Tokyo cat cafe (photo by Lorraine Plourde, 2012) Tokyo cat cafe (photo by Lorraine Plourde, 2012) Anthropology is the most cutting-edge and interdisciplinary field in the social sciences.

Anthropology is the study of culture and what it means to be human. We examine everyday life and ways of thinking that shape our identities. Most importantly, we look at the wide diversity of identities within and across cultures, globally.

In no other field do you have the freedom to combine the mind-shifting experiences that come with deep immersion in a foreign culture with political action, philosophical meditation, creative writing, new exciting theories, video production, and music performances.

A Flexible Major

In what other major can you study Japanese anime, organized crime, social justice and activism, magic and witchcraft, gender politics in Nigeria, drag performance, noise music, urban violence, material culture, and drug addiction?

Our anthropology courses focus on many of the topics that, even if they first appear exotic, are directly relevant to our everyday lives. In anthropology, we dig deep to find the concerns that are relevant to us all. These include capitalism, neoliberalism, globalization, science and technology, precarity, religion, activist politics, the arts, and the role that language plays in the ways that we think.

Methods That Get Your Hands Dirty

Anthropologists are compassionate: we study people face-to-face, and we are just as vulnerable as the people we study.

Anthropology’s unique contribution to the social sciences is the methodology called ethnography. Ethnography, also known as fieldwork and participant-observation, means making long-term observations of life in a particular scene as it occurs—and getting involved. Rather than surveys and statistics, ethnography means hanging out, participating, and finding your way within the full density and complexity of the scene you are studying.