Anthropology

Students interested in studying and comparing peoples and cultures from different areas around the world find a fresh analytical perspective in anthropology. Willamette’s anthropology program emphasizes sociocultural anthropology, which is the study of contemporary peoples as investigated directly by anthropologists conducting field research.

The anthropology major is flexible to enable students to complement their in-class learning with learning opportunities outside the classroom, including studying abroad, participating in field schools, and partaking in internships and other avenues of experiential learning. For majors and minors in anthropology, the sequence of courses in theory and methods provides a foundation in anthropological theory while developing  practical skills, such as conducting participant observation and interviews, working out complex social analysis, organizing and analyzing data, communicating effectively, and applying professional standards and ethics.  

Career Opportunities in Anthropology

With its emphasis on both Western and non-Western cultures and its aim to integrate perspectives from the humanities and sciences, anthropology offers valuable training for students in our increasingly interconnected world. A major or minor in anthropology provides excellent preparation for a multitude of careers, especially those which involve multicultural or international communities. Students of anthropology find employment in both public and private sectors, in fields as diverse as museum curation and cultural resource management, social work, education, public health and medicine, refugee resettlement, business and more

Facilities and equipment available to the department include classrooms, offices and instructional aids in Eaton Hall, library holdings, and Native American art collections in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Requirements for the Anthropology Major (9 Credits)

Core courses

  • ANTH 150 Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 371W Survey of Anthropological Theory

Six (6) elective courses at least three (3) chosen from ANTH courses below:

Up to three (3) electives from approved list of courses in other departments or from study abroad; two (2) of these three (3) must be at the 200-level or above.

  • ANTH 144 Topics in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 231 Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 232 Peoples and Cultures of Africa
  • ANTH 235 Cultures of Mexico and Ecuador
  • ANTH 258 Selected Area Studies
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar
  • ANTH 335 Visual Anthropology
  • ANTH 344 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 351 Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and the Environment
  • ANTH 356 Language and Culture
  • ANTH 358 Special Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 394 Internship in Anthropology
  • ARCH 237 Introduction to Global Archaeology
  • ARCH 337 Archaeological Theories and Methods
  • ARTH 202 Introduction to Art Museum Studies
  • ASIA 210 Making and Playing of Traditional Musical Instruments
  • ASIA 258 Topics in Asian Studies
  • BIOL 215 Human Evolution
  • CHNSE 254 Folklore and Identity
  • CHNSE 352 Rites of Passage in Chinese Societies
  • FREN 341 Oral Tradition and Performance in African Literature
  • FREN 432 Language in Society
  • GERM 241 German Cinema and Visual Culture
  • IDS 205 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program
  • IDS 230 Rites of Passage in Japan and the United States
  • IDS 250W Narratives of Migration: From Islamic Spain to the US/Mexico Border (1)
  • IDS 396 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program Internship
  • JAPN 201W Modern Japanese Society and Culture
  • JAPN 340 The Japanese Cinema
  • LAS 380 Latin American Cinema
  • PHEAL 301 Public Health Ethics
  • REL 336 Topics in Women in World Religions
  • REL 352 Shamanism
  • RUSS 233W Russian Culture: Russian Ways and Views of Russia
  • RUSS 235 Russian and Soviet Cinema
  • SOC 114 Racism & White Supremacy in the U.S.
  • SOC 121 Gender in Society
  • SOC 124 Global Sociology: Nation/Empire/Race
  • SOC 145 Latina/o Sociology
  • SOC 201 Navigating Social Worlds
  • SOC 310 Human Rights: Research and Advocacy
  • SOC 328 Families
  • SOC 355 Health and Society
  • SOC 358 Special Topics in Sociology
  • SOC 362 Sexualities
  • SOC 384 Transnational Feminism
  • SOC 387 Pan-African Revolutions and Black Liberation

Senior Year Experience

Requirements for the Anthropology Minor (5 Credits)

Core courses

  • ANTH 150 Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 371W Survey of Anthropological Theory

Three (3) elective courses, at least two (2) chosen from ANTH courses below:

Up to one (1) elective from approved list of courses in other departments or from study abroad.

