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Department of Anthropology

B-4 Cooper
(585) 395-2682

Co-Chairs and Associate Professors: Charles R. Edwards and LouAnn Wurst; Professors: Margaret B. Blackman, Douglas A. Feldman, Jack R. Rollwagen.

What is Anthropology?
Anthropology is the systematic study of humans. Its primary concerns are to:

  • understand the origins of human behavior and culture over 60 million years of primate evolution and six million years of human evolution;
  • explain the diversity of adaptive strategies, ways of life and value systems developed by humans as they confront the world’s diverse natural, social and artificial environments; and
  • put this understanding to practical use in analyzing and solving modern societal problems.

Career Options
The anthropology major and minor provide excellent preparation for postgraduate training and/or careers in applied anthropology, museum work, public and contractual archaeology, education, forensic science, law, health/medicine, international business, marketing, human services, tourism and other fields that require an understanding of human diversity and ­human adaptability.

Programs and Courses
The program in anthropology at SUNY Brockport is geared toward a core of motivated majors and minors. It stresses interaction between students and faculty; hands-on laboratory, field and career experience; training in research methodology; and mastery of analytical and communication skills. The anthropology major offers two options, one with 37 credits and the other with 43 credits. The department also offers an 18-credit Personalized Applied Minor in Anthropology (PAMA) and a general minor. Courses cover four areas:

  1. Physical (biological) anthropology: reconstructing human and primate evolution, and understanding contemporary human adaptation;
  2. Archaeology: studying culture through material remains with the aim of ordering and describing the events of the past and explaining the meaning of those events;
  3. Cultural anthropology: understanding cultural diversity and contemporary sociocultural processes; and
  4. Applied anthropology: putting these perspectives to work in identifying, analyzing and solving contemporary human societal problems in fields such as medicine, international development, preservation of cultural and environmental resources, and human services.

Major in Anthropology
The Department of Anthropology offers a major that gives students an opportunity to choose between two options depending on their curricular and career needs. Details of the two options are described below.

Major Requirements

Option I. Liberal Arts Anthropology Option (37 credits):
A traditional “stand-alone” major for students who are interested in anthropology but who will probably not enter anthropology as a career, per sé. Such students might include those with another major outside of anthropology or students in pre-professional programs such as pre-law, pre-medical, elementary and secondary education certification. Option I provides students with a broad perspective on anthropology by including within it courses in each of three sub-disciplines (socio/cultural anthropology, physical/biological anthropology and archaeology).

Number Option I Major Requirements: (37 credits) Credits
A. Introductory courses:
ANT 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3
ANT 110 Introduction to Archaeology 3
ANT 120 Introduction to Human Evolution 3
B. Intermediate core courses:
ANT 200 Ethnographic Experience 3
ANT 370 Anthropological Literature 3
ANT 395 Anthropology and Careers 1
C. Three sub discipline upper-division courses: (9 credits)
400 level Physical Anthropology Course 3
400 level Archaeology Course 3
400 level Cultural Anthropology Course 3
D. Anthropological methods: (3 credits)
ANT 394 Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology 3
E. Additional courses:
Chosen in consultation with advisor to complete total credits 9

Option II. Anthropology as a Profession/Pre-graduate School Option (43 credits)

An expanded major for students who will probably (1) enter the work force directly as practitioner/applied anthropologists, Cultural Resources Management (CRM) staff, CRM archaeologists, museum staff, Peace Corps volunteers, etc. and/or (2) attend graduate programs in anthropology. This option is founded on the assumption that potential employers and graduate schools seek superior students with a work ethic, research and communication skills, and practical experience that they can translate immediately into the job or graduate school. Option II differs from Option I in requiring that students complete an additional collateral course and a senior thesis project. In addition, this option requires that students have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 in anthropology courses in order to register for the Senior Thesis.

Option II Major Requirements: (43 credits) Credits

Number Option II Major Requirements: (43 credits) Credits
A. Introductory courses:
ANT 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3
ANT 110 Introduction to Archaeology 3
ANT 120 Introduction to Human Evolution 3
B. Intermediate core courses:
ANT 200 Ethnographic Experience 3
ANT 370 Anthropological Literature 3
ANT 395 Anthropology and Careers 1
C. Three sub-discipline upper-division courses: (9 credits)
400 level Physical Anthropology Course 3
400 level Archaeology Course 3
400 level Cultural Anthropology Course 3
D. Anthropological methods: (3 credits)
ANT 394 Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology 3
E. Senior Thesis:
ANT 496 Senior Thesis Project 3
F. Required collateral course:
SOC 200 Social Statistics, PSH 202 Introduction to Statistics for Psychology, or equivalent course in computer applications 3
G. Additional courses:
Chosen in consultation with advisor to complete total credits 9

