Department Chair: Judith Zeitlin
Anthropology studies people, and is holistic and interdisciplinary in its approach. The field is located partly in the social sciences, partly in the natural sciences, and partly in the humanities. People are complex, and Anthropology offers powerful analytic tools for understanding why humans behave the way they do, whether we are talking about today, or about the past, or people here in Boston, or in other parts of the world. In our courses, we ask questions about why people do, think, and believe what they do, and try to explain and interpret them culturally and historically. We seek to find the order in the amazing cultural and social diversity that characterizes people all over the globe, and even in our own society.
Anthropology also helps us identify and understand the cultural and economic connections that link neighborhoods, cities, nations, and the global system. We use methods of “field work” as tools, whether working in the present through ethnographic field study, or on the past through the excavation methods of archaeology. Anthropology offers useful resources for understanding current trends that effect our workplaces, families, and communities, and this knowledge is applicable to many lines of professional work. The field gives excellent preparation for careers in health and science, education, business, social service, and many types of graduate study.