  • ANTH 144 Topics in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 231 Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 232 Peoples and Cultures of Africa
  • ANTH 235 Cultures of Mexico and Ecuador
  • ANTH 258 Selected Area Studies
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar
  • ANTH 335 Visual Anthropology
  • ANTH 344 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 351 Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and the Environment
  • ANTH 356 Language and Culture
  • ANTH 358 Special Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 394 Internship in Anthropology
  • ARCH 237 Introduction to Global Archaeology
  • ARCH 337 Archaeological Theories and Methods
  • ARTH 202 Introduction to Art Museum Studies
  • ASIA 210 Making and Playing of Traditional Musical Instruments
  • ASIA 258 Topics in Asian Studies
  • BIOL 215 Human Evolution
  • CHNSE 254 Folklore and Identity
  • CHNSE 352 Rites of Passage in Chinese Societies
  • FREN 341 Oral Tradition and Performance in African Literature
  • FREN 432 Language in Society
  • GERM 241 German Cinema and Visual Culture
  • IDS 205 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program
  • IDS 230 Rites of Passage in Japan and the United States
  • IDS 250W Narratives of Migration: From Islamic Spain to the US/Mexico Border (1)
  • IDS 396 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program Internship
  • JAPN 201W Modern Japanese Society and Culture
  • JAPN 340 The Japanese Cinema
  • LAS 380 Latin American Cinema
  • PHEAL 320 Public Health Ethics
  • REL 336 Topics in Women in World Religions
  • REL 352 Shamanism
  • RUSS 233W Russian Culture: Russian Ways and Views of Russia
  • RUSS 235 Russian and Soviet Cinema
  • SOC 114 Racism & White Supremacy in the U.S.
  • SOC 121 Gender in Society
  • SOC 124 Global Sociology: Nation/Empire/Race
  • SOC 145 Latina/o Sociology
  • SOC 201 Navigating Social Worlds
  • SOC 310 Human Rights: Research and Advocacy
  • SOC 328 Families
  • SOC 355 Health and Society
  • SOC 358 Special Topics in Sociology
  • SOC 362 Sexualities
  • SOC 384 Transnational Feminism
  • SOC 387 Pan-African Revolutions and Black Liberation

Indicators of Achievement

The major in the Department of Anthropology is designed around five curricular goals.

The Student Learning Outcomes of the Anthropology Department Include

  1. A foundation in the anthropological perspective--especially that of sociocultural anthropology--as represented by the Department’s introductory courses, area courses, and topical courses
  2. Ability to apply anthropological theory and concepts
  3. Proficiency with ethnographic methods, in particular techniques of participant- observation, interviewing, developing of rapport, and sensitivity to ethical issues
  4. Discipline-based writing skills, including the writing of ethnography and writing based upon library research, utilizing the style guide of the American Anthropological Association
  5. Recognition of the contributions of anthropology towards practical problem-solving (i.e., applied anthropology.)

Faculty

Visiting Faculty

Professors Emeriti


Course Listings

ANTH 144 Topics in Cultural Anthropology (1)

This course provides the flexibility to offer special topics of interest in anthropology at the introductory level. The course may study a particular anthropological problem, focus upon a particular cultural or geographic area, or consider a particular methodology or school of thought. Designation of specific topic and/or approach will be made at the time of the course offering. May be repeated for credit with different topic.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV
  • Offering: As Appropriate
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 150 Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology (1)

Introduces students to cultural anthropology, the study of cultures from various parts of the world, including the U.S. Through debates, close readings of cultural case studies, and problem-solving, students critically evaluate anthropologists' approaches to topics such as gender, ecology, power, and ritual. Possible questions: How to explain gender inequalities? Are universal morals and cultural relativism at odds? Is human behavior learned or inherited?

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV, PDE
  • Prerequisite: 1st and 2nd year students only
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 199 Topics in Anthropology (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Anthropology. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 231 Native North American Cultures (1)

This course offers a survey of the dynamic, changing cultures of Native North America, from the time of the first peopling of the continent to the present day. The approach emphasizes the diversity of these cultures, as well as the complexity of the relationships between Native American and non-native peoples. Particular attention given to Oregon and the Northwest.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV, PDE
  • Prerequisite: ANTH 150 recommended
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Dobkins

ANTH 232 Peoples and Cultures of Africa (1)

This course explores Africa's cultural diversity from an interdisciplinary perspective. To situate specific African groups in their local and global context, the course begins with a study of African geography and history. The bulk of the course is then devoted to the study of present-day Africa, including ethnographic studies on language, literature, social organization, religion, politics and popular culture. The last unit of the class focuses on the causes and consequences of Africa's current upheavals and humanitarian crises.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV, PDE
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Millen

ANTH 235 Cultures of Mexico and Ecuador (1)

This course focuses on the cultures of Mexico and Ecuador, with the primary focus on Mexico, including the experience of Mexican-Americans. Topics include ethnicity, gender, class, religion, healing, immigration, and politics. Many of the units are organized around first-person accounts, as read through the lens of anthropological theories.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Wogan

ANTH 258 Selected Area Studies (1)

This course enables faculty and students to study a specific geographic or cultural area not normally covered in existing curricula. Anthropological perspectives will be applied to such topics as history, environment, family, religion, popular culture and the arts, and current issues in the area under study. Designation of specific area focus will be made at the time of the course offering. Foci, readings, and assignments will vary with instructor. May be repeated for credit with different area focus.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 299 Topics in Anthropology (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Anthropology. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar (1)

