School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: W/S-079 Semester: 7th
Course Title: Anthropology of Nature
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 6
Course type: Undergraduate seminar Special background
Prerequisite courses: Introduction to linguistics
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: Yes
Course website (Url): /


    Learning outcomes: 

    Research on nature and the connections of humans to animals, plants, the sea, rivers and lakes has been a focal point of anthropological interest. However, in recent years anthropological discusssions on the interrelations between nature, culture, human and non human enitiies seem to multiply, especially in regard to the human factor and its impact on the environment.
    The course aims to:
    α) acquaint students with recent anthropological approaches of nature and the environment
    β) focus on ethnographies that examine animals, plants and fungi, water, microbes and bacteria
    γ) familiarize students with ethnographic practices and methodologies that involve research with non human entities

    General Competences: 

    Working independently
    Production of new research ideas
    Criticism and self-critisicm
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking

    (3) SYLLABUS

    1. Course presentation
    2. The turn towards an Anthropology of Nature
    3. The ontological turn in anthropology
    4. The engagement with the environment Ι: Nature and culture
    5. The engagement with the environment ΙΙ: Hunting and gathering
    6. Animals Ι
    7. Animals ΙΙ
    8. Plants and Fungi Ι
    9. Plants and Fungi ΙΙ
    10. Research methodology
    11. Air
    12. Water


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of online platform open eclass
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Seminars 39
    Study and analysis of bibliography 45
    Essay writing 40
    Fieldwork 26
    Course total: 150
    Student performance evaluation: Language of evaluation: Greek

    Methods of evaluation:
    A. Course participation and oral presentation (30% of the total score)
    B. 1st essay (1500-1800 words) (20% of the total score).
    C. 2nd essay (1500-1800 words) (20% of the total score).
    D. 3rd essay (2400-3000 words) (30% of the total score) Students are expected to conduct fieldwork as an ethnographic exercise and proceed to written and oral presentation.

    The above-mentioned criteria are expressed in oral and written form at the beginning of the course and are accessible to the students.


    In Greek:

    • Descola, Philippe. 2011. « Τέσσερεις οντολογίες». Στο Martin Holbraad και Αλεξάνδρα Μπακαλάκη (επιμ.) «Αφιέρωμα: Ετερότητα και ονολογία στην ανθρωπολογική σκέψη». Σύγχρονα Θέματα 112: 17-21.
    • Holbraad, Martin και Αλεξάνδρα Μπακαλάκη. 2011. « Εισαγωγή». Στο Martin Holbraad και Αλεξάνδρα Μπακαλάκη (επιμ.) «Αφιέρωμα: Ετερότητα και ονολογία στην ανθρωπολογική σκέψη». Σύγχρονα Θέματα 112: 12-16.
    • Ingold, Tim 2000 [2016]. H αντίληψη του περιβάλλοντος. Δοκίμια για τη διαβίωση, την κατοίκηση και τις δεξιότητες. Αθήνα: Αλεξάνδρεια
    • Κουραβέλος, Θανάσης. 2009. Κοινωνίες μοιράσματος. Οι σύγχρονοι απλοί τροφοσυλλέκτες. Θεσσαλονίκη: Πολιτειακές εκδόσεις
    • Viveiros de Castro, Eduardo. 2011. «Oντολογική πολιτική και ανθρωπολογική φαντασία». Στο Martin Holbraad και Αλεξάνδρα Μπακαλάκη (επιμ.) «Αφιέρωμα: Ετερότητα και ονολογία στην ανθρωπολογική σκέψη». Σύγχρονα Θέματα 112: 33-38.

    In English:
    • Archambault, Julie Soleil. 2016. “Taking love seriously in human-plant relations in Mozambique: Toward an anthropology of effective encounters. Cultural Anthropology
    • Descola, Philippe. 2001. «Αnthropology of Nature”. Εναρκτήρια ομιλία στο College de France
    • Dow, Katharine. 2016. Making a Good Life. An Ethnography of Nature, Ethics and Reproduction. Princeton University Press
    • Descola, Philippe. 2012. «Beyond nature and culture. Forms of attachment”. HAU 2(1): 447-4712
    • Friese, Carrie, Clarke Adele. 2011. “Transposing bodies of knowledge and technique: Animal models at work in reproductive sciences”. Social Studies of Science 42(1): 31-52
    • Ηelmreich, Stefan. 2014. “Homo microbis. The human microbiome. Figural, literal, political”.
    • Helmreich, Stefan. 2014. “The left hand of nature and culture. Comment on Descola Philippe. HAU 4(3): 373-381
    • Ιngold, Tim. 2016. “A naturalist abroad in the museum of ontology: Descola’s Beyond Nature and Culture”. Anthropological Forum 26(3): 301-320
    • Kirksey, Eben και Stefan Helmreich. “The emergence of multispecies ethography”. Cultural Anthropology 25(4): 545-576
    • Lynteris, Crhistos. 2017. “Zoonotic diagrams: mastering and unsettling human-animal relations” Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute 23: 463-485
    • Paxson, Heatrher, Stefan Helmreich. 2014. “The perils and promises
of microbial abundance: Novel natures and model ecosystems, from artisanal cheese to alien seas”. Social Studies of Science 44(2): 165-193
    • Rees, Tobias et al. 2018. “How the microbiome challenges our concept of self”. Plos Biology: 1-7
    • Rival, Laura. 2012. “The materiality of life. Revisiting the anthropology of nature in Amazonia”. Indiana 29: 127-143
    • Tsing, Anna. 2012.“Unruly edges. Mushrooms as companion species”. Environmental Humanities 1: 141-154

    Related academic journals:

    Σύγχρονα Θέματα
    Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute
    Cultural Anthropology