School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: SA-196 Semester: 8th
Course Title: Anthropology, Biology, Technology
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 6
Course type: Special background & Skills development
Prerequisite courses: None
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: Yes
Course website (Url): /


    Learning outcomes: 

    The 21st century is characterized by many, as the century of biology. This course looks into the cultural, political and economic aspects of biology in the age of genomics and postgenomics, of biotechnology, of the conservation of biodiversity, of synthetic biology, of epigenetics, etc. Through the anthropological prism the student will study the conceptual shifts concerning biological immaterialities and explanatory models, increasingly cellular, molecular, genetic and informational, along with the way such shifts contribute to the nature/culture dichotomy. How is life conceptualized in the midst of all these developments?
    The aim of the course is:
    – The familiarization with the anthropological study and ethnographic action that focuses on the anthropological problematizing of biology.
    – The critical understanding of the discussion between nature/culture.
    – The focus on ethnographic examples and fileds of study that deal with biology, biotechnology and genomics.

    General Competences: 

    Working Independently
    Production of new research ideas
    Criticism and self-criticism
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking
    Working in an interdisciplinary environment

    (3) SYLLABUS

    1. Introduction to the course – Bio-conceptualizations of life
    2. Evolutionary narratives on life
    3. Technologies and bodies in context
    4. Understanding the comparative perspective – Biology and experiments on humans
    5. Biovalue
    6. The biological standard, the re-evaluation of human difference. Race in the age of genomics.
    7. Biopolitics, biosociality and biological citizenship.
    8. Biopoloticial technology
    9. Genomics, epigenetics and uncertain futures
    10. Eugenics
    11. “Will technology save humanity? Society, nature add the concept of technology”.
    12. Biosocial becomings.


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of ICT in teaching and communication with students
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Seminars 40
    Study and analysis of bibliography 60
    Study and analysis of bibliography for oral presentation 30
    In-class practice 20
    Course total: 150
    Student performance evaluation: Language of Evaluation: Greek
    Methods of Evaluation:

    Α. Oral presentnation of a chosen reading (20% of the total grade)
    B. Final examination with open-ended questions (80% of the total grade)

    The evaluation criteria are presented and explained to the students in the beginning of the course


    • Palsson Gisli, 2015. Nature, Culture, and Society. Anthropological Perspectives on Life. Cambridge University Press.
    • Lock, Margaret and Gisli Palsson, 2016. Can Science Resolve the Nature/Nurture Debate? Series: New Human Frontiers.
    • Ingold, T, and G. Palsson, 2013. Biosocial Becomings: Integrating Social and Biological Anthropology. Cambridge University Press.
    • Alan Goodman, Deborah Heath, and M. Susan Lindee, 2003. Genetic Nature / Culture. University California Press.
    • Aihwa Ong, and Stephen Collier (ed.) 2004. Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Keller, Evelyn Fox. 2010. The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture. Duke University Press Books.
    • Landecker, Hannah, 2007. Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies. Harvard University Press.
    • Keller, Evelyn Fox. 2002. Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines. Harvard University Press.
    • Trubeta Sevasti, 2013, Physical Anthropology, Race and Eugenics in Greece (1880s–1970s)
    • Series: Balkan Studies Library, Volume: 11
    • Rabinow, Paul, 1992.”Artificiality and Enlightenment: From Sociobiology to Biosociality.” In Zone 6: Incorporations. Edited by Jonathan Crary, and Sanford Kwinter. Zone Books,
    • Sahlins, Marshall, 1997. Χρήσεις και καταχρήσεις της βιολογίας. Μια ανθρωπολογική κριτική της κοινωνιοβιολογίας. (Μετάφραση Θ. Παραδέλλης, Πρόλογος Α. Μπακαλάκη). Εκδόσεις Αλεξάνδρεια.
    • McKinnon, Susan, 2009, Νεοφιλελεύθερη γενετική, (Μετάφραση, Θ. Παραδέλλης), Εκδόσεις του Εικοστού Πρώτου.