This seminar is designed to introduce students to the field of museum anthropology and to the theoretical and practical dimensions of museum studies. As an applied research experience, it offers the opportunity to do hands-on work with the Native American collection and exhibition program at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Topics include the application of contemporary anthropological theory to work in museums, particularly in terms of issues of cultural representation, ethics, fieldwork, and museum display. Students will learn and apply skills in collections and archival management, exhibition development, and museum public programming.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences; World Engagement: PDE
  • Prerequisite: ANTH 231 or ANTH 351, and consent of instructor
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Dobkins

ANTH 335 Visual Anthropology (1)

This course focuses on a variety of visual texts, from documentary films about non-Western cultures to fictional films made in the U.S. Special emphasis is placed on questions about visual representations of other cultures, and the way audience responses to visual texts reflect cultural values. Students will carry out independent fieldwork projects, in some cases making use of video-recording technologies.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: One previous anthropology course; preference given to Anthropology Majors and Minors
  • Offering: As Appropriate
  • Instructor: Wogan

ANTH 344 Medical Anthropology (1)

This course introduces students to medical anthropology. By exploring human health, sickness and healing from diverse theoretical and cross-cultural perspectives, students will learn how different peoples around the world conceptualize the human body, explain the causes of disease, manage patients and healers, contend with stress, and articulate the meaning and origin of social suffering. The course has a service learning component.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology and/or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Millen

ANTH 351 Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and the Environment (1)

This course focuses upon environmental and human rights issues affecting indigenous peoples worldwide. Using the cross-cultural, comparative and field-based perspectives that distinguish anthropology, this course examines some of the most pressing problems facing the world's indigenous peoples, explores strategies used by these groups in facing human rights and environmental violations, and offers students the opportunity to study about and take action on these issues. Case studies of specific indigenous groups will be drawn from different world areas, including North and South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV, PDE
  • Prerequisite: prior course work in Anthropology or Environmental Studies required
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Dobkins, Staff

ANTH 353 Myth, Ritual and Religion (1)

Religion is found in some form in every culture and the discipline of anthropology has been much concerned with exploring and understanding the global diversity of religious expression. This course introduces the cross-cultural study of myth, ritual and religion through case studies drawn from around the world.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: Prior course work in Anthropology or Religion recommended
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 356 Language and Culture (1)

This course introduces students to the major issues and methodologies in the study of language in its cultural context. In particular, the course focuses on linguistic questions related to the following: 1) gender; 2) power; 3) ethnic, racial, and national identifies; 4) literacy; 5) poetic, verbal performance; and 6) intercultural communication. Analysis often centers on video and cassette texts from films, conversations, and the students' own fieldwork data.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: Previous coursework in Anthropology recommended
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Wogan

ANTH 358 Special Topics in Anthropology (1)

This course provides the flexibility to offer special topics of interest in anthropology. The course may study a particular subfield of anthropology, or a particular anthropological problem in depth.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: ANTH 150 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: As Appropriate
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 371W Survey of Anthropological Theory (1)

This course surveys the history of anthropological theory, with an emphasis upon contemporary schools and movements within the discipline. Topics range from the nineteenth-century intellectual history of the discipline to current trends and critiques in anthropology. Appropriate for students of anthropology and others interested in cultural studies or theory in the social sciences.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: ANTH 150 plus one other Anthropology course, Junior or Senior status
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 394 Internship in Anthropology (0.25-1)

This course provides an opportunity for practical experience (minimum 12 hours per week) in an off-campus setting related to the study of anthropology and to the student's emerging research and professional interests. The student will be supervised by an on-site professional as well as a faculty member. A paper, journal, and periodic consultations with the faculty member are required. The course does not fulfill the senior experience requirement.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: The internship is open to advanced majors in anthropology only; completion of ANTH 371W is recommended.
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 399 Topics in Anthropology (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Anthropology. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 429 Topics in Anthropology (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Anthropology. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 490 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

This course provides the opportunity to conduct a major research project which cannot otherwise be pursued through any existing course in the department's curriculum. Students must have standing in anthropology and will work under faculty supervision. This course cannot replace ANTH 499W Senior Seminar.

  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

ANTH 499W Senior Research Methods Seminar (1)

Provides intensive training in ethnographic methods. Topics include ethics, rapport, gathering and recording data (focusing upon techniques of participant-observation and interviewing), qualitative analysis, and the writing of ethnography. Each student will design and carry out an independent, semester-long field research project, resulting in a final paper. Fulfills the Senior Experience requirement for Anthropology majors.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: ANTH 371W and senior standing in Anthropology
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Dobkins, Millen, Wogan

ANTH 499H Senior Honors Seminar (1)

Senior Honors Seminar provides anthropology majors the option of extending their required ANTH 499W Senior Research Methods Seminar for a full year in order to complete a more ambitious and rigorous senior project utilizing ethnographic methods. Enrollment is by application only, and accepted students will be expected to attend an additional semester of ANTH 499W Senior Research Methods Seminar to receive guidance and to provide peer mentoring for other anthropology majors.

  • Prerequisite: ANTH 499W and application
  • Offering: Application
  • Instructor: Dobkins, Millen, Moro, Wogan

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