Dr. Orr is an exceptional teacher, mentor and anthropologist. His passion for both the discipline and positive outcomes for his students is clearly articulated through his manner in the classroom. Whilst firm and encouraging, Dr. Orr brings a easygoing attitude to the classroom, helping to facilitate thoughtful reflection and discussion of the course content.
ANTH3140 is a challenging course and coded accordingly. The course requires diligent commitment by the student yet yields high reward. By completing the weekly reading you can immerse yourself in new theory and ethnography which broadens your understanding of the vast amount of work anthropologists have completed. In doing so it can inspire you to thoroughly research your paper and present information in new and innovative ways. The course structure is flexible and can be tailored to the interests of the students who prompt discussion. The three hour seminar is necessary to cover the amount of work included in the reading without being overwhelming.
Which course did you take? (e.g. MGTS1301)
Use of multimedia and contemporary context
High expectation of student work with encouragement
Let me begin by saying that in week one I was wary of the structure of this course as it was a completely different style to what I am used to, but my opinions soon changed. In fact, like Victoria I’ve found ANTH3140 to be one of the best classes I’ve taken in my four years at uni. This is in part due to the structure of the course, with the weekly thesis summaries designed to help you improve the way you read, comprehend and critique academic literature. Having weekly assessments that emphasised improvement kept me motivated throughout the semester, but also meant that come week 13 there was no huge overwhelming assessment looming above our heads; the course work was completed at a steady stress-free pace (a welcome change). However, the best aspect of this course was the fact that Dr Orr was taking it.
His seminars were highly engaging every week - a hard feat considering the dense content being covered. This is probably due to his ability to make complex theories seem approachable and not so daunting. Having a good sense of humour also helped create a relaxed learning environment where we could speak freely about our ideas. In the case of a lull, Dr Orr would guide the discussion but student input was always encouraged. In short, Dr Orr’s approach to teaching - one which genuinely places student improvement at the forefront - helped me achieve a level of work I wouldn’t have thought I was capable of six months ago, while managing to avoid the living hell of large assessment pieces. I can only hope that more classes adopt this kind of style in the future as it makes for a better learning environment, and the unanimous enjoyment of the course attests to this.
If you're thinking of taking one of Dr Orr’s classes, 1) feel lucky to have the opportunity and 2) do it.
Which course did you take? (e.g. MGTS1301)
Wealth of knowledge - anthropological and otherwise
This seminar is one of the absolute best classes I've taken at UQ. The structure of the course itself is well organized, with small but challenging weekly assignments that keep students engaged and improving. The readings start off really approachable, and subtly get more challenging and compelling. By the end of the course we were reading (and doing well on) a standard and density of reading that we didn't think we were capable of in week one.
From that, Dr. Orr facilitates discussions beautifully. He manages to teach really complex and theoretical ideas in a way that seems like he's just telling a story. It's always funny. It's always interesting. And with the small class sizes, everyone can participate and share their ideas without the pressure of speaking up in a room of 100+ students. There's no high pressure exam or massive assignment that stresses everyone out and ruins three weeks of our lives. The weekly assignments take a little bit of time (maybe an hour or two) but in my opinion, it makes for a much more pleasant semester. Unlike many professors, Dr. Orr actually wants everyone to do well and get better.
If you're taking ANTH3140 as a capstone, my advice is to go to class. Not just for your attendance/participation grade or because you'll understand the readings a whole lot more, but because it's an interesting discussion every week. If you're just looking for an elective, do one with Dr. Orr. He's cool, his teaching style is entertaining, the content of his courses is great no matter what you're studying. He also somehow is able to be humble and down to earth when he holds (multiple) degrees from some of the best unis in the world and rubs elbows with some of the best and most noted anthropologist alive. He's great, the courses are great. As Nikita said, UQ is lucky to have him.
I took ANTH1008 in semester two as a part of my Arts program and found this subject really enjoyable. Dr Orr is extremely entertaining and insightful, and a fantastic lecturer. Not only was the content interesting, but it was taught in a way that made me excited to learn more. He is very approachable and friendly, and constantly aware of how students are relating to and perceiving the content. UQ is very lucky to have him.
I took ANTH1008 last semester as part of my electives. I did not think I would enjoy the subject as much as I did. Not only was the course an inspiring journey through cultural diversity; it is now the reason why I decided to switch my degree to a major in anthropology. Dr Orr had an innovative, clever approach to the subject. His ideas were insightful and clear. He was helpful and approachable, always keen to help his students. Aside of that, Dr Orr has a great sense of humor! His method would engage the entire classroom, making it easier for us to relate to the course content. Dr Yancey Orr is, without a doubt, an indispensable and valuable addition of this university.