About the program
- Augustana College offers both a major and minor in anthropology, a program that resides within the overall department of sociology, anthropology and social welfare. With a focus on ethnographic methods, current theoretical models, and the application of anthropological perspectives, the anthropology program offers a diverse number of courses on cultures around the world, with topics ranging from medical anthropology to popular culture, and from globalization and to tourism.
- Augustana’s liberal arts foundation is the ideal environment for study in anthropology, and the department faculty contribute significantly to the college’s interdisciplinary general education series.
- The two full-time faculty both hold the Ph.D. and have a wide range of complementary specializations. Their combined fieldwork and research experience ranges from Africa to Europe, Native North America and the American Midwest.
|"Anthropology is most attractive to me for its wide range of application. It's no easy task to make sense of humanity, but the task is worthwhile. Being able to understand one another is arguably the noblest intellectual pursuit, and also increasingly important in today's internationalized world. My own experiences studying abroad have presented me with substantially complex and important anthropological situations. Studying anthropology at Augustana has gifted me with sensitivity and greater understanding not only while studying, but also while experiencing new worldviews. There's no end to anthropology; people and cultures are so dynamic that there's always something new to delve into."
-- Mollie Gossage '10
- Augustana students undertake a Senior Inquiry capstone project within their major program, working with a faculty mentor. In anthropology, this experience builds on the strong ties promoted between students and faculty in their small class groups, and further develops and demonstrates each student’s specific ethnographic research interests. Senior Inquiry projects for anthropology majors span two terms: designing the project during the first term, then carrying out the qualitative fieldwork and writing an ethnographic account during the second term.
- Anthropology students are encouraged to combine their ethnographic field study with one of Augustana’s many options in international programs. Along with fall terms in Latin America, Europe or East Asia, the college offers many intensive, long- and short-term opportunities in places ranging from India to Ireland—including a wide variety of cultures and environments on our own continent.
- Graduates with a degree in anthropology often make their careers in non-governmental organizations and non-profit sectors, in public health, in museums, education, publishing or business.
- Studying anthropology at Augustana prepares students both for careers and for graduate study in anthropology or a related discipline. Many students choose to double-major in anthropology to develop their cultural expertise for professional leadership positions, especially in the increasingly global environment of the modern world. The field of anthropology is an ideal complement to a major or minor in business, medicine, the natural sciences and many other disciplines.
What students say
Ian Fletcher ’09, anthropology and political science:
“I hadn’t really known much about anthropology before attending Augustana, and assumed the field was limited to studying an indigenous population in far away Papua New Guinea. Upon taking an intro level class, I found my interests grow as I learned about globalization and its effects on local communities, even here in America…. I was able to focus my senior research on the definition of what it means to be ‘local’ through an in-depth look at farmers’ markets and their relationship with the local community. This study continued through the summer after I received a grant from the Augustana alumni board to further my explorations in how to benefit a culture of local identity in the Quad Cities. Following my research, I interned at the United Way of the Quad Cities and have since been leading a regional program directed at the impact of youth volunteering in the local community. The major is truly one of the benefits of a liberal arts education, because it looks at multiple levels of academic exploration, combined with other disciplines, to solve today’s global and local problems.”
Amy Howard ’09, anthropology, sociology and social welfare:
“After taking one anthropology class at Augustana, I realized how much of an asset it would be to accompany my sociology major. I found myself appreciating the subject more throughout my years at Augie because I could really relate to the content in my anthropology classes…. Not only was I able to learn more about my society and culture, but I gained an appreciation for cultures around the globe by looking at them in a holistic manner—from biologically and historically, to economically and politically. Never did I find myself disinterested or thinking what I was learning would not be important to my future. Learning about our world through courses such as The Anthropology of Ireland, Medical Anthropology or Global Connections made me appreciate the subject because I could apply my knowledge from these courses to many of my other classes at Augustana.”