Phone: (845) 257-2990

Location: Wooster Science Building Room 124

Courses in the Department of Anthropology deal with three areas. Physical anthropology is concerned with the evolution of human beings as biological organisms and with the physical variation within contemporary human populations. Archaeology and prehistory explore the extinct cultures of the past and attempt to elucidate the processes involved in their development. Sociocultural anthropology is involved with the comparative analysis of socially learned behavior patterns and institutions of contemporary populations from all areas of the world.

Archaeology Field School

The department offers a summer program that affords students with the opportunity to participate in an actual archaeological excavation. Emphasis is placed on excavation techniques, methods of classification and analysis, and anthropological interpretation. At present, efforts are concentrated on Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland and Contact Period sites in the mid-Hudson region of New York.


ANT100. The Anthropology of Today's World. 3 Credits.

Introduction to anthropological perspectives on major social, political, and scientific controversies facing today's world. Use of case studies from cultural and linguistic anthropology, as well as archaeology and biological anthropology.

ANT193. Anthropology Selected Topic. 3-12 Credits.


ANT211. General Anthropology . 3 Credits.

Introduction to the theories, methods, and major areas of Anthropology.

ANT213. Intro to Archaeology . 3 Credits.

Method and theory of Archaeology as a branch of Anthropology; survey of major archaeological discoveries and sequences of world prehistory.

ANT214. Cultural Anthropology . 3 Credits.

Students will learn about the variety of different cultures in the world. A comparative approach is used so that students will gain basic knowledge about patterns of cultural similarities and differences in the lifeways of foraging, horticultural, agricultural industrial and post-industrial societies.

ANT215. Intro to Biological Anthro. 3 Credits.

Designed to introduce students to the field of biological anthropology including primatology, human evolutionary ecology, paleoanthropology, and skeletal biology. Students will gain fundamental knowledge about evolutionary theory, basic biologial concepts, the course of primate and human evolution, and modern human diversity.

ANT216. Language and Culture. 3 Credits.

The course explores the social, cultural, and political dimensions of language use. It investigates both how people are shaped by language and how they use language to express class, gender, race and national identity.

ANT230. Forensic Anthropology. 3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the role of the anthropologist in forensic investigations. The course will cover basic skeletal biology, osteology, field recovery of human remains, and recognition of gross trauma and pathology.

ANT250. Ecological Anthropology . 3 Credits.

Introduces students to ecological anthropology. Emphasis is placed on how humans and the cultures they create are fashioned by their environment. We explore adaptations to distinct environments, indigenous systems of knowledge, and human-induced environmental changes.

ANT293. Anthropology Selected Topic. 3-12 Credits.


ANT295. Indep Study Anthropology. 1-12 Credits.


ANT301. Human Evolution . 3 Credits.

This course is designed to introduce students to (1) the fundamentals of evolutionary theory and (2) the application of this framework for our understanding of human evolutionary history. The course will begin by introducing students to the theory of evolution, its historical background and its modern articulation by Charles Darwin. We will also explore modern modifications to Darwinian evolution. From here we will begin to explore the anatomical and phylogenetic context of human evolution by discussing the origin and evolution of primates. Then we will explore the origins of the first hominids and their place in the human family tree. Finally, we will discuss the origins of the genus Homo, the criteria used to differentiate these specimens and the emergence of the modern human suite of anatomical and behavioral characteristics.

ANT302. Human Osteology. 3 Credits.

Students will gain hands-on experience in biological anthropology, including osteology, dental anthropology, primatology, human evolution, and forensics.

ANT303. Indians of North America . 3 Credits.

Survey of cultures north of Mexico; description and analysis of institutional changes resulting from Indian and non-Indian contacts; role of anthropological theories in the selection of research problems and analysis of North American Indian cultures.

ANT304. Ancient Mesoamerica . 3 Credits.

A survey of the cultural development in Ancient Mesoamerica prior to the Spanish conquest, with particular focus upon the Maya and Aztecs.

ANT305. Cultures of South America. 3 Credits.

