Anthropology is concerned with how humans and human societies evolve, with the differences and similarities among human cultures, and with the cultural and biological basis for human behavior. It integrates a wide range of perspectives on human behavior, culture, and society. Students will become familiar with the basic concerns of four sub-fields of anthropology: archaeology, physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, and anthropological linguistics.
The archaeology program offers courses covering many geographic regions (Latin America, North America, China, and Europe, among others), techniques of analysis, and issues in prehistory. Opportunities for student involvement in archaeological work are provided through museum collections, participation in research with faculty and graduate students, and a periodic summer field school.
The physical anthropology program offers classes on evolutionary theory, human genetics, osteoarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and human and nonhuman primate evolution, anatomy and morphology.
Cultural anthropology is represented by a wide variety of courses on culture areas including the Pacific, Latin America, China, Japan and South Asia, Eastern Europe and the United States. Classes provide cross-cultural studies of topics such as medical anthropology, food, social and political organization, sex roles, kinship, ethnicity, folklore, and religion.
Linguistic Anthropology examines language, and other semiotic systems, as forms of practice through which social relations, cultural forms, and beliefs are constituted. Courses are offered on language and the emotions; ritual performance; language shifts and code-switching; connections between language, ethnicity, cognition, nationalism, and political systems; orality and literacy; and analysis of changing media forms. Courses examine dominant, minority, and endangered languages with particular regional reference to Asia, The Pacific, and Europe.
Students pursuing the Anthropology major must complete 33 credits or coursework as described below.