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Offices: Registrar - Catalog


Division of Social Sciences

Aaron Lampman, Chair

Stewart Bruce

Julie Markin

Bill Schindler

Ken Schweitzer

Elizabeth Seidel

John L. Seidel

Mark Wiest


The anthropology major provides students with the knowledge to understand the complexities of human behavior in the past and present and the practical skills to conduct rigorous research into the environmental and social forces that influence human cultural development across the globe.  The major provides students with multiple perspectives for solving theoretical and practical issues through courses in the subfields of sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and biological anthropology. Students graduate with a broad understanding of human evolution and adaptation, changes in food and technology, the rise of civilizations and urban life, how language shapes worldviews, the diversity of cultural belief systems, and the human consequences of globalization. Trained in data collection and analysis, critical thinking, persuasive writing, and professional presentation, anthropology graduates find employment opportunities in business, national and international government agencies, NGOs, museums, and academia.  Recent graduates have continued postgraduate work in anthropology and have found careers in geospatial intelligence, foreign service, sociocultural data analysis, international health and medicine, cultural tourism, grant writing, political analysis, international education, law, social justice, and environmental advocacy. We often have assistantships and internships available to students interested in geographic information systems, cultural resource management in archaeology, and historic preservation.  We offer a summer field school in archaeology and educational-experiential summer programs in Tanzania, Denmark, and the American Southwest.  We also offer an interdisciplinary minor in ethnomusicology with the Music Department.



Ten courses: Anthropology 105, 107, 208, 305, 405, four additional courses in anthropology, and the Senior Capstone Experience (ANT SCE). It is strongly recommended that majors have at least one study abroad and/or experiential field-research experience during their undergraduate career. In addition to the required courses, all majors in anthropology complete either a major research paper or a special research project to satisfy their Senior Capstone Experience.


Students who major in Anthropology may wish to pursue a regional concentration. These concentrations are administered through the International Studies Program, but students are not required to major in International Studies. Current regions of study include African Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies and Near Eastern Studies. More information about the requirements for these concentrations can be found in the International Studies Program section of this catalog.


The Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience integrates the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that students have acquired throughout their undergraduate years, not only within the major, but also across the liberal arts and sciences. The Capstone Experience is an independent research project, on an anthropological topic of the student’s choosing, undertaken with the close guidance of a faculty thesis advisor. Thesis proposals are typically developed during the spring of the third year in the Anthropology Seminar. Course credit for this senior thesis project is awarded through registration, in the fall or spring semester of the senior year, for ANT SCE.



Six courses, including Anthropology 105, 107, and either 208 or 305, plus three additional anthropology courses (CRS 242 may count as an Anthropology elective).  


The Distribution Requirement in Social Science

May be satisfied by one of the following course sequences:

Anthropology 105 and any one of the following: ANT 200, 215, 235, 280, 320, CRS 242; or

Anthropology 107 and any one of the following: ANT 137, 208, 234, 282, 306, 312, CRS 242.


To satisfy the requirement of a third (unpaired) course for social science distribution, students may take Anthropology 105 or Anthropology 107.



Using music as an entry into a variety of cultures, social classes, and populations, the ethnomusicology minor offers a unique opportunity for students interested in both anthropology and music. Ethnomusicologists take a global, interdisciplinary approach to the study of music and seek to understand music as a social practice, viewing music as a human activity that is shaped by its cultural context. Students who study ethnomusicology have a global outlook, are critical thinkers, and are better able to appreciate the cultural and aesthetic diversity of the world and communicate in ways that are ethically sensitive.  


The minor in ethnomusicology is 28 credits and is open to students in all subject areas, including anthropology, and there is no expectation that you have prior experience as a musician.  None of the 4-credit classroom courses in the minor presume an ability to read music notation, and the required 1-credit ensembles can be taken in subjects that do not assume prior ability to read music.  To ensure that anthropology students take this opportunity to expand their knowledge in a supplemental area, anthropology majors who minor in ethnomusicology will have to observe the following guidelines:  (1) they may only double count 2 courses between the ANT major and the Ethnomusicology minor, and (2) at least 2 of the electives must have a MUS designation.  Students will not be permitted to minor in both anthropology and ethnomusicology simultaneously.  For more information and a full list of requirements, see the catalog entry ETHNOMUSICOLOGY.


Courses In Anthropology

ANT 105. Introduction to Anthropology

The study of human diversity with emphasis on cultural anthropology. Topics include the anthropological perspective, resources of culture, organization of material life, systems of relationships and global forms of inequality. The course examines how anthropologists apply their skills to solve contemporary human social problems. Basic ethnographic interviewing skills. Introduction to ethnography.


ANT 107. Introduction to Environmental Archaeology

Exploration of the variety of past human societies and cultures through archaeology, with an emphasis upon the interplay between environment and culture. The course covers a wide time span, from the biological evolution of hominids and the origins of culture to the development of complex civilizations and the more recent historical past.


