Anthropology is the study of humankind from a broadly comparative and historical perspective. Anthropology advances understanding of human biological and cultural diversity around the world and across time. In a changing world, anthropology provides for cross-cultural comparative analysis of diversities and inequalities. Understanding cultural, biological, and linguistic differences and similarities is central to almost any career, and students gain a critical understanding of ethical issues at play in a diverse, globalized world.
Anthropology draws on the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to answer compelling questions about humankind, including how the species evolved, how biology, language, and culture became its defining characteristics, and how and why cultures change over time.
Anthropology’s breadth makes the major ideal for students seeking a strong liberal arts and sciences education. Students are prepared for careers not only in anthropology and archaeology but also in a range of fields including medicine, public health, law, journalism, marketing, international development, and business.
The department’s faculty bring together the four subfields of anthropology (archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology) to develop a holistic understanding of human diversity.
Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of departmental field and laboratory research projects in archaeology, ethnography, and human biology that offer the opportunity to conduct original research, which can be an integral part of a senior thesis project.
ANTHRO 101-6 First-Year Seminar (1 Unit) Open to first-year students in Weinberg College; does not satisfy major/minor requirements in Anthropology. WCAS First-Year Seminar
ANTHRO 211-0 Culture & Society (1 Unit) Introduction to the comparative study of culture, exploring different types of social organization and their economic and political correlates in the context of contemporary globalization. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 213-0 Human Origins (1 Unit) Emergence of the human species through the process of organic evolution, emphasizing genetics, the fossil record, and comparison with our nearest living relatives. Natural Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 214-0 Archaeology: Unearthing History (1 Unit) The evolution of culture from its earliest beginnings through the development of urbanism and the state. Principles of archaeological research. Historical Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 215-0 The Study of Culture through Language (1 Unit) The scope of linguistic anthropology, from the study of language as an end in itself to the investigation of cultures through the medium of human languages. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 221-0 Social and Health Inequalities (1 Unit) Bidirectional relationship between social (e.g., class, gender, and racial/ethnic) and health inequalities, including institutional/structural, individual/family/psychosocial, and biological mechanisms.
ANTHRO 232-0 Myth and Symbolism (1 Unit) Introduction to different approaches to the interpretation of myth and symbolism, e.g., Freudian, functionalist, and structuralist. Ethics Values Distro Area
ANTHRO 235-0 Language in Asian America (1 Unit) Survey of linguistic anthropological topics relevant to Asian American communities, including bilingualism, code switching, language socialization, language shift, style, sociolinguistic variation, indexicality, media, and semiotics. ANTHRO 235-0 and ASIAN_AM 235-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 240-0 Anthropology of Money (1 Unit) A survey of cultural and ethnographic approaches to money and finance. Topics of investigation include “primitive money,” the uses of money in religious and ritual practices, social and cultural meanings of numbers, mobile money, crypto-currency and other alternative currency systems, and the politics of central banking. Prerequisite: None. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 255-0 Contemporary African Worlds (1 Unit) Use of key anthropological insights about value judgments and cultural relativism to examine the survival strategies and turbulent histories of contemporary African societies. Ethics Values Distro Area
ANTHRO 290-0 Topics in Anthropology (1 Unit) Intermediate work in areas of developing interest and special significance. May be repeated for credit with different topic.
ANTHRO 306-0 Evolution of Life Histories (1 Unit)
Evolved strategies for allocating resources among growth, reproduction, and maintenance; emphasis on the biological processes underlying the human life cycle and its evolution.
ANTHRO 307-0 Anthropology of Peace (1 Unit) Cultural and ethnographic approaches to peace, peace building and peace activism. Topics of investigation include the concept of "peaceful societies," cultural mechanisms for conflict resolution, truth and reconciliation, the relationship between peace and commerce, and the role of literature, art and material culture in peace activism. Prerequisite: None. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 309-0 Human Osteology (1 Unit) Introduction to human skeletal anatomy and biology. Identification and classification of human bones through hands-on dry-lab-based analysis. Natural Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 311-0 Indians of North America (1 Unit)
Aboriginal cultures of northern Mexico, continental United States, Alaska, and Canada. Languages, art, and social, economic, and religious life.Historical Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 312-0 Human Population Biology (1 Unit)
Current theory and research in human biological diversity, focusing on the impact of ecological and social factors on human biology; how adaptation to environmental stressors promotes human biological variation.
Prerequisite: ANTHRO 213-0.Natural Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 314-0 Human Growth & Development (1 Unit)
Integrated biological and cultural perspective on human growth and development from infancy through adolescence; cross-cultural variation in developmental processes and outcomes.
