Anthropology is the study of humankind and its multiplicity of cultures.
Up Close, In Person
Anthropologists get as close as possible to the people we study.
We travel around the globe for our research and through archaeology
we travel in time.
We ask basic questions about behaviors people take for granted, because you can’t perceive your own assumptions about culture, just as a fish cannot define water. The students working with us learn to question their own assumptions as well.
In this major, you study cultural anthropology (what people do and why), archaeology (learning from the remains of the past), biological anthropology (humans as organisms and how they evolve) and linguistics (humans’ astonishing capacity for communication). Together they give our major power and depth.
Our faculty are rather keen on cultural anthropology. We conduct research, along many things, on hunting and representations of masculinity, creolization and identity in Afro-Brazil and religion in the West African Sahel.
Drew’s field station in Ecuador allows you to study the successes and failures of systems of agriculture dating back 2,500 years and in so doing provide vital support to the people living and farming there now.
Careers Made easy
Anthropologists provide basic knowledge about humankind that policy makers use to make vital decisions. Anthropology is also an excellent preparation for careers in journalism, social work, law, medicine and international aid.
The fact that Drew has a full-fledged anthropology major, not an anthroplogy/sociology combination, means you’ll have great credentials and experience if you choose to study anthropology in graduate school.
You will graduate knowing how to use specific research methods, including ethnographic fieldwork, excavation and laboratory research. All of our faculty are active researchers, so you’ll learn from experts with plenty of field experience.
I have focused my studies on cultural anthropology. I love the hands-on approach of ethnography that is at the core of this discipline. Anthropology at Drew has taught me how to apply the methods I learn in class to real-life settings.
I never mind getting up for class because of how much I learn from our faculty. I also feel my education affects me every day, every hour, all the time, because it’s made me who I am.
Anthropology has made me a more well-rounded human being. I better understand how societies have shaped the world as it is today.
I never thought about taking anthropology when I came to Drew. But I like knowing how humans act, how we create culture, how we create language. I don’t think any other area of study really taps into that.
Linda Van Blerkom
Professor of anthropology
I’m a biological and medical anthropologist specializing in human evolution and the co-evolution of humans and their infectious diseases.
Ph.D., University of Colorado
Associate professor of anthropology
I lead student trips to Appalachia to learn about mountaintop-removal mining and see firsthand the environmental and social consequences paid every time we turn up the thermostat in New Jersey.
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison
Allan Charles Dawson
I’m working on issues of identity, religious practice and territoriality in northeastern Brazil and West Africa and explore all aspects of the African Diaspora. I’m fascinated by the interface between societies and how this is expressed in local culture—in religion, politics, performance and even food.
Ph.D., McGill University
Professor of anthropology
I’d call myself a total tangential thinker. It is hard to stay on any single line of thought when you are an archaeologist. Everything connects with everything. That includes the work I’m doing with students on unexplained archaeological sites in Ecuador.
Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
- Professor of anthropology
University of Kentucky
- Ph.D. candidate, gender archaeology
- Set designer
Manhattan Theatre Source
Learn more about when you graduate
My Favorite Course
“My professor lived with the Inuit in Alaska. I find myself telling my friends about them. I just ramble and tell them everything I know.”
Sandra Almeida on a regional anthropology course about the Inuit