ANT 109. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used in academia, business, and government to manage large datasets of spatially-linked information and to provide users with powerful analytic tools. Classroom discussions introduce the theories and uses of GIS and focus on the organizational issues that impact the implementation of GIS in our society. Laboratory activities teach the student how to extract and present GIS data in graphical form, and how to construct and augment GIS databases using on-the-ground data gathering, map point-plotting equipment, and auxiliary data bases.


ANT 137. Cultures and Environments of the Chesapeake

An examination of prehistoric and historic societies in the Chesapeake Region. Archaeological, historical, and environmental evidence is used to understand cultural development and the relationships between people and their environment. Topics include the arrival of humans in the region, Native American groups, colonial settlement in the Tidewater, and the 19th Century. (Also ENV 237)


ANT 194. Introductory Topics in Anthropology

Topics vary.


ANT 200. Introduction to Language

This course will introduce the student to the study of linguistics. Concepts of both historical and descriptive linguistics are included. Some of the areas of study are: linguistic history and methodology, language origin, language and society, language structure, dialects and language families. The course is open to all students.


ANT 208. Doing Archaeology

An examination of the methods of archaeology and theoretical perspectives. Course topics include research design, site surveys, remote sending technology, excavation techniques, dating methods, the analysis of material culture, and theory building. Students will be involved in exploration and research using the wide variety of resources available in the region, including local excavations, local and regional archives, and museum collections. Prerequisite: Anthropology 107.


ANT 210. Intermediate Geographic Information Systems

This second course in geographic information systems builds upon the theories discussed in Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, and focuses on the more technical aspects of GIS. Laboratory activities teach the student to use more advanced functions of GIS software, and the fundamentals of advanced GIS analysis and display programs. The student will also learn to operate a precision GPS field data collector. Prerequisite: Anthropology 109.


ANT 215. Sex, Gender, and Culture

The study of the biological differences of sex in relationship to the cultural construction of gender. The importance of modes of production and ideology in forming gender concepts for all human societies. Cross-cultural issues of gender identity, roles, relationships, and equality or inequality. Prerequisite: Anthropology 105.


ANT 234. Human Evolution and Biological Anthropology

This course will utilize a holistic approach to explore the evolution of the human species. Students will learn the basics of evolutionary theory, biology, and fossil and archaeological evidence through lectures, discussion, readings, videos and hands-on learning. This course is divided into three main sections titled: (a) how evolution works, (b) the history of the human lineage, and (c) evolution, technology, and modern humans.


ANT 235. Cultures of Latin America

Prehistory of the Americas and survey of indigenous cultures in Latin America today (Mesoamerica, the Andean countries and the Amazonian countries). Introduction to environmental anthropology and applications to environmental issues. Prerequisite: Anthropology 105 or permission of the instructor. Interested students who have a background in history, political science, Spanish or international studies are encouraged to seek the instructors permission.


ANT 280. Traditional Ecological Knowledge

This course introduces students to the anthropological study of indigenous peoples and how they respond to the forces of globalization.  Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) refers to the knowledge base acquired by indigenous and local peoples over many hundreds of years through direct contact with the environment. It includes nomenclature, classification, beliefs, rituals, technology, environmental management strategies and worldviews—all of which have helped shape environments for millennia. This course explores these different forms of knowledge and poses a series of questions about their importance and use, such as: How is globalization affecting TEK?  Who possesses TEK? Who “owns” TEK? Should the owners of TEK be compensated for their knowledge? Does TEK promote sustainability? Can nation-states utilize TEK? What are the impacts on indigenous groups when TEK is “promoted”? How can traditional knowledge of the natural world be responsibly and ethically collected, studied and applied in modern medicine and global commerce?   


ANT 282.  Primitive Technology and Experimental Archaeology

Students in this course are exposed to the field of experimental archaeology and gain an appreciation for the valuable contribution it can make to our understanding of the past.  Students will explore various primitive technologies utilized throughout prehistory.  These technologies were not only crucial to the survival of our ancestors but also played an important role in the development of culture.  A holistic, project based learning approach will be utilized during the semester, which includes lectures, discussions, reading, hands-on learning, self-reflection, and group work. Prerequisite or Corequisite: Anthropology 107, or permission of instructor.


ANT 294. Special Topics in Anthropology

Contents vary. Prerequisite: Anthropology 105 or 107, or permission of instructor.


ANT 296. Archaeological Field School

An introduction to archaeological fieldwork methods and to the theoretical concerns of anthropological archaeology. includes participation in archaeological survey and excavation as well as lectures, readings, and writing assignments. It typically is a six-week summer program, with a minimum obligation of 20 hours per week. Prerequisites: Anthropology 105, Anthropology 107 or History 201; or permission of instructor. May be repeated once for credit.


