrange it. We additionally drew on the pedagogical literature on ‘threshold concepts’, and have a forthcoming article about this.

We hope AnthNav is useful to you, and we welcome feedback, as we hope to continue improving over time. Let us know what you think in our feedback form.


About the Authors


This kit was created by Dr Susan Wardell, and Dr Ella J. Robinson.

Dr Susan Wardell is a lecturer in the Social Anthropology programme, at the University of Otago. She grew up in Dunedin and is Pākehā (New Zealand/European). Her disciplinary background is in social anthropology and communication studies, and her current research interests include medical crowdfunding, emotion and affect online, mental health, care labour, disability, collective memorialisation, and ecological grief… just to name a few! As well as academic stuff, she writes poetry and creative essays. Her office is a jungle but there is always a cup of tea on offer. You can also find her on ResearchGate, or on Twitter as @unlazy_susan

Dr Ella J. Robinson grew up (mostly) in Auckland and is of Pākehā (New Zealand/European) background. She recently received her doctorate in social anthropology from the University of Otago and feels at home in the beautiful, little city of Dunedin. Her broad research interests include the anthropology of ageing and the life course, embodiment, and gender/sexuality. Outside of academia, she is often found dancing, reading fantasy books, writing, or drinking coffee (preferably in a patch of sunshine).