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Undergraduate Bulletin 2008-2009

Department of Anthropology


Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus
 Gary H. Gossen, Ph.D.
  Harvard University

Distinguished Service Professor Emeritae/i
 Ernest A. Scatton, Ph.D.
  Harvard University

Professors Emeritae/i
 Robert M. Carmack, Ph.D.
  University of California, Los Angeles
 Peter T. Furst, Ph.D.
  University of California, Los Angeles
 Gary A. Wright, Ph.D.
  University of Michigan
 Richard G. Wilkinson, Ph.D.
  University of Michigan

George Aaron Broadwell, Ph.D.
 University of California, Los Angeles
Louise Burkhart, Ph.D.
 Yale University
James P. Collins, Ph.D.
 (Department Chair)
 University of California, Berkeley
Timothy B. Gage, Ph.D.
  Pennsylvania State University
Robert W. Jarvenpa, Ph.D.
 University of Minnesota
John S. Justeson, Ph.D.
 Stanford University
Lawrence M. Schell, Ph.D.
 University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professors Emeritae/i
 George J. Klima, Ph.D.
  University of California, Berkeley
 Dwight T. Wallace, Ph.D.
  University of California, Berkeley

Associate Professors
 Lee S. Bickmore, Ph.D.
  University of California, Los Angeles
 Tom D. Brutsaert, Ph.D.
  Cornell University
 Gail H. Landsman, Ph.D.
  Catholic University of America
 Marilyn Masson, Ph.D.
  University of Texas, Austin
 David Strait, Ph.D.
  SUNY Stony Brook
 Stuart Swiny, Ph.D.
  University of London
 James W. Wessman, Ph.D.
  University of Connecticut

Assistant Professors
 Elise Andaya, Ph.D.
  New York University
 Jennifer Burrell, Ph.D.
  New School for Social Research
 Sharon DeWitte, Ph.D.
  Pennsylvania State University
 Adam Gordon
  University of Texas at Austin
 Walter E. Little, Ph.D.
  University of Illinois
 Sean M. Rafferty, Ph.D.
  Binghamton University
 Robert Rosenswig, Ph.D.
  Yale University

Associate Curator of Anthropology
 Hetty Jo Brumbach, Ph.D.
  University at Albany

Adjunct Faculty
 Edward Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
  Yale University
 Elisa J Gordon, Ph.D.
  Case Western Reserve University
 John P. Hart, Ph.D.
  Northwestern University
 Karen Hartgen, M.A.
  University at Albany
 Robert Kuhn, Ph.D.
  University at Albany
 Elizabeth Marshall, Ph.D.
  University of North Carolina, Charlotte
 Carolyn Lee Olsen, Ph.D.
  University of Michigan
Carol Raemsch, Ph.D.
 University at Albany
Christina Rieth, Ph.D.
 University at Albany
Brenda P. Rosenbaum
 University at Albany
Alice D. Stark, Ph.D.
 Yale University
Daniel D. White, Ph.D.
 University at Albany

Adjuncts (estimated): 9
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 19

Anthropology is the study of humankind, of ancient and modern people and their ways of living. From its first establishment as a professional discipline, anthropology has been defined in terms of its holistic, cross-cultural, and evolutionary approaches. By systematically analyzing differences and similarities among human groups over time and space, anthropologists achieve the fullest possible understanding of human nature, human diversity, and the forces that govern change in cultural and biological characteristics.

The Anthropology Department provides undergraduates with a wide variety of courses, field and laboratory experiences, and guided research in each of the four major subfields of the discipline: archaeology, biological (physical) anthropology, ethnology (cultural anthropology), and linguistics.

The department offers two majors: a B.A. in anthropology and a major in human biology (in conjunction with the department of Biological Sciences).

Students are offered special opportunities for the study of past and present cultures in Mesoamerica, North America, and elsewhere through the research programs of the anthropology faculty.

The major prepares students for graduate studies in anthropology (the department has M.A. and cognate M.A. programs, and a doctoral program), as well as laying a broad scientific and liberal foundation for entering the professions, arts, or other occupations in the modern world.

Many new career opportunities are developing in addition to traditional anthropological careers in college teaching, museum curation, and public archaeology. For example, the diverse ethnic composition of American society is making cross-cultural awareness a matter of increasing importance for careers in business, law, journalism, medicine, public policy, and primary and secondary education.

The B.A. degree in anthropology also offers excellent preparation for careers in international business, public health, politics, and diplomacy. Moreover, many local, state federal, and international agencies are seeking personnel who have sensitivity to cultural diversity.

Anthropology also provides a holistic perspective of and systematic training in the impact of human activity and values on the environment. The study of cross-cultural factors affecting the delivery of health care can be important to a career in health services.

Finally, a degree in biological anthropology is a good foundation for graduate work in genetic epidemiology and other specialties within the field of public health.

Special Programs or Opportunities
Programs in archaeological, bio-anthropological, and ethnological fieldwork are available, with the Northeast and Mesoamerica being the most frequent locations. The archaeology program provides intensive training and/or research opportunities through research programs in Mexico, Belize, and New York State. Laboratory research experience, both in formal courses and as independent projects, is available in archaeology and biological anthropology.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Anthropology

General Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits in anthropology including A Ant 110, 104, 108 or 108Z, or 220, and 499. Of the 21 additional credits in anthropology, no more than 6 may be at the 100 level and at least 12 must be at the 300 level or above.

Honors Program

Outstanding anthropology students are encouraged to consider the department’s honors program, which is designed to give them the opportunity to work closely with members of the faculty on research and writing projects. Declared majors in anthropology are eligible to apply, provided that they have completed 12 or more credits in the department with a grade point average in the major of at least 3.50. They must also have an overall grade point average of at least 3.25. To participate in the program, students should contact their adviser during their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year. Students should plan their course work in consultation with their faculty adviser.

Students in the honors program must fulfill the requirements for the major plus the following requirements:

1. Among the 36 credits of course work in anthropology required for the major, students in the honors program must complete at least one course at the 300 or 400 level in each of three different subdisciplines (archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistics), for a total of 9 credits:

Biological Anthropology: 310, 311, 312, 313, 319, 414, 416, 418, 419.
Linguistics: 321, 322, 325, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 434.
Archaeology: 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 338, 339, 430, 431, 433, 435, 438.
Ethnology: 340, 341, 343, 351, 355, 360, 361, 363, 364, 365, 372, 381, 390, 450, 480.

2. Students must write an honors thesis based upon original research under the direction of an anthropology faculty member. Any anthropology faculty member knowledgeable in your topic may supervise a thesis project. A written proposal for the intended project must be formally approved by that faculty member and the departmental Undergraduate Affairs Committee during the semester prior to the semester in which the thesis is completed. Students will enroll in A Ant 482 and 482, “Senior Honors Thesis Seminar,” during the fall and spring of their senior year. The six credits from these courses can be counted toward the 36 credits required for the Anthropology major.

3. Research skill. Students will complete 6 credits of coursework in a research skill appropriate for anthropological research. Examples include, but are not limited to, foreign languages, statistics or other quantitative courses, and anthropological methods courses. The research skill courses must be approved by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee.

To graduate with “honors in anthropology,” students must achieve an overall grade point average of 3.25 and a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in the major, in addition to the above requirements.

Degree requirements for the major in Human Biology are listed in the Human Biology Program section of this bulletin.