Strongly recommended for Options I and II:
Courses in foreign language (four semesters), statistics, computer applications, advanced writing, semester-abroad program, internship or co-op (ANT 462 or BCE 322). For students in ­Option II, courses ancillary to anthropology may be suggested by advisor if these are relevant to ­career or graduate school goals. For example, anthropology majors intending to pursue careers and/or graduate work in areas such as museum work, physical anthropology, paleontology, archaeology, conservancy/conservation, medicine, and law will be advised to take additional courses in disciplinary areas relevant to their career goals. Majors may increase chances for a successful career by:

  • combining anthropology with a professional or pre-professional program such as teacher certification, pre-law, or pre-medical;
  • minoring in a field that complements anthropology (art, communications, psychology, etc.);
  • developing skills in areas outside of, but relevant to, anthropology, such as computer science, foreign languages, technical writing or advanced composition;
  • completing an internship, field project or service in an area relevant to anthropology; and/or
  • experiencing another culture through a credit-bearing semester abroad.

Minor Programs in Anthropology
The Personalized Applied Minor in Anthropology (PAMA) is a contractual program that ­allows students to relate anthropology to their major or career interests outside of anthropology. PAMA students are assigned a faculty sponsor in anthropology with interests and training relevant to the concerns of the student’s major field. The student and faculty member then develop a contractual minor of 18 credits which must include an integrative ANT 499 Independent Study course taken in the senior year.

The department also offers a general minor for students who have not chosen a career concentration or major, or who simply want a broad exposure to anthropology. The general ­minor consists of 18 credits in anthropology distributed as follows:

  1. ANT 100;
  2. One of the following: ANT 110 or 120; and
  3. Four electives selected in consultation with the departmental advisor.

Anthropology Courses

ANT 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (A,O,S). Introduces basic concepts of cultural anthropology by relating them to pressing local and worldwide problems. Includes topics such as the relationships between people and their environments; the impact of technological modernization on traditional cultures; and the practical applications of anthropology in cross-cultural communication, health, economic development and ecology. 3 Cr. Every Semester

ANT 110 Introduction to Archaeology (A,O,S). Provides an overview of the field of anthropological archaeology while emphasizing the relationship between the past and the present. Topics include the history of archaeology, methods and techniques used to recover archaeological data, and an examination of how data are used to understand and interpret human existence in the past, and exploration of particular case studies and important issues in contemporary archaeology. 3 Cr. Every Semester

ANT 120 Introduction to Human Evolution (A,D,N). Surveys ecological, biological and behavioral processes underlying human evolution and shaping human behavior. Topics include human's place in the natural world, genetic mechanisms, reconstructing the fossil record, human adaptation and the origins of human culture. 3 Cr. Every Semester

ANT 200 The Ethnographic Experience (A,S). Prerequisite: ANT 100. Provides an introduction to the study of cultures through selected case studies, or ethnographies. Also provides an in-depth view of specific cultures and the anthropological analysis of them; introduces students to theories and methodologies that frame ethnographic studies, and present a sample of the best in contemporary ethnographic writing. 3 Cr. Fall

ANT 261 Cross-Cultural Sexuality (A,D,O). Examines human sexuality from a cross-cultural perspective. Reviews the evolution of sex, history of sex research, marriage, incest, sexual practices, gender issues, gender diversity, homosexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, sex industry work, and concepts of physical attractiveness and modesty for Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Oceania, Latin America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe. 3 Cr.

ANT 262 The Female: Myth and Reality (A,C,S,W). Cross-listed as WMS 262. Explores the roles and status of females from a cross-cultural perspective; how females perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others in different societies; and biological differences between males and females as these are used to arrive at socially significant distinctions. 3 Cr.

ANT 301 Native Americans: Contemporary Issues (A,D,I). Explores the major issues facing Native Americans (Indians and Eskimos) in the United States today. Emphasizes understanding the varied perspectives of the major parties involved in each issue with particular attention to the Native American position. 3 Cr. Fall

ANT 307 Gendering the Past (A,I,W). Cross-listed as WMS 307. Explores the relationship between past and present in the context of interpreting gender roles, with a focus on gender in the present versus gender in the past. Teaches students how to evaluate claims or interpretations based on historic or archaeological data. Introduces students to a wide range of historically conditioned gender roles. By examining this diversity, allows students to realize that gender is not a simple or natural construct. 3 Cr.

