Mittwoch, 24. Mai 2017, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Wednesday Seminar

Teaching ethnographic methods online trough multimedia examination of human/animal Relations in Alaskan dog-mushing

Patrick Plattet

Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie; HS-C
Universitätsstraße 7 (NIG); 4. Stock, 1010 Wien


This presentation introduces SELIN (Self-Induced Learning In-frastructure), an e-learning application developed at the Uni-versity of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, by a team of cultural anthro-pologists and computer programmers. SELIN is unique among existing e-learning pedagogical models because it is designed specifically for teaching inductive reasoning through active observation. It allows for the creation of courses that privilege the observation of empirical data, the mastery of inductive reasoning, and the creation of bottom-up theoretical con-structs. One new SELIN course is currently under production at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Alaska Fair-banks (UAF). Entitled "Human-Animal Interaction in Alaskan Dog Mushing", this course offers new insights into human-animal relationships through a multidisciplinary focus on dog mushing and sled dog racing, two related activities that are performed and valued in many regions of the circumpolar North. My presentation gives a first glimpse into the new course on dog mushing and discusses how the SELIN platform and its course content have potential to enhance distance education.


Patrick Plattet is a cultural anthropologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who carries out collaborative research projects with rural communities in Northern Kamchatka (Russian Far East) and on the Alaska Peninsula (Southwest Alaska). His work in Kamchatka focuses on reindeer herding and big-game hunting, and how these subsistence activities have been ritualized in the past and up to the present. A main theme is the exploration of syncretic worldviews that have emerged in Kamchatka since the 18th century at the inter-face of Shamanism and Russian Orthodoxy. In Alaska, Plattet has recently led the DEER study (, which documents the ethnohis-tory and ethnoarchaeology of reindeer from 1905–1950 and explores the legacies of herding on the Alaska Peninsula. The DEER study also contributes to broader discussions in circumpo-lar pastoralism, including human-animal relati-ons, migration, mobility and global markets.

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Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Tabitha Schnoeller
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie