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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. 

Issue cover
Cover Caption: An image of a street seen through a camera.


Using Photovoice as a Critical Pedagogical Tool in Online Discussions

Anthropology classrooms challenge instructors to critically engage students in theories of the field and how these are visible in everyday life. At the same time, the rise of online education has made new technologies and tools available that allow for the design of innovative pedagogical strategies. This article considers the use of photovoice, a feminist ethnographic research method, as a classroom strategy in an online discussion in an introductory linguistic anthropology course that was taught in a variety of modalities. We explore the students’ products, photographs representing the course concept of performativity, as well as accompanying discussion posts, in order to gauge the effectiveness of the activity. Specifically, we analyze students’ photos and related discussion posts to answer the following question: In what ways did photovoice as a pedagogical strategy illuminate students’ knowledge about the concept of performativity? We discuss how photovoice provides a window into student learning and consider the teaching strategy’s potential for facilitating concept mastery and relating course concepts to lived experience. Finally, we present some recommendations to fellow anthropology educators interested in implementing this activity. Content warning: This article contains an image of a combat zone and blood that some may find disturbing or distressing.


Community-Engaged Learning for Immigration Justice: Building Solidarity through Praxis

This article argues for the use of community-engaged learning to teach about migration in anthropology. Using community-engaged learning centers justice-based praxis and builds solidarity by working to dismantle the unjust structures creating migration crises and inhumane conditions for migrants. We analyze our partnership between an anthropologist, a leader of a non-profit organization providing affordable legal services to local migrants, and a collaborating student as a case study. The design of our partnership, the construction of the migration seminars Bennett teaches, and an emphasis on justice-oriented outcomes for both the students and the community center our anti-racist, anti-classist approach to building solidary. We argue that community-engaged learning address anthropology’s (re)current crises around our colonial legacies not only epistemologically and methodologically but also pedagogically.


Plagues, Pathogens, and Pedagogical Decolonization: Reflecting on the Design of a Decolonized Pandemic Syllabus

Funded by a Teaching Innovation Grant designed to transform traditional in-person courses into engaging and equitable online spaces, we designed the introductory anthropology course, Plagues, Pathogens, and Public Policy. The course is 15 weeks and is organized thematically around pressing topics and conversations concerning the social, political, and cultural dimensions of pandemics. While the COVID-19 global pandemic has intensified the pertinence of the course’s content, recent discourse on systemic racism and police brutality in the United States has also drawn renewed attention to the lack of inclusivity and accessibility within anthropological academia. Thus, with the design of this syllabus, we sought to decolonize our course content and pedagogy as a means of contributing to ongoing efforts towards inclusivity in academia. Our approach to a decolonized and inclusive syllabus included diversifying course content as well as constructing accessible language, assignments, and course policies. The following commentary outlines our goals for this endeavor and describes the process of creating this course. We detail our experiences with employing a decolonizing framework and present a guide for reading our completed syllabus so that we may encourage the development of more spaces where students can engage with and understand the benefits of decolonized scholarship.


  • 1 supplemental PDF

Infographics, Podcasts, and Videos: Promoting Creativity and Building Transferable Skills among Undergraduate Students

Introducing multimedia learning in the classroom has numerous benefits for students, including a higher level of engagement for an array of learning styles, development of transferrable skills, and encouraging creativity. In this commentary, I introduce two multimedia assignments, an infographic and a podcast/video, that I have successfully implemented in my courses. I outline the rationale, goals, guidelines, resources, assessment rubrics, potential modifications, student reactions, and examples of student work for each assignment with the hope that more educators will be able to integrate similar forms of deeper learning.

Student Showcase

Do Students and Professors Agree on the Attributes that Make up a Good Community College Professor?

Common terms used by students to describe a good professor, especially on websites like, a website that allows students to rate their professors, include “understanding,” “nice,” “engaging,” “lenient” and “kind,” all of which are indicators of a popular attitude known as student consumerism. As a consequence, some may say that student’s perspectives concerning the qualities that make up a good professor are to be taken with a grain of salt. However, evidence from surveyed students and professors shows that the majority of both community college students and professors agree that the most important qualities of a good professor are “caring” or “understanding,” “engaging” and “knowledgeable” about the source material.


Review of Twelve Weeks to Change a Life: At-Risk Youth in a Fractured State by Max Greenberg

This is a book review of Max Geenberg's book, which focuses on at-risk youth in violence prevention programs. The review offers an overview of the ethnographic book, which provides critical insight of youth youth programs, but also about the relationship between young people and the state. Additionally, the review discusses multiple ways in which Greenberg's work can be pedagogically usedful for college level education and antrhopology courses.