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Anthropologists take an integrated approach to understanding human diversity--both biological and cultural--through complementary fields of biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology.
Special faculty interests include peoples of Native America, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean; Illinois prehistory; language; gender; medical anthropology; dance and artistic expression; visual culture; museum studies; clothing and textiles; ethnohistory; political anthropology; religion; environmental archaeology; geoarchaeology and GIS; zooarchaeology; and primate behavior and ecology. Distinctive features of the program include opportunities for supervised archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork, training in museum work in conjunction with the Ethnology Museum Laboratory, field trips and involvement in community projects, and participation by qualified majors in the Alpha Chapter of Illinois of Lambda Alpha, the National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology. The Anthropology Department administers interdisciplinary minors in Forensic Sciences and Native American Studies. In addition, the faculty participates in interdisciplinary programs such as Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, Museum Studies, and Black Studies.
Anthropology majors are employed t in secondary education, private business and industry, cultural resource management, contract archaeology, environmental studies, museums, health and human services, nongovernmental organizations, and legal and government agencies. Anthropology majors may pursue graduate degrees at both the masters and doctoral level; such degrees lead to careers in university-level teaching, basic and applied research, or museum affiliated work. Because of the diversity of subjects and methods in anthropology, students frequently combine anthropology with other disciplines such as history, sociology, geography, earth science, biology, psychology, medicine, law, and the arts. Such combinations enable students to understand complex community problems and many issues of contemporary life and to expand their opportunities for rewarding careers.
Anthropology, the study of humans, is at the core of a comprehensive and globalized education, and is incorporated into aspects of everyday life. The mission of the Department of Anthropology is to educate students towards an understanding and appreciation for human diversity, and in holistic biological and culturally based approaches to local and world issues. The Department of Anthropology does this through an integration of theoretical and applied frameworks based in experiential learning, promoted by active faculty engagement in research and community involvement.
To provide excellence in undergraduate education in anthropology, and to lead our community, at the university and beyond, to recognize the value of anthropology in all spheres of life.
Baccalaureate students in Anthropology will:
1. demonstrate conceptual and applied knowledge of the four basic subfields of anthropology (Knowledge; Integration and Application of Knowledge)
2. demonstrate specialized knowledge in at least one of the four subfields of anthropology (Knowledge; Integration and Application of Knowledge)
3. effectively communicate disciplinary knowledge orally and in writing (Communication)
4. demonstrate the ability to identify, articulate and address problems and questions using anthropological models and methods (Problem Solving/Framing; Life-long Learning; Integration and Application of Knowledge)
5. demonstrate the ability to think critically about theoretical and practical anthropological issues (Critical Thinking; Life-long Learning)
6. demonstrate awareness of anthropological ethics (Citizenship; Life-long Learning)
7. demonstrate awareness of the importance and value of sociocultural and biological diversity (Citizenship; Life-long Learning)