The Anthropology Department at Colorado College strives to
provide students with an expansive outlook on human cultures
through time and across space. We seek to fulfill the discipline's
promise as one of the cornerstone subjects of a contemporary
liberal arts education.
location and block plan format afford distinctive, unparalleled
prospects for undergraduate anthropology students. We are
able to expose students, anthropology majors and non-majors
alike, to multiple opportunities for hands-on anthropological
fieldwork, including field-based courses and lengthy field
trips, during the regular academic calendar year. Together
with creative pedagogy and rigorous expectations for reading,
writing, and critical qualitative and quantitative analysis,
we aim to provide a second-to-none undergraduate educational
experience in anthropology.
For a small department
at a liberal arts college, ours is also unusual in representing
all four sub-fields of American anthropology: 1) archaeology,
which focuses on the material cultures and peoples of the
past; 2) biological anthropology, which concentrates on the
relationships between culture and biology and how these affect
the lives of humans and our evolutionary relatives; 3) linguistic
anthropology, which addresses both the formal complexity of
linguistic systems and the role that such systems play in
the regulating and negotiating of social life; and 4) socio-cultural
anthropology, which stresses contemporary peoples, combining
ethnography and ethnology to portray variable human systems
of value, practice and organization. In continuity with the
original four-field American vision, our challenge is to demonstrate
for students how dialogue across sub-fields allows anthropological
perspectives to be unrivaled in their holism. Our curriculum
reflects this commitment by requiring students to study all
four sub-fields in introductory courses, and to pursue advanced-level
courses in at least two sub-fields.
Department recognizes that its majors have quite varied interests,
both personal and vocational. They aspire to careers in the
arts, business, and varied professions and service agencies,
as well as to careers as professional anthropologists; therefore,
no single set of requirements for everyone is sufficient.
Further, the curriculum is designed to serve the general college
student as well as the anthropology major. The introductory
and most intermediate (200-) level courses are open to all
students, have no prerequisites, and generally satisfy certain
all-college requirements in addition to requirements for the
anthropology major. Courses at the intermediate level offer
students a wide range of options for exploring anthropological
perspectives on questions central to other academic disciplines.
With appropriate prerequisites, most advanced courses are
also open to non-majors.
In addition to
formal coursework, advanced anthropology majors undertake
research culminating in a senior paper. Students carry out
independent research working closely with a faculty advisor
and present their work in a public forum during the senior
This senior research
presents an opportunity, difficult to achieve in regular block
courses, for majors to work on a well-focused topic over a
sustained period of time and to develop the expository skills
to present it to their peers.
Department recognizes the college's historic role as an institution
of learning in the liberal arts and sciences and, consequently,
encourages its majors to work out a program of all-college
study that complements their particular interests in anthropology.