Social, political, economic and religious institutions of native and mestizo peoples in South America, using examples from selected areas (Amazonian lowlands, Andean highlands, southern cone.) Traditional cultural patterns and contemporary social issues, including the recent rise of the left-wing regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil.

ANT306. Cultures of Brazil. 3 Credits.

A anthropological introduction to the history, peoples, geography, and key cultural issues facing contemporary Brazil. Key themes: poverty, carnival, gender, sexuality, urban violence, religion, and land reform.

ANT310. Bioarchaeology of Food. 3 Credits.

An examination of the manner in which archeologists reconstruct diet and its influence on human evolution, social organization, and health. Topics covered in the course include the biochemical nature of food and nutrients, the associations between diet and morphological and behavioral adaptations in fossil hominins, the relationship between human social organizations and subsistence strategies, and the impact of the transition of food production.

ANT312. North American Archaeology . 3 Credits.

An archaeological survey of early man in North America.

ANT314. New York State Archaeology . 3 Credits.

ANT315. Historical Archaeology . 3 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to provide a working knowledge of American historical archaeology from both a practical and theoretical perspective. Subject areas covered include archeological excavation methods and strategies, artifact analysis, current research and theory, and how historical archeology can answer questions about past human behavior.

ANT316. Cannibalism; Archaeology and Ethnography. 3 Credits.

Cannibalism is examined from an Archaeological and Ethnographic perspective. Topics include individuals or groups accused of practicing cannibalism, and also potential biases in both the historical records and anthropological research.

ANT317. Love, Sex and Marriage: Anthro Perspectives. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the comparative/cross-cultural study of love, sex and marriage. The course covers evolutionary, cultural and social psychological approaches to the study. Students will gain an understanding of the variability and universal features across cultures.

ANT361. Exploring the Unknown . 3 Credits.

An exploration of the "great mysteries" which have captured the popular imagination. A rational evaluation of the facts and hypotheses that surround such mysteries as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, the ancient astronauts of von Daniken, the Bermuda Triangle, the legends of Atlantis and Mu, and the construction of the Egyptian pyramids. A research paper is required.

ANT362. Race, Ethnicity and Inequality . 3 Credits.

Investigation of the nature of the system of racial and ethnic classification that prevails in the contemporary United States and of the socio-historical processes that have generated this cultural taxonomy. Exploration of the impact of our ideas and understandings about racial and ethnic differences on selected aspects of U.S. social life.

ANT364. Inequality and Human Health. 3 Credits.

An examination of the biological consequences of social inequality from a biocultural perspective. Topics covered in the course include and examination of the prehistoric foundations of inequality the physiological basis of stress and its health consequences, including trauma, infectious disease, malnutrition, osteoarthritis, exposure to environmental toxins, and lower birth weight. A case study approach brings in examples from a wide range of time periods and world regions.

ANT370. Cultures of East Asia. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the social and cultural patterns of East Asia. The focus is on contemporary society with additional attention to changing historical, social, economic and political contexts.

ANT371. Culture and Society of Vietnam. 3 Credits.

In-depth look at the social, religious, economic and political institutions of Vietnam and, in particular, how contemporary cultural practices have been shaped and changed by dynamic political, economic and historical events of Twentieth Century Vietnam.

ANT378. Cultures of South Asia. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the many different cultures that constitute the Sourth Asian continent from the earliest State civilization, the Harappa, approximately 5,000 before the present (BP), to the present. In this course we will survey the early pre-history of South Asia; regional adaptations to the environment; historical epochs and dynasties.

ANT393. Anthro Selected Topic. 3-12 Credits.


ANT400. Development of Anthropological Thought . 3 Credits.

Examination of the major theoretical positions in contemporary anthropology, and of their development in the broader context of the history of ideas.

ANT401. Comparative Social Organization . 3 Credits.

A review of basic principles of kinship organization and an examination of major theories of kinship. A consideration of important dimensions of extra-familial social organization.

ANT402. Research Methods in Anthropology . 3 Credits.

A consideration and study of the methods critical to anthropological research. Methods and techniques common to the social sciences and those unique to anthropology are discussed. Basic statistical concepts and experimental design.

ANT403. Religion and Culture . 3 Credits.

