Anthropology studies human beings and their behavior in all of its variety and complexity through the concept of culture. It is a holistic discipline that draws on the insights of natural and social sciences, humanities and arts, demanding a broad foundation for understanding the ways human cultures shape and are shaped by historical, environmental, biological and social forces. It is thus an ideal major for students interested in acquiring knowledge and skills for living and working in our culturally diverse and complex world.
The discipline is divided into four subfields that focus more precisely on specific sets of human questions. Sociocultural anthropology studies humans as meaning-making beings, using a variety of methods to investigate how people living in different societies experience and make sense of their worlds. Archaeology reconstructs cultural behavior and sociocultural systems through the analysis of the materials remaining from human activities and deposited in sites ranging from paleolithic hunting camps to modern cities. Biological anthropology studies human beings as biocultural organisms within the framework of evolution through the study of fossils, living primates, human skeletal remains, and genetic variation in living people. Linguistic anthropology investigates the myriad ways in which communication, thought, and social life affect each other by observing how speakers use language in a wide range of social settings.
The faculty in the anthropology department offer a broad range of courses covering anthropology’s four subfields. All classes value the active involvement of students, promote critical understanding of course material, and promote regular collaboration with students in the learning process. In addition, we provide students with engaged learning opportunities both on and off campus through our field schools, study abroad courses, collaborative research opportunities, internships, and teaching apprenticeships. Anthropology labs are equipped for research on archaeological artifacts and skeletal materials. The cultural diversity of the Twin Cities and Hamline’s off-campus study programs offer a variety of opportunities for comparative cultural studies.
Opportunities for Nonmajors
Anthropology Courses open to Nonmajors
All anthropology courses are open to nonmajors. A prerequisite of ANTH 1160: Introduction to Anthropology is recommended for upper-level courses, though familiarity with the perspectives of other social science departments or programs such as environmental studies or sociology may be adequate for several. Courses of particular interest to nonmajors include: ANTH 1530: Human Evolution and ANTH 1500: Planetary Home Care Manual. The anthropology department encourages students interested in joining any of our intermediate “topics in anthropology” courses to contact the course professor.
Anthropology High-Impact Learning and Study-Away Opportunities
The anthropology department offers students many opportunities to study off campus in the community, in the region, in field schools, or abroad. Nonmajors are also welcome and encouraged to participate in these courses. High impact courses which mix coursework with off-campus work in the community include: ANTH 3030 Museum Anthropology, ANTH 3610 Visual Anthropology, ANTH 3300 Ethnographic Research Methods, and ANTH 3130 Excavating Hamline History. ANTH 3980 Special Topics Abroad: Heritage and Tourism in Cambodia - Bridging the Ancient and Modern Worlds, a study abroad class in Cambodia is offered every other year.
The Anthropology Department expects all majors to engage in some form of critical independent study, typically in their junior or senior year. Upon recommendation of anthropology faculty during the junior year, senior majors are eligible to work toward departmental honors by successful completion and defense of a comprehensive research/writing project in the form of a baccalaureate thesis.
Internships and Teaching Apprenticeships
Opportunities are available for majors to fulfill the LEAP requirement through coursework or an internship organized and coordinated through the Department of Anthropology. Teaching apprenticeships for majors are offered in a number of courses including ANTH 1160: Introduction to Anthropology, ANTH 3220: Laboratory Techniques in Archaeology, ANTH 3440: Human Osteology, ANTH 3500: Forensic Anthropology, and ANTH 5260: Anthropological Thought and Theory. The department also offers internships in Museum Collections Management through the Center for Anthropological Research.
Anthropology serves as an excellent basis for any career where one encounters people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Integrative understanding and cultural sensitivity are useful tools for lawyers, teachers, health professionals, planners, public servants, non-profit professionals, and business people. Many majors go on to graduate or professional training in anthropology or related fields. There are other opportunities as well in the growing field of applied anthropology.
Applied anthropology is a rapidly growing area of employment. Anthropologists bring their knowledge and skills to government and non-government organizations, museums, corporations, tribal and ethnic associations, advocacy groups, and educational institutions of various kinds. Many of our recent graduates work in cultural resource management, public health, forensics, food and agricultural systems, marketing and business culture.
The Department of Anthropology operates two research/teaching labs: the Archaeology Lab (DSC 19) and the Human Osteology Lab (DSC 207). In addition to equipment and research space, these labs offer students access to collections in North American archaeology, zooarchaeology, human osteology, human evolution casts, and Africa and China ethnographic materials. Monthly meetings of the Maya Society of Minnesota during the academic year bring nationally- and internationally-recognized speakers to Hamline’s campus. Students have opportunities to interact directly with them and often become active in this organization. Donors to the Anthropology Department have created a research fund to support student and faculty activities. Anthropology majors can apply for these funds in order to attend conferences, travel, and pay for research expenses. The Hamline University Anthropological Society is an active, student-led organization that meets bi-weekly to advance community and interest in anthropology. In addition to field trips, film screenings, and an annual social sciences and humanities research night, the society also regularly funds student travel to national conferences.
The Department of Anthropology is affiliated with the Hamline University Center for Anthropological Services (HUCAS). The Center manages an Osteology Repository for the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. Department faculty and Center staff also work closely with the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Office of State Archaeologist, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and US Fish & Wildlife Service. Anthropology majors are able to work on grant- and contract-funded research and applied anthropology projects with these organizations. We also offer paid internships in Museum Collections Management available to Hamline students. HUCAS’s mission is to bring our anthropological resources to assist communities, governmental agencies, and other organizations in addressing the challenges of the 21st century. The Center’s work includes heritage preservation, forensic anthropology, osteology, burial recovery and repatriation, and placemaking and placekeeping activities.
Faculty and Staff
K. Valentine Cadieux, assistant professor. AB 1998, Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges; MA 2001, PhD 2006 University of Toronto. Community food systems, urban agroecology, residential landscape experience and management. She also serves as director of the Environmental Studies program.
David J. Davies, professor. BA 1991, Hamline University; MA 1997, PhD 2002 University of Washington. History and anthropology, social memory, nostalgia, travel and representation; P.R. China.
Brian W. Hoffman, associate professor, chair; Center for Anthropological Services, director. BA 1983 Augsburg College; MA 1994, PhD 2002 University of Wisconsin. Community archaeology, garbology, NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) and repatriation, lithic analysis, North America.
Marcia H. Regan, Principal Investigator, Center for Anthropological Services. BA Hamline University 1984; MA 1988, PhD 2002 Arizona State University. Biological anthropology, human osteology, paleopathology, dental anthropology, human evolution, Southwest US.
Matt Sumera, visiting lecturer. BS 1998, University of Wisconsin-Madison; MA 2008, PhD 2013 University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sound studies, ethnomusicology, war and violence, aesthetics, affect theory, language and music, popular culture, media studies.
David Tennessen, Principal Investigator, Center for Anthropological Services. BS 1989, University of Wisconsin-Madison, MA 2000, PhD 2009, University of Minnesota. Environmental anthropology, dendrochronology, Quaternary paleoecology, historic archaeology, GIS, North America.