MA Anthropology of Travel, Tourism, and Pilgrimage
Duration: 1 year full-time or 2-3 years part-time.
Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time
This Masters degree in the Anthropology of Travel, Tourism, and Pilgrimage aims to:
- study aspects of medieval travel, pilgrimage, and hospitality – including evidence from the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Japanese, and Christian worlds;
- contrast these with idioms of tourism today;
- identify the main anthropological/ theoretical issues underpinning the field;
- understand the global and local political economy of contemporary tourism;
- outline the range of applied/consultancy work in the field by anthropologists - particularly in the field of tourism and development;
- explore the relationships between tourism related space/place, capital, and (environmental, social, cultural) resistance movements;
- look in detail at the symbolism and semiotics of tourism;
- examine the role of museums and other branches of the ‘cultural industries’ (including music and art) in tourist economies;
- make a contribution to the anthropology of aesthetics, erotics, and pleasure more generally;
- appreciate how the study of tourism relates to studies of other forms of global mobility.
The teaching programme includes contributions from noted scholars in the field from Europe and beyond, including Universities in Crete, Slovenia, and Melbourne, as well as from pre- and post-doctoral colleagues at SOAS.
It builds on:
- the emerging body of first class tourism related ethnographic work,
- recent research/ development work in the field (particularly in the Mediterranean region) by anthropologists sponsored by the European Commission,
- and co-operative work between the SOAS Anthropology and Music departments.
The course includes an (optional) field school - to be held in Vietnam in 2012.
A total of four units must be taken over the duration of the degree. They will be:
Two compulsory half-unit core courses
- Anthropology of travel and tourism A - 15PANH051 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Anthropology of travel and tourism B - 15PANH052 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
One full unit dissertation
- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Two units of option courses from the following lists
Department of Anthropology
- African and Asian Cultures in Britain - 15PANH009 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World - 15PANH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Anthropology of Urban Space, Place and Architecture - 15PANH029 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2014/2015
- Approaches to the Other in Horror and Science Fiction Films - 15PANH043 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2014/2015
- Comparative Media Theory - 15PANH028 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Culture and Society of China - 15PANC089 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of East Africa - 15PANC084 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of Japan - 15PANC086 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of South Asia - 15PANC087 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of South East Asia - 15PANC088 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of West Africa - 15PANC083 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of the Near & Middle East - 15PANC097 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Ethnographic Research Methods - 15PANH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition - 15PANH053 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Field School in Tourism Development - 15PANH054 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Issues in Psychoanalysis and Anthropology - 15PANH032 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Issues in the Anthropology of Film - 15PANH022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Issues in the Anthropology of Gender - 15PANH024 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Perspectives On Development - 15PANH033 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Research Methods in Anthropology - 15PANC011 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Therapy and Culture - 15PANH027 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Analysing World Music: Transcription & Analysis in Ethnomusicology - 15PMUH004 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Department of Music
- Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (PG) - 15PMUC009 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Central Asian Music - 15PMUH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Ethnomusicology in Practice - 15PMUC004 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Music in South Asian Culture (Masters) - 15PMUC005 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2014/2015
- Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) - 15PMUH016 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG) - 15PMUH018 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Klezmer Music: Roots and Revival - 15PMUH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2014/2015
- The Music Business (Masters) - 15PMUH003 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Teaching & Learning
Teaching & Learning
The course aims to (a) place the anthropological study of travel, tourism, and pilgrimage within in a general anthropological context (b) explore the historical roots of contemporary pilgrimage and tourism (c) identify some of the classical issues in social theory that have influenced the development of the subject and assess what contribution tourism studies are making to contemporary theoretical debates (d) establish the primacy in the anthropology of travel, tourism, and pilgrimage of good ethnography and to enable students to compose a field research project with tourism as a dominant theme (e) ground the course in awareness of the global political economy of travel, tourism, and pilgrimage (f) draw out the policy implications of the subject and critically to evaluate the work of those who have ‘intervened’ (as consultants and advisors to governments and/or international agencies, for example) in tourism strategy or policy (g) call upon the work of others such as cultural geographers, historians, and development studies specialists and/but to draw out the distinctions between the work of such colleagues and that of anthropologists.(h) develop understanding of contemporary consumerism and commodification in with regard to contemporary tourist related spaces and places.
Students who study MA Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage develop a wide range of transferable skills including research, analysis, oral and written communication skills.
The communication skills of anthropologists transfer well to areas such as information and technology, the media and tourism. Other recent SOAS career choices have included commerce and banking, government service, the police and prison service, social services and health service administration. Opportunities for graduates with trained awareness of the socio-cultural norms of minority communities also arise in education, local government, libraries and museums.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
How to apply
How to apply
- How to Apply
- Online Application
- Request a prospectus
- Got a question - use our enquiry form (opens a new window)
- Funding options
- English language requirements
- Tuition Fees
- Admissions Contacts
Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00
Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00
Application Deadline: 2014-02-28 17:00
A Student's Perspective
Being at SOAS has been one of the most interesting experiences in my life, from both a social and academic point of view. The School has an atmosphere like no other place I have ever been. In fact, after my first visit to the university, I decided that if I did not get my grades, I would not go to any other place!