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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Teaching and Learning Anthropology publishes analytical, reflective, and review articles on the topic of teaching and learning anthropology. The journal also publishes original undergraduate and graduate anthropological research and writing. We hope to engage a broad audience of students and faculty through open-access publishing.

We are currently seeking submissions from anthropologists in all subfields. 


Making Sense of a Pandemic through Trauma-Informed Pedagogy and the Value of Medical Anthropology

It is difficult to describe the experience of living through the COVID-19 global pandemic while simultaneously teaching anthropology and sociology courses to undergraduates. My students and I experienced together not just the fear of sickness and death, but also social issues in the U.S. made more visible by the pandemic, such as racial tensions, challenges related to access to health care, and consequences of the social determinants of health. The “normal” that many are hoping we return to was heavily shaped by neoliberal policies that conceptualize health and illness as well as personhood in particular ways, such as through defining social problems as medical in nature and using medicine as a form of social control. The issue for us as educators, however, is that stress, depression, and anxiety are normal reactions to real conditions that we are all experiencing, albeit with strikingly different foundations and resources. In this paper I reflect on my own experiences in the classroom and discuss how I incorporated theoretical constructs of intersectional trauma, or trauma-informed pedagogy. I will showcase how I teach students these concepts through medical anthropology. I highlight how these concepts have helped students make sense of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I argue that this framing is useful for understanding other crises for students and professors alike.



Could ChatGPT Prompt a New Golden Age in Higher Education?

The public rollout of ChatGPT, a free app that produces uncannily refined responses to users’ questions or prompts, initially had many education professionals up in arms due largely to fears over student cheating. Panic levels receded as a new realization surfaced: rather than simply banning the use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI or AI) for assignments, we can and should adapt to chatbot-related challenges, reframing them as opportunities. In meeting this new technology with creativity and purpose, we can reorient education’s compass needle back toward process as opposed to product – toward thinking about as opposed to merely recounting what others have said. In other words, higher education must evolve, and the adaptations we create, not ChatGPT, could be the real revolution.