Department of Anthropology
Dr. Henry Delcore, Chair
Peters Business Building, Room 385
Anthropology is concerned with everything that is human, in all parts of the world, both present and past. It is unique among the social sciences in its scope. Most disciplines focus only on modern civilization or concentrate on single aspects of life, such as government or the economy. Anthropology is interested in all human societies and views life as a complexly integrated whole that is more than the sum of its parts. It is the human experience as a whole that anthropology seeks to understand.
The breadth of anthropology is reflected in its four subfields. Biophysical anthropology concerns the biological aspects of humanity, including human evolution, genetics, forensic anthropology, and primatology. Cultural anthropology explores the diversity of human culture to understand both differences and similarities among human groups. Archaeology explores the human past far beyond the range of written records, using specialized techniques to probe human prehistory. Linguistic anthropology investigates the nature of language and the critical role it has played in the development of human behavior. The central concept in anthropology is "culture," and it is this vital idea which binds the subfields into an integrated discipline.
Our program has three goals:
- to provide students with a clear conception of human variability across time and space, enabling them to understand and interact effectively in a wide variety of contexts;
- to provide students with the broad intellectual skills that are essential to the widest range of professional careers; and
- to prepare students to use anthropological concepts in both applied and research careers.
Both the anthropology major and minor offer a varied but well-structured exposure to all four subfields of the discipline. The major consists of two parts. The core curriculum introduces both data and theory in a logical sequence of courses from basic to advanced and includes an introduction to anthropological fieldwork. The elective curriculum enables students to focus on a specific subfield and to prepare for advanced study or employment in a wide variety of fields. The minor is a briefer but balanced survey of the discipline, designed to complement any major whose graduates need to understand and interact with people from different cultural backgrounds.
Special Resources and Facilities
The Anthropology Department provides student training in both archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork. All students pursue specialized training in our archaeological and ethnographic field schools, and advanced students have the opportunity to work in our archaeology and forensic anthropology laboratories. We encourage internships as an important aspect of student development and help place advanced students as interns with a large variety of organizations.