Prerequisite: 100-or 200-level anthropology, biology, or psychology course or consent of instructor.
ANTHRO 315-0 Medical Anthropology (1 Unit)
Theories of interactions between culture and biology that affect human health. Beliefs and practices for curing illness and maintaining wellbeing. Cross-cultural study of infectious and chronic diseases, mental illness, infant/maternal mortality, poverty, and gender.
Prerequisite: 100-or 200-level anthropology or sociology course or consent of instructor.
ANTHRO 316-0 Forensic Anthropology (1 Unit) The application of traditional skeletal biology to problems of medicolegal significance, primarily in determining identity and analyzing trauma from human remains. Prerequisite: 200-level anthropology or biology course or consent of instructor. Natural Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 317-0 Human Evolution (1 Unit)
Fossil record and reconstruction of phylogeny; morphological and behavioral adaptation of early hominids and forebears.Natural Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 318-0 Material Worlds of the Middle Ages (1 Unit)
Landscapes, buildings, and material culture of medieval Europe, as seen through archaeology and related disciplines.Historical Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 319-0 Material Life & Culture in Europe, 1500-1800 (1 Unit)
Landscapes, buildings, and material culture of early modern Europe, as seen through archaeology and related disciplines.Historical Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 320-0 Peoples of Africa (1 Unit)
A survey of the cultures of Africa and the significant similarities and differences among the indigenous societies of the continent.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 321-0 Archaeological Field Methods (1 Unit)
Practical training in basic methods and techniques at an excavation site; given with summer Archaeology Field School.
ANTHRO 321-SA Archaeological Field Methods (1 Unit) Practical training in basic methods and techniques at an excavation site; given with summer Archaeology Field School.
ANTHRO 322-0 Introduction to Archaeology Research Design & Methods (1 Unit)
Regional and site-specific approaches to the description and analysis of patterns in archaeological data, including settlement survey, site characterization, vertical excavations, and horizontal household excavations.
ANTHRO 324-0 Archaeological Survey Methods (1 Unit) Unique contributions of archaeological surveys to research about past peoples and places. Course uses geospatial technologies, such as shallow geophysics and GIS. Historical Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 325-0 Archaeological Methods Laboratory (1 Unit)
Analysis of archaeological methods (faunal, botanical, artifact, or soil analysis) with various techniques. May be repeated for credit.
ANTHRO 327-0 Archaeology of Ethnicity in America (1 Unit)
History of different ethnic groups in America as shown through living quarters, burials, food remains, tools, jewelry, etc. How groups have been portrayed in museums claiming to depict the American past. Focus on African Americans and Native Americans.Historical Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 328-0 The Maya (1 Unit) The archaeology of the Maya in Latin America; life and society in pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Historical Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 330-0 Peoples of the World (1 Unit)
Comparative ethnography of a regionally or historically associated group of cultures or a type of community defined in ecological, ideological, or other terms. May be repeated for credit.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 332-0 The Anthropology of Reproduction (1 Unit)
Marriage and reproduction throughout the world, particularly the developing world and Africa. Conjugal strategies, fertility, contraception.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 334-0 The Anthropology of HIV/AIDS: Ethnographies (1 Unit)
The experiences of HIV-positive people; local and global policies shaping access to treatment; contributions of anthropologists to reducing HIV/AIDS globally. Readings from classic and current ethnographies.
Prerequisite: 300-level course in anthropology or sociology.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 339-0 Material Culture (1 Unit)
Relationship between material objects and social life; review of theoretical approaches to gifts and commodities; ethnographic collecting in colonial and postcolonial settings; relationship between culture and aesthetics.
Prerequisite: ANTHRO 211-0 or consent of instructor.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 340-0 Visual Anthropology of Africa (1 Unit) Anthropological analysis of techniques, visual rhetoric, and narrative strategies embedded in images of Africa and Africans in a variety of contemporary and digital media. Course includes instruction in video production. Prerequisite: 200-level social science or African studies course or consent of instructor.
