Anthropology is the scientific and humanistic study of cultural, physical, historical, and linguistic differences and similarities among humans. The discipline also seeks to understand and explain contexts of social inequalities by investigating power dynamics and identity constructions such as nationality, class, race, gender, and ethnicity. The program at Colby offers an introduction to cultural anthropology’s field methods, scope, and critical comparative analysis. Students receive training in anthropological theory and methodology and in the discipline’s engagement in solving social problems; firsthand experiences and participation in field programs investigating cultural diversity are encouraged. The department offers a major and a minor in anthropology.
Chair, Professor Catherine Besteman
Professors Catherine Besteman and Mary Beth Mills; Associate Professor Chandra Bhimull; Assistant Professors Britt Halvorson, Suzanne Menair, David Strohl, and Winifred Tate
Requirements for the Major in Anthropology
Ten courses, including: Anthropology 112, 313, 333, and one advanced seminar taken in the second semester of the senior year and chosen from courses at the 400 level; one culture area course normally selected from courses designated as such in the course description (consult your advisor for appropriate selections in any given semester); five elective courses, including at least two at the 300 level or equivalent. In addition to Anthropology 112, a maximum of one other anthropology course taught at the 100 level may be counted toward the major.
The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses offered toward the major. No courses for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Honors in Anthropology
Seniors majoring in anthropology may apply for the honors program during the first two weeks of the fall semester. In addition to securing a faculty sponsor and department approval, the student must have a 3.25 overall grade point average and a 3.60 grade point average in the major. The program involves independent research conducted in Anthropology 483, 484. Honors normally will be taken for six to eight credits over two semesters, and the final product will be a thesis of 50 to 70 pages of superior quality.
Requirements for the Minor in Anthropology
Six courses, including Anthropology 112; one culture area course normally selected from courses designated as such in the course description (consult your advisor for appropriate selections in any given semester); and four additional courses in anthropology, two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. In addition to Anthropology 112, a maximum of one other anthropology course taught at the 100 level may be counted toward the minor.
The point scale for retention of the minor applies to all courses offered toward the minor. No courses for the minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Attention is called to the major in classical civilization-anthropology (requirements are listed in the “Classics” section of the catalogue).
Note: Anthropology 112 fulfills both the social sciences area (S) and the diversity (I) requirements. Subsequent courses, requiring 112 as prerequisite, do not carry those designations.