ANT 313 Culture and Disability (A,I,W). Examines "disability" as a cultural construct whose meaning is changing in light of greater public awareness of disability, activism on the part of people labeled as "disabled," and technological changes. Looks at disability as a reflection of cultural diversity in America, and assesses ways to understand how this diversity can help us maximize all our potentials in a multicultural society. 3 Cr. Fall

ANT 314 Cross Cultural Perspectives on Aging (A,I). Examines cultural factors underlying diverse ways of growing old and living as an aged person; myths and stereotypes about the elderly; theories relevant to age and aging; the impact of gender, class and ethnicity on aging; and issues in the US relevant to aging. 3 Cr.

ANT 315 The Migration Experience: Cultural Perspective (A,I,W). Economic change, war and political upheaval have created an increasing number of voluntary and involuntary migrants in the contemporary world. Using the holistic approach and cultural insight of anthropology, looks at the migration experience and the role of gender within it, from the decision to leave through adaptation and the resettlement. Considers reproductive, household and extra domestic roles and shifting power relations. 3 Cr. Spring

ANT 316 Food and Culture (A,I,W). Because the consumption of food serves our most basic need, explores how food is one of the most culturally elaborated areas of human experience. Also explores the production, preparation and consumption of food as guided by cultural rules and taboos that define social relations, ethnic identity, gender, and class. Examines contemporary issues that center on food, among them food policy, hunger, obesity, sustainable agriculture and the genetic modification of foodstuffs. 3 Cr.

ANT 317 Culture and Aids (A,D,I). Explores the cultural, epidemiologic, political, psychological, philosophical, economic, public health, and public policy dimensions of HIV/AIDS on a global level, especially in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. Focuses upon women and children with AIDS, men who have sex with men and other at-risk populations, HIV prevention strategies, theoretical issues, social stigma and discrimination, the influence of the pandemic on the other aspects of society and culture, and the meaning and importance of HIV/AIDS. 3 Cr.

ANT 321 Culture Change (A,I,W). Studies modern world cultures and societies in conflict. Gives particular attention to how the economic, political and social interests of major international powers produce conflict and change throughout the developing world. 3 Cr. Spring

ANT 330 World Poverty and Underdevelopment (A,C,I). Investigates the systemic nature of underdevelopment as a process; and its causes and its implications for people in all of the world's sociocultural systems. Uses a number of issues to examine the systemic nature of underdevelopment. 3 Cr. Fall

ANT 332 China in Transition (A,I). Explores the social, cultural, political and economic changes that have taken place in China in the 20th century. Examines how these changes have affected traditional Chinese society and discusses their continuing impact on social life, cultural values and social behavior in contemporary China. 3 Cr. Every Semester

ANT 363 Witchcraft and Magic (A,C,W). Examines anthropological perspectives on the witchcraft phenomenon. Studies witchcraft beliefs and practices in the 16th and 17th centuries from an ethnohistorical perspective and magic practices among non-Western cultures in Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America. Provides a cross-cultural comparison of witchcraft beliefs and practices in past and present societies. 3 Cr. Fall

ANT 370 Anthropological Theory (A). Prerequisite: ANT 100. Gives students a broad understanding of the major American, British and French theoretical schools and anthropology theorists, including cultural materialism, structural-functionalism, structuralism, postmodernism, gender theory, personality and cultural evaluationary theory, diffusionism, cultural ecology, cultural relativism, and globalization. 3 Cr. Spring

ANT 380 Intermediate Topics in Cultural Anthropology (A). May or may not have prerequisites. Topic will vary from semester to semester and cover such areas as nutrition, art, religion, the ethnography of specific regions or ethnic groups, etc. 1-6 Cr.

ANT 381 Intermediate Topics in Archaeology (A). May or may not have prerequisites. Topic will very from semester to semester and may cover such areas as museum studies, the archaeology of specific geographical regions, etc. 1-6 Cr.

ANT 382 Intermediate Topics in Physical Anthropology (A). May or may not have prerequisites. Topic will very from semester to semester and might include such areas as the human adaptation, primatology, the paleontology of specific geographic regions, etc. 1-6 Cr.

ANT 394 Research in Cultural Anthropology (A). Prerequisite: ANT 100. Provides an introduction to the art and science of field research in cultural anthropology. Provides hands-on experience with selected research techniques and analysis of data. 3 Cr. Spring

ANT 395 Anthropology and Careers (A). Explores career selection directly relevant to the major as well as the application of anthropological training to a broad range of careers. Students explore career possibilities through use of the Career Services Center and other local resources, personal contacts with alumni and others, and guest lectures by practicing anthropologists. Develops skills in curriculum planning, resume writing, job searching. 1 Cr. Fall

ANT 401 Native American Art and Culture (A). Prerequisite: ANT 100 or ARH 201, or instructor's permission. Native-American visual arts (North of Mexico) viewed within the context of Native American cultures and the frame work of anthropology. Explores Native-American arts by culture areas—their roots, traditional expressions, changes with European contact, and contemporary expressions. 3 Cr. Spring

ANT 405 Applied Anthropology (A). Prerequisite: ANT 100. As a subfield using anthropological perspectives to analyze and provide solutions for societal problems in the US and globally, uses case studies and hands-on projects. Explores the theoretical, practical and ethical implications of applied anthropology. Intended primarily for students who will ultimately address a variety of applied problems in multicultural or non-Western settings. 3 Cr.

