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Department of Anthropology

From the Field: Featuring Graduate Student Photos

  • Learning. Northwest Amazon.

    Learning. Northwest Amazon.

  • Villagers in Tamil Nadu attend an eye camp

    Villagers in Tamil Nadu attend an eye camp at a public school jointly sponsored by the Government of India, private corporations, and NGOs.

  • Women polish watch casings in a factory in a village in Tamil Nadu

    Women polish watch casings in a factory in a village in Tamil Nadu as a part of a local corporate social responsibility initiative.

  • Graffiti in Bangkok.

    Graffiti in Bangkok.

  • A sign indicating the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City, Jerusalem.

    A sign indicating the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City, Jerusalem.

  • These bean-like seeds are used for making jewelry and other decorations.

    These bean-like seeds are used for making jewelry and other decorations. Vaitahu, Tahuata 2009. The Marquesas Islands.

  • A jaguar's fur. Northwest Amazon.

    A jaguar's fur. Northwest Amazon.

  • The civic number on a house in the Port of Jaffa.

    The civic number on a house in the Port of Jaffa.

  • Playing the water drum while maple sap boils, Six Nations of the Grand River

    Playing the water drum while maple sap boils, Six Nations of the Grand River, March, 2011.

  • A fisherman. Northwest Amazon.

    A fisherman. Northwest Amazon.

  • The Kamuihei tohua, or ceremonial site, in the valley of Hatiheu, Nuku Hiva 2009

    The Kamuihei tohua, or ceremonial site, in the valley of Hatiheu, Nuku Hiva 2009. The Marquesas Islands.

  • Looking up into a sacred banyan tree at Kamuihei, Nuku Hiva 2011.

    Looking up into a sacred banyan tree at Kamuihei, Nuku Hiva 2011. The Marquesas Islands.

  • Kalli at Dhauladhar Range, Himachal Pradesh, India.

    Kalli at Dhauladhar Range, Himachal Pradesh, India.

  • Cartridges for hunting. Northwest Amazon.

    Cartridges for hunting. Northwest Amazon.

  • Members of the Children's Movement for Civic Awareness

    Members of the Children's Movement for Civic Awareness learn how to make government work for them at the launch of the Civic Club Program in Bangalore in August 2012.

  • People hunt jaguars in order to protect their livestock. Northwest Amazon.

    People hunt jaguars in order to protect their livestock. Northwest Amazon.

  • Vineet at Dan Kund (Dharamshal, HP) near the Indian Army's surveillance center

    Vineet Rathee at Dan Kund (Dharamshal, HP) near the Indian Army's surveillance center in Himachal Pradesh.

  • The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem.

    The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem.

  • Sampov Loun, Battambang, Cambodia.

    Sampov Loun, Battambang, Cambodia.

  • Village health center sign in Battambang, Cambodia.

    Village health center sign in Battambang, Cambodia.

  • A small crop of Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash

    A small crop of Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash, Six Nations of the Grand River, August, 2011.

  • Men unload barrels for the tropical fruit noni, Hakehetau, Ua Pou 2009.

    Men unload barrels for the tropical fruit noni, Hakehetau, Ua Pou 2009. The Marquesas Islands.

  • A view of the Old City, Jerusalem.

    A view of the Old City, Jerusalem.

  • Traditional style outriggers on the village dock in Vaitahu, Tahuata 2008.

    Traditional style outriggers on the village dock in Vaitahu, Tahuata 2008. The Marquesas Islands.

  • Rooftops in Battambang, Cambodia.

    Rooftops in Battambang, Cambodia.

  • An old sign in Jerusalem, written in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

    An old sign in Jerusalem, written in Hebrew, Arabic and English.


Anthropology provides students with a unique opportunity to understand human cultural diversity -- to compare our own culture with those which are remote in time, in geographic distance, or simply in terms of cultural difference. As tropical rainforests and other ecosystems are degraded at ever-increasing rates, as globalization affects the most remote corners of the earth, and as our own society becomes increasingly multi-cultural, it is imperative for educated citizens to understand the nature of cultural diversity, the connections between our own fate and the fate of other peoples, and the short- and long-term processes of socio-cultural change which have made our world what it is.

Anthropology is distinct from all other disciplines in that our primary data are either ethnographic (based on long-term cultural immersion and observation in a local setting) or archaeological (based on the physical remains of prehistoric cultures). No other discipline has the same capacity to look at the world "from the ground up" -- from the point of view of ordinary people living in developing countries, or of ethnic minorities living in our own society. This makes anthropology a central link among the social and historical disciplines.

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