Required Courses

There are five core required courses offered on a rotating basis and taken in the first and second year:

ANTH 60201 Orientations to Biological Anthropology

Course Description:
This course will review, engage and analyze major themes, perspectives, and methodologies in biological anthropology and illustrate their connectivity and integration into a broader anthropological approach. The seminar will contain a heavy reading load of historical and current theoretical and practical applications of evolutionary, ecological, physiological, endocrinological, molecular and morphological approaches in the study of humans and other primates, past and present.

ANTH 60202 Orientations to Anthropological Archaeology

Designed in coordination with the other core areas of anthropology, this course prepares you to situate works you encounter within the sweep of anthropologically-oriented archaeological theory and method in the twenty-first century. You will encounter the principal analytic paradigms of the discipline, examining both big picture questions and dominant thematic foci of the field. You are further expected to consider how you might incorporate material from the course into your own planned doctoral work, and to explore integrative bridges between anthropological subdisciplines.

ANTH 60203 Orientations to Sociocultural Anthropology

Designed in coordination with the other core areas of anthropology, this course prepares you to situate works you encounter within the sweep of sociocultural anthropological theory and method in the twenty-first century. You will encounter the principal analytic paradigms of the discipline and will become conversant with both big questions and dominant thematic foci of the field. You are further expected to consider how you might incorporate material from the course into your own planned doctoral work. Shared activities and readings across our graduate courses emphasize the integrative nature of our inquiry.

ANTH 60204 Orientations to Linguistic Anthropology

This course orients you to the theory and practice of anthropological inquiry focused on the constitution of subjects through language use. To what ends do social beings engage in communication and what are obligatory properties of its organization? The seminar examines how language and cultural structure and change afford sometimes opposing limitations and possibilities for linguistically mediated life. We explore the dialectic between creative agency and semiotic systems as material fields in the collective fashioning of meaning and difference through speech, ritual, mass media, and verbal art. You are expected to incorporate concepts from the course into your own planned doctoral work and to explore integrative bridges between anthropological subdisciplines.

ANTH 63500 Research Design in Anthropology

This course is geared towards understanding, developing, assessing, and applying the necessary skills and tools to undertake advanced research in anthropology. Core areas covered include research project development, design and implementation, connecting theory to practice, institutional review boards (human and animal subjects), ethics, grant writing and evaluating, field and lab work, qualitative vs/and quantitative approaches, and related topics. In addition to short written assignments and classroom presentations, students will be required to develop a research proposal and a companion grant proposal over the course of the term in dialogue with the topics covered.

Electives for Spring 2023

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ANTH 60093 DESN Matters, Intro Design Think

MATERIALS FEE. Traditionally, design has been used to connote the process by which the physical artifacts of the objects and communications around us come into being. But over the last decade, design has come more and more to describe not only the development of objects but the process by which one shapes the interactions and experiences of people with the systems, services and organizations around us. A deeply human-centered approach to problem solving, design thinking is centered around identifying and reframing complex problems, and solving them through a more creative, iterative and hands-on approach. This course will follow a series of overlapping modules that will introduce the student to the various steps employed in the design thinking process and becoming familiar with the tools and methodologies used. The course will feature a hybrid seminar format with lectures and case studies followed by hands-on exercises and practical applications of the theories in the form of team projects. At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to articulate the tenants of the design thinking process and apply those methodologies to problems of a variety of disciplines from science and engineering to business and the liberal arts. If there are no seats available, please contact the art department ( and the instructor to indicate interest and to sign-up for the waitlist. The course is the gateway for the Collaborative Innovation minor. Only students enrolled or having completed the course may sign up for the minor. There are only limited seats for juniors and no seats available for seniors with special approval.

ANTH 60200 Psychic Life

What is psychic life? The word psyche has encompassed a range of definitions as it has traveled through time, from notions of mind, soul, spirit, and the conscious and unconscious mind, to a mirror, an asteroid discovered in 1852, a moth or butterfly, and anima mundi, “the animating principle of the universe” itself. Today an additional constellation of concepts may also be drawn into psyche’s orbit, including brain, emotion, feeling, affect, self, subjectivity, person, ego, and experience. As opposed to terms like “mental health,” the concept of psychic life provides a language with which to speak about a range of phenomena across multiple traditions, epistemologies, and histories, without prioritizing any one conceptualization over another or locating the psyche within the boundaries of an individual mind, as distinct from the body and the world. Instead, in this course we will explore psychic life through the various ways in which it is known–as lived-experience; cultural, historical, and political form; object of intervention; and site of experimentation. The approaches engaged in this course draw from psychological anthropology, ethnopsychology, critical global health, history of medicine, cultural studies, affect theory, psychoanalysis, and critical phenomenology with an overarching dedication to de-stigmatizing “mental illness,” and embracing neurodiversity in all its forms. Along the way we will cover topics including madness and reason, psychopolitics, global mental health, the governance of the self, the psychic life of racism, radical mental health collectives and the psychedelic renaissance, as well as a set of phenomena that lie at the limits of experience, such as psychosomatization, solitary confinement, oceanic feeling, and dreaming.