ANT 412 Medical Anthropology (A,I,W). Explores the implications of cultural and ethnic diversity for understanding and dealing with health problems in America and around the globe. Emphasizes the importance of cross-cultural understanding and communication for health care, nutrition, education and cultural change. 3 Cr. Spring

ANT 440 Historical Archaeology (A). Surveys the field of American historical archaeology. Examines the methods and theories for the archaeological investigation of the recent past. Explores the insights gained on particular social issues, such as class, gender, ethnicity, and slavery, where archaeology has played a role. 3 Cr.

ANT 441 Archaeological Analysis (A). Prerequisite: ANT 100 or 442, or instructor's permission. Presents contemporary laboratory methods used to identify patterns in artifacts and field data recovered from archaeological site surveys and excavations. Students learn to analyze, interpret, manage, and conserve artifacts and field data. 3 Cr. Spring

ANT 442 Field Methods in Archaeology (A). As a field-based course, introduces students to the methods used by archaeologists to collect data in the field. Allows students to participate in an archaeological dig at an actual site off-campus, and perform all the duties involved in that work, with activities including survey mapping, testing, excavation, documenting and recording finds, and processing artifacts in the lab. 1-6 Cr.

ANT 445 Teaching Archaeology in Elementary Schools (A). Archaeology is a unique discipline that integrates techniques of the natural sciences with a critical inquiry approach found in the social sciences to collect data and interpret aspects of the human past. Explores strategies archaeologists use to collect, process and interpret their data. Provides the framework to explore strategies for integrating archaeology as a way of knowing across the elementary curriculum. 3 Cr.

ANT 447 North American Archaeology (A,C). Provides an overview of the history of humans in North America focusing on the United States, from the earliest settlement to the recent historical period. Explores recent research on issues such as peopling of the New World, variation in gatherer - hunter adaptation, the development of agriculture, the nature of Chiefdoms, the rise of the state, and modern political aspects of the archaeology of indigenous peoples. 3 Cr.

ANT 450 Primate Behavior and Adaptation (A). Explores the evolution, behavior, and adaptations of living non-human primates, with particular emphasis on (1) field studies of free ranging primates; (2) social and protocultural behavior in primates; and (3) relevance of primates for understanding the roots of animal behavior in general and human behavior in specific. 3 Cr.

ANT 456 Forensic Anthropology (A). Explores how forensic anthropology applies skeletal analysis in a variety of settings from criminal investigation to reconstructing what really happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Uses case studies, laboratory exercises and field simulations to explore the roles and techniques of forensic anthropology. Complements interests in anthropology, criminal justice, pre-law, pre-medical, psychology and biology. 4 Cr.

ANT 461 Anthropology Practicum (B). Prerequisite: departmental approval. Allows qualified anthropology majors or minors to earn credit through internships, cooperative education programs, etc. that involve applying anthropological perspectives in work settings (see also BCE 322 listed above). 1-6 Cr.

ANT 462 Anthropology Internship (A). Prerequisite: departmental approval. Allows students to conduct an internship in an off-campus work setting, nonprofit organization, health or social services setting, museum or zoo. Includes the department's Cultural Anthropology Intern Program in which students maintain a field journal, meet periodically with a faculty advisor, and write a final report. 3-6 Cr. Every Semester

ANT 480 Advanced Topics in Cultural Anthropology (A). Similar to ANT 380, except usually has prerequisites or requires instructor's permission to enroll. 1-6 Cr.

ANT 481 Advanced Topics in Archaeology (A). Similar to ANT 381 except usually has prerequisites or requires instructor's permission to enroll. 1-6 Cr.

ANT 482 Advanced Topics in Physical Anthropology (A). Similar to ANT 382 except that ANT 482/582 usually has prerequisites or requires instructor's permission to enroll. 1-6 Cr.

ANT 496 Senior Thesis (A). Prerequisite: ANT 394. Requires students to design, carry out, write and defend a field, laboratory or library research project in collaboration with or under the supervision of an anthropology faculty member. 3 Cr.

ANT 499 Independent Study in Anthropology (A). Established in consultation between student and instructor-sponsor. 1-6 Cr. Every Semester

Last Updated 11/20/18

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