ANTHRO 341-0 Economic Anthropology (1 Unit)
Economic organization in small-scale non-industrialized communities. Traditional structures of primitive and peasant economies.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 343-0 Anthropology of Race (1 Unit) Anthropological approaches to the analysis of race, racialization, and antiracism. Human variation, space, segregation, comparative analysis, and language ideologies. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 350-0 Anthropology of Religion (1 Unit)
The human relationship with the supernatural. Action patterns accompanying beliefs. Comparison of nonliterate religions and historical religions.Ethics Values Distro Area
ANTHRO 354-0 Gender and Anthropology (1 Unit)
Cross-cultural survey of women's roles from three perspectives: biosocial, sociocultural, politico-economic. Theory of gender inequality. Emphasis on the third world.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 355-0 Sexualities (1 Unit)
Cross-cultural survey of sexuality from an anthropological perspective. Focus on first half of the 20th century, the 1970s, 1980s, and the turn of the 21st century.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 359-0 The Human Microbiome and Health (1 Unit) Discussion-based analysis of cutting edge research on the microbes associated with the human body and their impacts on health. Consideration of historical, social, and political influences on observed patterns. Natural Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 360-0 Language and Culture (1 Unit)
Relationship between language and culture; language as the vehicle of culture and as the manifestation of thought.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 361-0 Talk as Social Action (1 Unit)
Analysis of talk in interaction based on examination of audio and video recorded data and associated transcripts. Conversation, action, turn, sequence, relevance, social structure, qualitative methodologies.
Prerequisite: ANTHRO 215-0 or consent of instructor.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 362-0 Advanced Methods in Quantitative Analysis (1 Unit)
Advanced applications of univariate and multivariate statistics to anthropological research questions.
Prerequisite: 200-level statistics course.Formal Studies Distro Area
ANTHRO 365-0 Language, Race, & Ethnicity in the U.S. (1 Unit) Analysis of connections between language ideologies, language use, and meanings of race and ethnicity. Bilingualism, immigration, identity, accented English, African American English, language policy, English only movement, education, social change. ANTHRO 365-0 and ASIAN_AM 365-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 368-0 Latina and Latino Ethnography (1 Unit) Sociocultural analysis of US Latina/o communities. Examines ethnographies by and about Latina/os based in the United States. Draws on a broad disciplinary basis to critique and elaborate on ethnographic methods and epistemologies. Prerequisite: ANTHRO 211-0 or consent of instructor. Ethics Values Distro Area
ANTHRO 369-0 Contemporary Immigration to the U.S. (1 Unit) Major theories in immigration studies; contemporary processes of immigration and immigrant "community building" in the United States. Prerequisite: 300-level course in anthropology or sociology. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 370-0 Anthropology in Historical Perspective (1 Unit)
Major schools of thought in social, archaeological, and biological anthropology over the last century.
Prerequisite: 200-level anthropology course or consent of instructor.
ANTHRO 373-0 Power and Culture in American Cities (1 Unit)
Overview of history and present realities of American urban life, with focus on ethnographic knowledge and stratifications by class, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and sexuality.
Prerequisite: 100-or 200-level cultural anthropology or sociology course or consent of instructor.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 376-0 Socialization (1 Unit)
Cross-cultural study of the intergenerational transmission of culture; processes by which social groups pass on social tradition and behavior to succeeding generations.
Prerequisite: ANTHRO 211-0, introductory psychology course, or consent of instructor.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 377-0 Psychological Anthropology (1 Unit)
Contemporary approaches to cross-cultural behavior: ecocultural aspects of behavior development through maturation and socialization in human and nonhuman primates.
Prerequisite: introductory survey course in psychology or anthropology or consent of instructor.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 378-0 Law and Culture (1 Unit)
Introduction to the anthropology of law; institutional knowledge as seen in material culture and legal documents; colonial and postcolonial settings; relationships between law and culture, colonialism, evidence, and globalization.
Prerequisite: 200-level anthropology course or consent of instructor.Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ANTHRO 383-0 Environmental Anthropology (1 Unit)
How humans have changed and are changing the environment and what can be done to halt environmental deterioration. Topics include population trends, food supplies, consumerism, environmental regulation, and ecological consciousness.
ANTHRO 386-0 Methods in Human Biology Research (1 Unit)
Laboratory-based introduction to international research in human biology and health; methods for assessing nutritional status, physical activity, growth, cardiovascular health, endocrine and immune function.
Prerequisite: ANTHRO 213-0 or consent of instructor.
ANTHRO 389-0 Ethnographic Methods and Analysis (1 Unit)
Descriptive, naturalistic study of the culture of human social groups. Data gathering through observation and interview. Data analysis for ethnographic reporting.
ANTHRO 390-0 Topics In Anthropology (1 Unit)
Advanced work in areas of developing interest and special significance. May be repeated for credit with different topic.
ANTHRO 390-SA Topics In Anthropology (1 Unit) Advanced work in areas of developing interest and special significance. May be repeated for credit with different topic.
ANTHRO 398-0 Senior Seminar (1 Unit) Supervised group discussion of research during preparation of the senior capstone project.
ANTHRO 399-0 Independent Study (1 Unit) Open with consent of department to juniors and seniors who have completed with distinction at least 2 courses or the equivalent in anthropology. Under direction of individual members of department.