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Digital Anthropology


Admission Requirements

This course is open to students registered in the CADS bachelor’s specialisation DAE.

Please note: Students that are registered in the CADS bachelor's specialisation SuSo may only take this course (as an elective or extracurricular course) once they have successfully completed the two Key Issues courses specific to their own specialisation.

Only the following categories of non-CADS students may also register for this course:

  • Exchange students admitted for this specific course during their application procedure

N.B. Completing this course may be required to register for the third-year course Selected Bibliography and Bachelor Thesis.

Language of Instruction

Lectures are given in English.
Assignments are written in English.

Course Description

This course examines how digital technologies have transformed human life. It aims to rethink classic anthropological subjects - such as politics, law, science, religion, language, money, and war - by focusing on their contemporary manifestations. We ask how such subjects are being reconfigured in the age of online disinformation, algorithmic discrimination, artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality, machine translation, high-frequency trading, and drone warfare. We consider not only how digital infrastructures can have unintended effects and reproduce entrenched inequalities - including those based on race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability - but also how people from around the world have resisted, appropriated, and reimagined the digital.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define and explain basic concepts of digital anthropology, and apply them to new contexts

  • Discuss the social transformations produced by digital technologies, and provide concrete examples

  • Distinguish and recognise the implications of specific digital technologies for different groups of people in various times and places


Dates can be found on our website.

Mode of Instruction

This is a 10 ECTS course, which means 280 hours of study (1 ECTS is equivalent to 28 study hours or sbu). These 280 study hours are composed of the following components:

  • Lectures: 12 x 2 hours = 24 x 1,5 = 36 sbu

  • Literature: ca. 1,000 pages = 160 sbu

  • Preparatory assignments: 48 sbu

  • Final project: 36 sbu

Assessment Method

  • Preparatory assignments: 60% of final mark

  • Final project: 40% of final mark

Only the final mark is registered in Usis. A final pass mark is 6,0 and higher; a final mark of 5,0 or lower is deemed inadequate. Final marks between 5,0 and 6,0 are never awarded. Only if the final mark is inadequate may the final exam be re-taken, during the re-sit.

Registration in My Studymap

Registration for the lectures in My Studymap is mandatory for all students. Registration closes 5 days before the start of the course. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Confirming your exams

Students need not register for the examination via My Studymap, because this course does not include a single final examination.


Brightspace is the digital learning environment of Leiden University. Brightspace gives access to course announcements and electronic study material. Assignments will also be submitted in Brightspace. Announcements about and changes to courses are given via Brightspace. Students are advised to check Brightspace daily to keep informed about rooms, schedules, deadlines, and all details regarding assignments. Lecturers assume that all students read information posted on Brightspace.

  • How to login

The homepage for Brightspace is: Brightspace

Please log in with your ULCN-account and personal password. On the left you will see an overview of My Courses.

For access to courses in Brightspace you need to be registered for those courses in My Studymap.

Course Literature

Articles from electronic journals and encyclopaedias are available through Leiden University’s digital library.

Contact information

Dr. Rodrigo Ochigame