The goal of the Anthropology Department is to prompt students to grapple with what it means to be human, through critical engagement with method and theory and the interplay between the two in original research.
About the Major
At Hamilton, anthropology is a holistic discipline. Students and faculty consider and deconstruct inference from language, behavior, material culture, and biological adaptations of humans. They trace how our questions, pursuits, and dilemmas have emerged in ways shaped by power and inequality. Through their coursework and research opportunities, Hamilton students develop the theoretical and methodological toolkits to better understand human diversity.
Students Will Learn To:
- Identify disciplinary fundamentals from multiple sub-disciplinary perspectives
- Interpret anthropological themes from a critical perspective
- Combine practice and methodology through research design
- Apply disciplinary theoretical perspective(s) in an original research project
- Create anthropological knowledge for and with multiple communities
A Sampling of Courses
Anthropology of Food
This course examines how culturally variant practices of food and eating are actively involved in (1) creating and maintaining sociality, (2) constructing and reinforcing identity, and (3) in shaping global relations of power and inequalities. Through reading ethnographies, watching films, and discussing materials in class, this course will introduce you to other ways of viewing, experiencing, and understanding food. It will also provide an opportunity to inquire how our role as consumers reinforces certain global food-ways, impacting many people who remain unseen in the process.
Explore these select courses:
Archaeology offers the opportunity to examine social-ecological systems over long time scales. This course explores different ways of conceptualizing these systems and considers major topics such as: decreasing biodiversity, traditional ecological knowledge, human-environment interactions related to food production, social responses to natural disasters and climate change, and resilience and collapse of past societies. We’ll engage with discussions on sustainability and our ecological impact on the environment.
Meet Our Faculty
Chair, the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professor of Anthropology; Director of Education Studies
language and culture, particularly the ways in which institutions serve as loci for cultural production
Professor of Anthropology, Associate Dean of Faculty
complex hunter-gatherers in the interior Pacific Northwest; the forager/farmer transition in Southwest Asia; rural coastal adaptations in western Ireland
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
origins of inequality; increasing social complexity; mortuary archaeology; landscape archaeology; material culture signaling; public archaeology; mining communities; Europe, Near East, North America
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
China, East Asia, cultural anthropology; bodies, gender, race; food, urban ethnography, consumer culture, comparative ethnography, and history of anthropology
Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
service-learning and volunteerism; international development and education; comparative education; critical pedagogy in global context; race and education in the American South; race theory
Professor of Archaeology Emerita (retired)
colonization of North America, with emphasis on the Intermountain West; Great Basin Prehistory, with emphasis on the Paleoindian period; evolutionary and ecological theory; surface archaeology and shronology; Lithic artifact analysis
Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Anthropology Emerita (retired)
linguistic anthropology; social/cultural anthropology ethnographic focus; U.S. public discourses of diversity; higher education in U.S.; race, class and language ideology in U.S.; Puerto Rican bilingualism in New York
Explore Hamilton Stories
Careers After Hamilton
Hamilton graduates who concentrated in anthropology are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:
- Project Geologist, GEI Consultants
- Physician, Jefferson General Medical & Pediatric Group
- Exhibition Coordinator, Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Vice President of Sales, Bayer Corp.
- History Teacher, Hingham Public Schools
- Attorney, Voices for Children
- Staff Archaeologist, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
- Trial Preparation Assistant, New York County District Attorney’s Office
- Professor, Brandeis University