Pitzer Advisers: E. Chao, L. Martins, S. Miller, D. Segal, C. Strauss.
The curriculum in Anthropology encompasses two overlapping and yet distinct "tracks": (i) cultural and social anthropology and (ii) biological anthropology, archaeology, and material culture studies.
Cultural and social anthropology explores the social orders and meanings that human actors create. Although in the past, cultural and social anthropologists typically carried out research overseas, today cultural and social anthropologists also work in their own societies, and our course offerings reflect this global and inclusive approach. In addition, the curriculum in cultural and social anthropology reflects the discipline's longstanding practice of joining together the study of how people understand their own experiences with cross-cultural comparison.
The curriculum in cultural and social anthropology examines a broad range of issues from a number of theoretical perspectives. Our courses examine societies of diverse cultural traditions and economic forms, as well as the movements of people, objects, and ideas among them. We examine such topics as race and ethnicity, medicine, science, gender, sexuality, the environment, religion, law, popular culture, and politics. And we pursue comparisons that look across both history and geography.
The second curricular track—in biological anthropology, archaeology, and material culture (BAM)—focuses on human physical and cultural evolution, modern human diversity, and the material cultures of historical and contemporary ethnic groupos. The BAM track includes courses from Classics and Environmental Studies, as well as Anthropology. In conjunction with these courses, students gain hands-on experience working with fossil hominid skeletal casts and artifacts from a wide variety of prehistoric and modern cultures in the collections of the Jean M. Pitzer Archaeology Laboratory.
Both tracks in anthropology (cultural and social anthropology and BAM) are offered within the joint undergraduate program in Anthropology of Pitzer and Scripps Colleges.