ANTH 60302 Critical Theory

This course is meant to provide a relatively comprehensive introduction to Marxist theory in relation to expressive culture, or the aesthetic in social life. We begin with the writings of Marx and then move historically through various major re-readings of Marxist thought in relation to aesthetic theory.

ANTH 60707 Lies, Damn Lies, & Statistics

This course provides an intensive introduction to statistical methods of use for anthropological research. It will examine why and when to use quantitative methods, and how such methods can be incorporated into a holistic anthropological research design. Topics covered include probability theory, and parametric, non-parametric, and Bayesian principles of hypothesis testing, data ordination, and methods of analyzing non-independent data including network analysis. All course work will be undertaken using free statistical packages available through the R programing language. No prior mathematical or programming experience is needed.

ANTH 60800 Ethno Methods for Peace Resolution

In this course, students will learn to use methods, insights, and techniques of ethnographic fieldwork in order to conduct research in conflict and post-conflict settings. We will investigate topics such as researcher identity and access in the field, research design, bias and ethical considerations, interview techniques, participant observation, writing fieldnotes, coding and analysis, and writing. This class is designed to prepare students for a field experience, therefore the course requires students to formulate and carry out a project in the local setting as the primary focus of learning.

ANTH 60808 GLOBES: Human, Genes Environment

The GLOBES (Global Linkages of Biology, the Environment, and Society) series of courses offered each semester reflect various areas of life science relevant to multiple disciplines. Students should expect to have a different topic offered every semester under the GLOBES heading.

ANTH 60889 Making Science Matter

This graduate level seminar will explore the philosophical, theoretical, and ethical underpinnings for inclusive and collaborative practices in anthropology, particularly research that combines approaches from more than one anthropological subfield. Taking a global approach, students will examine a wide range of case studies in community-based and collaborative anthropology, aiming to identify best practices and develop skills which students can then apply to their own projects. Attention will be paid to the importance of context, including geography, colonial histories and decolonization, war and conflict, economy, and environment, that shape engaged approaches to working for and serving communities instead of working on or studying communities with an extractive approach.

ANTH 61093 D Think Lab

This once weekly lab session is a mandatory requirement for students enrolled in the Design Thinking course. These sessions focus on practical application of the topics and materials presented in class with students working in teams to employ techniques and methodology on assigned projects. This hands-on lab will having students exploring the research, brainstorming, ideation, iterative prototyping and presentation techniques that lead to creative innovation and disruptive breakthroughs applicable to students of any discipline.

ANTH 63101 Bioarchaeology

Bioarchaeology is the study of human skeletal remains for reconstructing the biology and cultures of past peoples. We will use the three large ancient Near Eastern collections housed in the Anthropology department to explore theoretical and methodological issues related to: paleopathology (violence, infection, & nutrition indicators in particular), population mobility (migration & pilgrimage), subsistence (chemical analysis of diet & weaning), paleodemography, childhood health and adaptability, mortuary analysis, daily activities (musculo-skeletal indicators), bimolecular genetics, and ethical issues faced when working with human remains. We will explore the archaeological and/or historical records associated with each collection as well, for an holistic understanding of ancient life at these sites. This will be a very hand-on class requiring active participation.

ANTH 63208 Global Visual Culture

Visual anthropology involves the cross-cultural study of images in communication and the use of images as a method for doing anthropology. This course proceeds through a non-linear integration of visual themes including water, earth, light, fire, flesh and blood with analytical themes including aesthetics, poetics, violence, history, materiality and subjectivity. We explore still photography, film, and popular media in domains from ethnography, social documentary, war photojournalism, to high art. Students watch, read and write about, and generate visual products of their own in multiple media.

ANTH 63257 Lithic Technology

Prehistoric stone tools represent the oldest form of human technology. Much of human prehistory worldwide and throughout ancient times is decipherable primarily through stone tools. Experimental replication of stone technologies is viewed as an essential method to understanding past technologies. Organized as a series of practical laboratory exercises, in this class we deal with a broad survey of the fundamental concepts of stone tool technology, including mechanical properties of tool stone, stone heat treatment, prehistoric quarrying and mining strategies and elementary concepts of flaking stone. Students gain familiarity with these topics in a laboratory context by participating in flint knapping practice and working intensively with several archaeological collections. In addition to the laboratory exercises, students will present the results of a team project based on hands-on manufacture of tools, or analysis of materials from archaeological collections.