Climate, environment and nature: basic anthropological concepts

Course content

The course is an introduction to how anthropological analysis can contribute to an understanding of climate change, environmental justice and human perceptions of nature. Although anthropology primarily focuses on social relations, environmental anthropology has historically been preoccupied with the interaction between natural and social processes. Through a mix of theory and ethnographic examples from around the globe, the course introduces newer perspectives on climate change and nature and cosmology, environmental justice, multispecies relations, care, conflict and climate activism.

The course will include a one-day collective fieldwork near Copenhagen and presentation of findings, collective reading and presentations of the work of a key author,  joint writing of sci-fi inspired speculative essays, which mixes findings from fieldwork, theory and speculative elements pointing towards society after the green transition.


In the spring of 2024, the course is also offered to students of:

- Master's program in Social Data Science

- Bachelor's degree in Sociology

- Bachelor's and master's degree in Psychology

- Master's program in Political Science


Enrolled students register for the course through Self-Service. Please contact the study administration of the individual programs for questions regarding registration.

The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities
Learning outcome


At the end of the course, students will:

  • be able to analyze concrete empirical examples of how climate change, environmental problems and perceptions of nature are connected;
  • be able to carry out a short collective anthropological fieldwork under the guidance of a teacher.



At the end of the course students are expected to:

  • have knowledge of new anthropological approaches and anthropological concepts about climate, environment and nature;
  • could identify central themes in environmental anthropology;
  • could reflect upon the usefulness of speculative methods in times of change and transition.



At the end of the course students must be able to:

  • collaborate with other students, including giving and receiving feedback;
  • be able to theorize about the interaction between natural and social processes;
  • be able to apply the acquired analytical skills in connection with other empirical (and speculative) examples.

The course consists of lectures, group work and joint discussions. Students’ participation is encouraged in order to create a dialogical learning space. One lecture is reserved for a small fieldtrip and another for the presentation of findings and joint reflections. There will also be a joint reading of Anna Tsing’s work, involving student presentations of texts to each other.

Undergraduate and graduate students: 500 pages of required reading.

Teacher posts 200-300 pages of supplementary literature.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

Oral feedback is given during the course and written feedback on the essay. Discussions about the course content and the short fieldwork are integrated into the teaching.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
One BA student: 21,600-26,400 characters (with spaces). For group answers, min. 6,750 and a maximum of 8,250 additional characters (with spaces) per additional group member.

One KA student: 27,000-33,000 characters (with spaces). For group answers, min. 8,450 and a maximum of 10,300 additional characters (with spaces).

For groups with both BA and KA students: One KA and one BA student:
31,900 – 38,975 (BA: 14,175-17,325 KA: 17,725-21,650)
One KA and two BA students: 38,050 – 46,475 (BA: 11,700-14,300 KA: 14,650-17,875)
One KA and three BA students: 44,525 – 54,375 (BA: 10,475-12,800 KA: 13,100-15,975)
Two KA and one BA students: 41,000 – 50,050 (BA: 11,700-14,300 KA: 14,650-17,875)
Two KA and two BA students: 47,150 – 57,550 (BA: 10,475-12,800 KA: 13,100-15,975)
Three KA and one BA students: 49,775 – 60,725 (BA: 10,475-12,800 KA: 13,100-15,975)

KA students must include supplementary literature in the exam, which the student selects.

Indication of level and contribution
Students must indicate on the first page of the assignment whether they are BA or KA students. In the case of a group assignment, the individual student's contribution must be clearly marked in the assignment.
All aids allowed

Policy on the Use of Generative AI Software and Large Language Models in Exams

The Department of Anthropology allows the use of generative AI software and large language models (AI/LLMs), such as ChatGPT, in written exams, provided that the use of AI/LLMs is disclosed and specified (i.e., how it was used and for what purpose) in an appendix that does not count towards the page limit of the exam.


If AI/LLMs are used as source, the same requirements apply for using quotation marks and source referencing as with all other sources. Otherwise, it will be a case of plagiarism.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning objectives

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Exam
  • 64
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

Look at schedule
Department of Anthropology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Social Data Science
  • Department of Sociology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Stine Krøijer   (13-797a6f746b347178756f706b784667747a6e787534717b346a71)
Saved on the 28-11-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students