Anthropology appropriately has been called the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities. The B.A. in anthropology will prepare you for careers in many areas of the social and behavioral sciences, education, government service, technical fields and business, particularly in an international setting. It is the broadest in scope among the social and behavioral sciences since its domain encompasses all that is human in time and space. This vast undertaking has meant that anthropology has developed specialized subfields, including anthropological linguistics, archaeology, cultural anthropology and physical anthropology. Internships, field experiences and study abroad are encouraged.
Upon completion of this program, students will have:
- Developed an awareness of the multiple factors – environmental, biological, psychological and cultural – leading to similarities and differences across human populations, along with substantive knowledge of relevant data.
- Developed an understanding of the main concepts, methods and techniques used in analyzing existing and past human societies, along with substantive knowledge of relevant data; the main scientific concepts and theoretical approaches used in reconstructing human evolution, along with substantive knowledge of relevant data; the genetic and behavioral factors responsible for biological similarities and differences across human populations, along with substantive knowledge of relevant data; and the distinctive nature of human language and of human communication as culturally shaped behavior, along with substantive knowledge of relevant data.
- Developed the ability to understand scholarly articles in anthropology in terms of their purposes, methods and significance; and integrate information and approaches drawn from multiple subfields with respect to a specific research topic.
- Developed an awareness of ethical codes within the profession; and ethical and legal considerations and consequences of data collection, analysis and publication.
Writing in the Discipline
1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?
Anthropology seeks to understand what it is to be human from a holistic perspective: through distant and recent time, globally across space and comparatively between human and nonhuman primate groups. Writing is a fundamental and necessary part of the practice of anthropology, from the collection of data during fieldwork to the communication and dissemination of results and conclusions to scholars and to the public in reports, articles and books. Capturing the nuances and complexities of behaviors in a variety of contexts, past and present, requires being able to write in a variety of styles and for a variety of purposes.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses?
While students are introduced to writing in the discipline in the four introductory courses, the WID designated courses in the Anthropology Department are ANTH 233: Methods in Anthropology and ANTH 460: Senior Seminar. These are the two courses that bring together and build on skills and knowledge from other courses in the major and in which students learn how to ask and answer anthropological questions. In ANTH 233 students learn to use appropriate anthropological methods and to create a variety of written materials while in ANTH 460 they build on these skills to undertake a semester-long research project that culminates in a paper that conforms to anthropological writing conventions.
3. What forms or genres of writing will you learn and practice in your WID courses? Why these genres?
Students learn the conventions of anthropological writing as well as some of the different forms that anthropological writing can take while engaged in collecting and analyzing data for a series of formal writing projects. Students learn how to record observations; write analyses of data in report and narrative forms; write academic papers that conform to anthropological writing conventions.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will you encounter in your WID courses?
Practices that students will encounter include mandatory and voluntary drafting and revision; scaffolded assignments; peer and instructor feedback in writing and individual conferences; formal and informal writing; critical reading/deconstructing academic papers.
5. When you have satisfied your WID requirement, you should know and be able to:
Use appropriate styles of writing to collect anthropological data based on a variety of field techniques and present your conclusions and the implications of that data, and you will have learned the power of using evidence-based writing to intervene in the world around you.
Minor in Anthropology
Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities. Click below for information on the minor in anthropology.