Immerse yourself in a different way of thinking about the world, dig into past cultures, and dive into our rich maritime history.
The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences. - Ruth Benedict
Student anthropologists study race, ethnicity and diversity, sex and gender, social and political inequality, the relationship between people and food, and the evolution of art, language, and civilization. By examining past and contemporary societies, we see how vital culture is to the survival of our species.
Washington College offers unique opportunities for exploring anthropology, or the study of human nature and human society. Courses focus on evolution and societal development, traditional ecological knowledge, environmental anthropology, experimental archaeology, and archaeological ethics. Areas of focus include the Chesapeake Bay region, Mesoamerica, and the Southeastern United States. Courses in environmental and marine archaeology are offered.
Summer opportunities include an archaeological field school and courses focused on cultures and environments of the Southwestern United States, the interpretation of prehistory in Denmark, and maritime cultures of the Northwest Coast. The 2013 five-week archaeological field school explored pre-Columbian settlement and marine exploitation on the Chester River. Additionally, anthropology students and faculty participate in the interdisciplinary Chesapeake Semester, and there are many opportunities for study abroad. Many students engage in summer internships at locations such as the Smithsonian or the Maryland Archives. Students have access to our Public Archaeology Laboratory, located in the historic Custom House in downtown Chestertown.
Anthropology majors Dana Case ’14 and Sarah Cohen ’15 “just want people to be excited about archaeology.” It’s the central driving force behind their exhibit, “Archaeology Myths Dispelled: Archaeology in Kent County,” which is currently on display at the Kent County Public Library.
Fascinated with education’s ability to bridge cultural divides, Emily Hall ’14 has won a Fulbright grant to live and teach in Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha and the roof of the world.
Experiential learning takes many forms at Washington College, but this form—in the shape of a 113-year-old Chesapeake Bay skipjack—has to be one of the more unique among them.