Biological anthropology research topics

The Department of Anthropology traditionally offered courses and majors in three main areas: Faculty members also teach and research Biological anthropology research topics questions of museum representations, archaeological knowledge practices, and the socio-politics of archaeology.

The requirements for a major in sociocultural anthropology reflect this intellectual expansiveness and interdisciplinary spirit. Professor Marilyn Ivy; Schermerhorn Extension; ; mji4 columbia.

Sociocultural anthropology at Columbia has emerged as a particularly compelling undergraduate liberal arts major. Professors of anthropology at Columbia today write widely on colonialism and postcolonialism; on matters of gender, theories of history, knowledge, and power; on language, law, magic, mass-mediated cultures, modernity, and flows of capital and desire; on nationalism, ethnic imaginations, and political contestations; on material cultures and environmental conditions; on ritual, performance, and the arts; and on linguistics, symbolism, and questions of representation.

Themes in our teaching include the political, economic, social, and ideological foundations of complex societies; and archaeological theory and its relationship to broader debates in social theory, technology studies, and philosophy.

Particular emphases in the program include the development of ancient states and empires, especially in the indigenous Americas; the impact of colonial encounters on communities in the American Southwest, the Levant and Africa; and human-animal relations in prehistory, religion and ritual, and the archaeology of the dead.

Sociocultural Anthropology At the heart of sociocultural anthropology is an exploration of the possibilities of difference and the craft of writing. Boas himself wrote widely on pre-modern cultures and modern assumptions, on language, race, art, dance, religion, politics, and much else, as did his graduate students including, most notably, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead.

While the sociocultural anthropology program now comprises the largest part of the department and accounts for the majority of faculty and course offerings, archaeology is also a vibrant program within anthropology whose interests overlap significantly with those of sociocultural anthropology.

Recently, the number of majors in sociocultural anthropology has more than tripled. The program includes the possibility of student internships in New York City museums and archaeological fieldwork in the Americas and elsewhere. The Anthropology Department enthusiastically encourages cross-disciplinary dialogue across disciplines as well as participation in study abroad programs.

Additionally, they write across worlds of similarities and differences concerning the Middle East, China, Africa, the Caribbean, Japan, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, Southeast Asia, North America, and other increasingly transnational and technologically virtual conditions of being.

Archaeology Archaeologists study the ways in which human relations are mediated through material conditions, both past and present.

Students may also seek academic advice from any anthropology faculty member, as many faculty members hold degrees in several fields or positions in other departments and programs at Columbia.


Founded by Franz Boas in as a site of academic inquiry inspired by the uniqueness of cultures and their histories, the department fosters an expansiveness of thought and independence of intellectual pursuit. In these current times of increasing global awareness, this same spirit of mindful interconnectedness guides the department.

Such interests can be brought together into provocative and productive conversation with a major or concentration in sociocultural anthropology. All faculty in the department are committed to an expansiveness of thought and an independence of intellectual pursuit and advise accordingly.

Students should have a preliminary concept for their thesis prior to course enrollment. Cross-cultural interpretation, global socio-political considerations, a markedly interdisciplinary approach, and a willingness to think otherwise have formed the spirit of anthropology at Columbia.

Advising Majors and concentrators should consult the director of undergraduate studies when entering the department and devising programs of study. Students come to sociocultural anthropology with a wide variety of interests, often pursuing overlapping interests in, for example, performance, religion, writing, law, ethnicity, mass-media, teaching, language, literature, history, human rights, art, linguistics, environment, medicine, film, and many other fields, including geographical areas of interest and engagement.

Ralph Holloway, Schermerhorn Extension; ; rlh2 columbia.Guidelines for all Anthropology Majors and Concentrators Grading.

Explore what it means to be human

No course with a grade of D or lower can count toward the major or concentration. Our courses explore many topics, spanning the social sciences, natural sciences, and the humanities.

You will learn to understand diverse ways of thinking and broaden your perspective about humanity.

Biological anthropology research topics
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