Anthropology is the study of human experience across space and time, and has historically been subdivided into four major sub-disciplines: archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics. See the American Anthropological Association site: What Is Anthropology?

At Sewanee, our department concentrates on two of these: archaeology and cultural anthropology. Our current areas of expertise include Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Southeastern United States. Our faculty has studied agricultural development and state formation in Southeast Asia, anorexia, ecological anthropology, education, ethnicity in Europe and America, gender and development in Latin America, health and healthcare, labor migration in the Southeastern United States, religion, and sacred landscapes in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

In today's globalizing world, understanding human diversity in the broadest sense is a valuable skill that anthropology students acquire in their course of study. Former majors report using these skills in a variety of arenas that include the medical and education fields, marketing and public relations, international business and finance, and cultural resource management and museum studies.

Learning about other societies through regular participation in their daily lives is the central method of cultural anthropology. Many of our courses provide opportunities for this kind of research on campus and in neighboring towns. Additionally, every anthropology major is required to complete a semester-long field methods project either here or abroad.

We especially encourage study abroad options for students interested in cultural anthropology as they gain invaluable experience and expertise in cross-cultural interaction and research.

Field methods credit may also be obtained through completion of an archaeological field school through the University of the South or other pre-approved program in the United States or abroad.

Community engagement is a powerful way to combine anthropological research with service to the larger community. Anthropologists increasingly look for ways to give back to the communities they seek to understand, and in the methods courses in particular, students work closely with consultants from our local communities. Additionally, several of our courses are part of the Center for Liberal Education and Community Engagement (CLECE) curriculum. These include some sections of Introductory Cultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, the Anthropology of Education and Anthropological Field Methods.

Social Science Core Requirement

In anthropology, beginning with the Class of 2014, only 100-level courses may satisfy the 3.b. core distribution requirement in Social Science.