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University at Albany Undergraduate Bulletin - 2004-2005

Department of Anthropology


Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus

William N. Fenton, Ph.D.
Yale University

Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus

Gary H. Gossen, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Professor 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

Associate Professor Emeritae/i

George J. Klima, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Dwight T. Wallace, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Distinguished Service Professor

Ernst A. Scatton, Ph.D.
Harvard University


Louise Burkhart, Ph.D.
Yale University

James P. Collins, Ph.D.
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

Michael E. Smith, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, Urbana

Richard G. Wilkinson, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

Associate Professors Emeritae/i

Lee S. Bickmore, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

George Aaron Broadwell, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Liliana Goldin, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Gail H. Landsman, Ph.D.
Catholic University of America

Marilyn Masson, Ph.D.
University of Texas, Austin

Stuart Swiny, Ph.D.
University of London

James W. Wessman, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut

Assistant Professors

Tom D. Brutsaert, Ph.D.
Cornell University

Walter E. Little, Ph.D.
University of Illinois

Sean M. Rafferty, Ph.D.
Binghamton University

Associate Curator of Anthropology

Hetty Jo Brumbach, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Adjunct Faculty

Edward Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Yale 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

Brenda P. Rosenbaum
University at Albany

Alice D. Stark, Ph.D.
Yale University

Adjuncts (estimated): 9
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 18

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 Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a concentration 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 110N, 104, 108M or 108G, and 106M or 220M. Of the 24 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 12 credits:
    Biological Anthropology: 310, 311,312, 313, 319, 414, 416, 418.
    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 482A and 482B, “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.
  4. 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 Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Human Biology are listed in the Human Biology Program section of this bulletin.

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