ANT 305. Doing Anthropology

Introduction to cultural anthropological field methods and the writing of ethnographies. Students practice skills of observation, participation, reflection, mapping, selection of informants, ethnographic interviewing, analysis, proposal writing, and ethnographic writing. Each student researches a cultural scene in the Chesapeake region and writes an ethnography. Prerequisite: Anthropology 105.


ANT 306. Marine Archaeology

Introduction to underwater archaeology. Gives students an overview of the history and methods of the field. In addition to class activities, students will be involved in practical exercises such as mapping and data analysis; field trips, including remote sensing work on the College’s workboat and visits to historic vessels; and outside lectures on marine history and archaeology. A basic understanding of archaeological method and theory is useful for the course. Prerequisite: previous archaeological coursework or permission of instructor.


ANT 308. Reconstructing Past Environments

The study of scientific principles and methods in archaeology, with special emphasis upon earth sciences. Environmental reconstruction and site formation processes will be explored, along with methodologies such as remote sensing, geophysical prospecting, soil science, palynology, floral and faunal analysis, and radiometric dating. Pleistocene and post-Pleistocene geomorphology and environmental change in the Chesapeake will be examined, with field trips to local sites and local research projects. (Also ENV 308) Prerequisites: Anthropology 208, Environmental Studies 101, or permission of instructor.


ANT 312.  Contemporary Issues in Archaeology

In the absence of written records, archaeology plays a critical role in answering questions about how past peoples interacted (trade, warfare) and were organized socially and politically (gender, elites, priests).  However, reconstructing past lifeways based on material remains poses unique problems.  Through class discussions and independent research, students will explore current technical and ethical issues.  Topics include the assessment of gender and children; the utility of remote sensing techniques; collaboration between archaeologists and indigenous groups; the ethics of museum display; and the illicit antiquities trade.  Prerequisite: Anthropology 107.


ANT 320. Race and Ethnicity

The dangers of using the concept “race.” Focus on the cultural construction of ethnic, racial, and national identities in the contexts of immigration, colonialism, nationalism, and globalization. Symbols of ethnic identity, stereotyping, style, tactics of choice, situational ethnicity. Prerequisite: Anthropology 105.


ANT 355. Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism

Study of theories of culture with a focus on human creativity as it is expressed in myth, ritual, and symbolism. Introduction to the major paradigms of anthropology. Ethnographic fieldwork on a ritual, analysis, and writing a scholarly paper. Prerequisite: Anthropology 105.


ANT 394, 494. Special Topics in Anthropology

Contents vary. Prerequisite: two prior anthropology courses.


ANT 405. Seminar in Anthropology

Discussion of significant contemporary issues in anthropology. Application of anthropology to ethical issues and careers. Familiarity with professional literature and professional style guides. Research design and location and assessment of source materials. Grant writing and research. Exploration of careers and higher studies in anthropology. Required course for anthropology majors and minors. Should be taken in the spring semester of junior year.


ANT 474. Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management

Provides a comprehensive overview of historic preservation and cultural resource management as practiced in the United States. Examines the history of the preservation movement, the role of preservation in American culture, and the legislative framework for historic preservation. Reviews the growing field of cultural resource management, looking at issues in architectural design, contract or “salvage” archaeology, and heritage tourism. Prerequisite: 200-level coursework in archaeology or American history, or permission of instructor.


ANT 290, ANT 390, ANT 490. Anthropology Internship

The department encourages students with prior courses in anthropology to develop, with a member of the department, internship opportunities. Students interested in pursuing internships should read “Internships And Other Opportunities” in this Catalog. In addition to the requirements listed there, interns should expect to write a paper describing their experiences, as relevant to anthropology, and connected to a reading list to be developed and agreed upon by the intern and the supervising faculty member.


ANT 297, ANT 397, ANT 497. Independent Study

Junior and senior students with a strong interest and background in anthropology may, working with a faculty member in the department, develop either a research project or a course of study in order to pursue a subject or topic within the discipline not a covered by the department’s regular offerings. The student and faculty member will agree upon a reading list, and either a formal research project or a substantial paper. The student should expect to meet regularly with his or her instructor to demonstrate progress in, and knowledge of, the readings; and to discuss, and to receive guidance on the project or paper. (Note that students may not use independent study courses to gain academic credit for work on their Senior Theses).


ANT 295, ANT 395, ANT 495. On-campus Research


ANT 396, ANT 496. Off-campus Research


ANT SCE. Anthropology Senior Capstone Experience

The anthropology senior capstone experience is a significant piece of independent research experience in the form of a thesis or project undertaken by each senior with the guidance and mentorship of a department faculty member. All senior capstone experiences must include anthropological methods and theory. A student who successfully completes the SCE will receive a grade of Pass or Honors, and will be awarded 4 credits. A more extensive description of the SCE is available from the department chair. Discussion of a joint thesis, undertaken by a student with two majors, can be found on page 43 of this Catalog.