Religion and its relationships to culture in different societies. Systems of belief and their translation into ritual and behavior. The role of religion in the value systems of different societies.

ANT404. Political Anthropology . 3 Credits.

This course is a cross-cultural examination of politics and political organization, law and maintenance of order, corporate groups and ideology, the relations of political institutions to other institutions of society, and issues of identity and representations. We will investigate the following questions: What is power? How is it related to ideology and representations of identity? How is power acquired and used and by whom? We will examine whether forms of power and its relation to ideology differ cross-culturally. Theoretically, we will examine how structural and psychological theorists go about answering these questions.

ANT405. Anthropology of Morality. 3 Credits.

Introduces students to the theoretical and philosophical background of the new field of inquiry call the anthropology of moralities. Using ethnographic case studies, we explore the diverse ways that morality is embodied, intertwined with emotions, and experienced across fundamental domains of social and cultural life.

ANT406. Culture, Self & Meaning. 3 Credits.

One can conceive of culture as "whatever it is one has to know or believe in order to act in a way that the members of that society consider appropriate." How we process, store and use our knowledge to act in the world is the subject matter of this course. We investigate the feedback relations between the mind and culture by examining how people of different cultures use cognitive processes to make sense of their lives and the world they live in.

ANT407. Visual Anthropology. 3 Credits.

An introduction to anthropological theories of visual communication and the history of anthropological representations of non-Western "others."

ANT410. Applied Anthropology . 3 Credits.

Applied anthropology attempts to solve human problems and to facilitate change by drawing upon the knowledge about the culture or subculture for which these solutions and innovations are to be designed. Discussed are agricultural, social, educational and health programs that were conducted in the United States and in other countries, ethical and legal issues, and the organization of work.

ANT414. The Anthropology of Performance. 3 Credits.

This course introduces the anthropology of performance. Through cross-cultural examples, it explores the cultural conditions of aesthetic experience, the role of the audience, and how performance can create shared identity, voice protest, or promote ideology.

ANT415. The Archaeology of Death. 3 Credits.

Mortuary data are information on the form and structure of extinct social systems. Mortuary variation is examined using theories devised by archaeologists, anthropologists, and sociologists to interpret prehistoric social and class structure.

ANT421. Gender and Anthropology . 3 Credits.

A study of the historical and contemporary position of women in society in a variety of cultures. A theoretical overview and presentations by guest lecturers.

ANT434. Archaeological Field School . 9 Credits.

Archaeological excavation to train students in the practical application of archaeological theory and method.

ANT461. Seminar in Magic, Witchcraft and Sorcery . 3 Credits.

Beliefs in magic and particularly in witchcraft are placed into general cosmological systems in their cultural contexts so that they are seen to have sociological and psychological functions.

ANT481. Transcultural Health . 3 Credits.

Examination of aspects of culture that affect bio-physical and psychological health status, illness, and therapeutic behavior in diverse and multi-cultural settings. The application of anthropological research and methods to understanding and instituting change in medical systems. Designed for advanced level students without prior training in anthropology.

ANT490. Seminar Four Fields of Anthrop. 3 Credits.

Students will be expected to write a research paper that focuses on one of the four sub-disciplines of anthropology: biological anthropology; archeology; linguistics; and cultural anthropology. The choice of focus is based on the student's own interest. However, the student will also be asked to think of and work out ways to add perspectives from the other three sub-disciplines into their research project.

ANT493. Anthropology Selected Topic. 3-12 Credits.


ANT494. Fieldwork in Anthropology . 1-12 Credits.


ANT495. Indep Study Anthropology. 1-12 Credits.



EVO301. Evolutionary Studies Seminar. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary seminar featuring bi-weekly presentations by experts on evolution. Speakers will represent areas of scholarship that have been addressed in terms of evolutionary themes such as anthropology, biology, English, and psychology.

WOM430. Women in the Caribbean. 3 Credits.

History of Caribbean women in the context of slavery and colonialism, examination of Caribbean feminist persepctives and the impact of race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, language, sexuality, and globalization in forming contemporary Caribbean women's identities.