Anthropology is the study of human cultures, societies, and behavior in all parts of the world throughout all periods of history. There are four sub-disciplines: archaeology, the study of historic and prehistoric cultures and civilizations; Socio-cultural anthropology, which is concerned with current cultures of all degrees of complexity; physical anthropology, the biological aspects of the human species; and anthropological linguistics, which is concerned with the scientific study of language and its relationship to thought and society. In the past, anthropologists tended to study people in small, tribal societies. In recent decades, more attention has been given to peasantry and industrialized, urban societies and to the application of anthropology to understanding problems of these societies.
The Department of Anthropology focuses on archaeology and socio-cultural anthropology. Training in linguistics may be obtained through the linguistics course concentration. Courses in biological/physical anthropology also are offered from time to time. In addition, the Department offers courses in folklore, oral history, and geography, which are closely related to anthropology.
Graduate Training in Archaeology
The Department of Anthropology cooperates with the Climate Change Institute and the Department of History to train graduate students in prehistoric and historic archaeology (see History in index). Application is made through these cooperating units. An Individualized Ph.D. in Anthropology is possible under certain circumstances. (See also, Graduate School Catalog).
Anthropology provides very broad training in the social sciences. Therefore, a background in Anthropology is useful in any career in which an understanding of people or the societies in which they live is important. Due to the broad nature of the field, students trained in anthropology have followed a wide range of careers. In recent years, our majors have pursued advanced training in anthropology and folklore. They also have gone on to advanced training in law, social work, business, theology, library science, writing, museum work, nursing, computer programming, clinical psychology, education, economic development, and the U.S. Armed Forces.
International Affairs in Anthropology majors receive excellent preparation for careers in law, Foreign Service, international development, or business operating in the international arena.
Students with course work and practical experience in archaeology, as well as those with graduate degrees in archaeology, have found employment with public agencies and private organizations concerned with cultural resource management.
Special Resources and Programs
The archaeology faculty focuses on historic and prehistoric North America and prehistoric South America. A number of faculty are jointly appointed with the Canadian-American Center and the Climate Change Institute. The cultural anthropologists have extensive field experience in the Middle East, Oceania, Latin America, and North America.
Periodically, the anthropology faculty offers field schools in historic and prehistoric archaeology, oral history and folklore, and geography. Students also are encouraged to participate in research programs in New England and the Maritime Provinces currently in progress. In recent years students have been hired to work on archaeology field and laboratory projects, in the Maine Folklife Center, the Hudson Museum of Anthropology, and as research assistants in the Western Desert of Australia.
The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
Students may declare an anthropology major in their first year, and must declare their major once they have accumulated 53 credits. It is desirable to begin taking anthropology courses in the first semester at the university.
First year students are advised to take ANT 101 (fall semester) and ANT 102 (spring semester), as these are both required for the major and are prerequisites for many upper division courses. Other 100 and 200 level courses in anthropology are relevant and may be taken in the first year. First year students also concentrate on completing General Education requirements.
ANT 300 and ANT 317 are both major requirements and should be taken as early as possible, and normally not in the senior year. The capstone course, ANT 492, is taken in the senior year.