Surveillance and techniques of disciplinary selfhood: Notes towards the transmission of anthropological knowledge.

  • Ian Harper University of Edinburgh


In the last two years, during which time I was simultaneously writing up my thesis, I have taught at three different universities. Having not worked as a Teaching Assistant, I launched immediately into being responsible for both the development of course content, lecturing and the running of seminars. During the development of the paper, it was suggested that I might wish to share some of the experiences – before they get lost – of this move to teaching. In this experientially driven (and not particularly theoretically informed) narrative, then, I share my sense of how, and under what conditions, I developed both the contents for the courses for which I was responsible, as well as some of the teaching styles I used. I also sketch some of the forces - not all of which I am fully conscious of - that have assisted in molding these forms of knowledge to be institutionally transmitted to students of the discipline.

Author Biography

Ian Harper, University of Edinburgh
Ian Harper is currently lecturing at the School of Oriental and African Studies. A qualified medical practitioner he has public and community health experience in both Nepal and India. He is currently also waiting to defend his PhD thesis, entitled “Magic, Mission and Medicalisation: An Anthropological study into Public Health in contemporary Nepal”.