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Anthropology

Basic Structure of the Department

  • The Anthropology department offers a Major and a Minor in Anthropology and a Minor in the Anthropology of Global Health. Anthropology can also be part of a modified major. Courses generally represent one of four sub-disciplines within the field: archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology.
  • Archaeology is the scientific study of past human behavior and societies from material remains of the earliest human ancestors to recent times.
  • Sociocultural Anthropology addresses broad questions about what it means to be human in contemporary societies and cultures, as well as those of the recent past. Sociocultural anthropologists systematically explore topics such as technology and material culture, social organization, economies, political and legal systems, language, ideologies and religions, health and illness, and social change.
  • Linguistic Anthropology is the study of the relationship between language, culture, and social life. Linguistic anthropologists explore how language is formed, structured, and used to create meaning – how language shapes communication, forms social identity and group membership, organizes large-scale cultural beliefs and ideologies, and develops a common cultural representation of natural and social worlds.
  • Biological Anthropology is the study of human biological variation and evolution. Biological anthropologists seek to document and explain the patterning of biological variation among contemporary human populations, trace the evolution of our lineage through time in the fossil record, and provide a comparative perspective on human uniqueness by placing our species in the context of other living primates.
  • A major consists of 10 courses, including an introductory course (ANTH 1 or 3) and a culminating seminar (70-series courses). Students must take one introductory course and complete one course each in archaeology and biological anthropology, two sociocultural anthropology courses (one topical and one area) as part of the major. Other courses to complete the major may be selected by the individual student.
  • A modified major consists of 11 courses, 7 of which must be in the department, including the introductory and culminating seminar requirements. The requirements of sub-disciplinary breadth are waived for a modified major.
  • The interdisciplinary minor in Global Health consists of 6 courses, 4 of which must be in the Anthropology Department; an introductory course (ANTH 1 or 3) is required for the minor.
  • Anthropology and the Linguistics program jointly sponsor a Foreign Study Program in New Zealand in the winter term.  Prerequisites include TWO courses in anthropology, or for linguistics students LING 1 (Introduction to Linguistics, offered in the fall and spring terms), and one other linguistics course in the 20s.  Visit the Off-Campus Programs office at 44 North College St. for more information.

Courses for the Student with Little or No Background Who Wants to Explore Anthropology:

The Anthropology department offers an array of introductory courses, including:

  • ANTH 1: Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 3: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 4: Peoples and Cultures of Native North America
  • ANTH 5: Reconstructing the Past: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANTH 6: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 8: The Rise and Fall of Prehistoric Civilizations
  • ANTH 9: Introduction to the Study of Language and Culture
  • ANTH 11: Ancient Native Americans
  • ANTH 12.2: The Archaeology of Ancient Near East
  • ANTH 12.3: The Ethnography of Violence
  • ANTH 14: Death and Dying
  • ANTH 15: Political Anthropology
  • ANTH 16: Secrecy and Lying in Politics, Law and Society
  • ANTH 17: The Anthropology of Health and Illness
  • ANTH 19: Islam: An Anthropological Approach
  • ANTH 20: Lemurs, Monkeys, and Apes
  • ANTH 21: The Aztecs
  • ANTH 22: Olmecs, Mayas and Toltecs: Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica
  • ANTH 23: The Incas
  • ANTH 31: Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH 49: Culture and the Environment
  • ANTH 56: Anthropology and Global Health

Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans on Pursuing Studies in Anthropology

  • Any of the courses listed above are suitable for first-year students interested in further study of anthropology. The courses listed above cover the four sub-fields in anthropology. Consult the ORC for other courses.

Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives

The ORC

The Anthropology home page

Last Updated: 9/6/13