The Department of Anthropology is one of the country's leading graduate and undergraduate centers for cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology—the four principal subfields studied in the undergraduate curriculum. The department considers its greatest assets to be the various individual areas of faculty expertise: archaeological specialties such as medieval archaeology and European, Near Eastern, and South Asian prehistory; biological anthropology areas such as molecular primatology, primate behavioral ecology, and paleoanthropology; linguistic anthropology foci such as discourse analysis and language socialization; and sociocultural anthropology specialties such as the ethnography of North America, Africa, India, China, the Near and Middle East, Russia and the former Soviet Union, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and the South Pacific. Major theoretical emphasis is on the systems of thought and symbolic representation of the self and society; the relation between female and male domains of interaction; changing patterns of social organization and hierarchy within small-scale societies, urban settings, and bureaucratic institutions; medical anthropology; evolutionary approaches to the study of primate and human origins; religion; art; science studies; race and ethnicity; and the problem of ethnographic representation in film and other media.
Departmental resources include an extensive film and video collection as well as teaching and research labs for archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology, which can be used for research by advanced undergraduates. A departmental colloquium series and an undergraduate student association welcome undergraduate participation. The department participates in the University's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, the Institute for French Studies, the Center for Religion and Media, the Center for the Study of Human Origins, the Institute for Study of the Ancient World, the Program in Museum Studies, and the Center for Media, Culture, and History.
Formal and informal cooperative arrangements with museums, zoos, and other academic institutions in the greater New York area place at students' disposal a group of anthropological scholars, materials, and resources unparalleled in the country.
To request declaration of a minor, CAS students should visit the host department. To request declaration of a cross-school minor, CAS students should complete the online Minor Application available in their Albert Student Center. Students may also use the Minor Application in Albert to request cancellation of a CAS or cross-school minor.