Anthropology

Britt Rhodes (department head), Lori Stanley (program director)

Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures across space and time. In the spirit of the North American tradition, our program draws upon a four-field approach that includes attention to cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Anthropology strives to understand cultural and biological diversity in a holistic way, inspired by the humanities and the social and natural sciences. This anthropological approach is enriched by Luther's liberal arts education with its emphasis on interdisciplinarity, commitment to community, and ample opportunities for study and research abroad. The four-field emphasis of Luther's anthropology program provides the opportunity to examine central questions concerning the human condition today and in the past. These include a range of contemporary issues, such as the impacts of extractive industries on the sustainability of the natural environment and local communities, language death and linguistic diversity, the self-determination of indigenous peoples, gender ideologies, and cultural influences on health and illness around the globe. Further, archaeological and biological perspectives provide insights into the dynamic nature of ethnic and cultural identity and technological change in prehistoric North America and the ways that our evolutionary heritage has shaped our modern physiology.

The anthropology major is founded upon five core courses that define the holistic nature of the discipline. The 100-level core courses introduce students to the major subfields of anthropology; cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology. The 200-level research methods courses are designed to equip students with the tools and framework needed to conduct anthropological research and are intended as preparation for the senior project. Anthropological theory, taken in the junior year, is an exploration of the theoretical perspectives that shape the discipline. Electives should build upon the 5-course core and emphasize personal interests and goals. Majors and minors in anthropology are encouraged to have a field experience, accomplished through regular course offerings, an internship, or study abroad. Students planning on pursuing graduate work in the discipline should consider taking all four introductory courses as well as both methods courses.

Required for a major: minimum of 8 courses in anthropology, including ANTH 101 and 104, ANTH 102 or 103, ANTH 210 or 211, and ANTH 401. In addition, students are required to take at least three elective courses, two of which must be at the 300 level or above. The senior project, if completed in anthropology, will be in addition to the eight courses required for the major. Writing requirement completed with ANTH 401.

Required for a minor: minimum of five courses, including ANTH 101; one of 102, 103, or 104; 210 or 211; and two electives, one of which must be at the 300 level or above.

Students interested in teaching should see the education department for secondary education minor requirements.