Academic program

Professor Hamilton (chair); Visiting Assistant Professors Hughes, Rubin, and Strickland

Anthropologists investigate cultural variation, with particular attention to race, gender, ethnicity, political and social change, and human evolution. Anthropology is a comprehensive discipline offering students a broad, comparative, and essentially interdisciplinary approach to the study of human life in all its diversity.

Anthropologists are concerned with understanding human universals, on the one hand, and the uniqueness of individual cultures, on the other. At Bates the program includes archaeological and sociocultural perspectives.

Anthropology attempts to make sense, in a nonethnocentric manner, of everyday life in both familiar and distant settings. In this way the discipline enables students to achieve cultural competence in the broadest sense of the term—the ability to function effectively in complex environments, to analyze material from their own and other cultural perspectives, and to appreciate the value of human diversity. Some recent graduates have pursued careers in public health, medicine, community organizing, environmental law, international development, teaching, journalism, and museum work; some have gone on to graduate work in anthropology or archaeology.

ANTH 101 and 103 are designed as introductions to the discipline of anthropology and as preparation for more advanced courses. Most 200-level courses also admit first-year students, while reflecting a specific field within anthropology. The 300- and 400-level courses are open to all upperclass students, but the latter are especially designed for majors. More information on the anthropology department is available on the website (