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Student Advising

Anthropology Open Houses (2/16 & 2/23)


If you are considering a major or concentration in anthropology and would like to join others for food and informal contemplation of the possibilities for undergraduate anthropology at Columbia—a broad spectrum of courses  cross-cultural and interdisciplinary in spirit, studies abroad, ethnographic and thesis possibilities, departmental events, the Columbia-Barnard Undergraduate Journal of Anthropology, summer research fellowships, post-grad futures, and more—then, by all means, in the midst of this major declaration moment come to an Open House in Anthropology.  Bring your friends, questions, and curiosity...

Musing on your Major Declaration?
In search of the social?  In search of difference?
Desire to write, ethnographically and otherwise?
Bring a friend.

4:30-7:00 pm


4:30-7:00 pm

Department of Anthropology Lounge
4th Floor Schermerhorn Extension

Yes, there will be food.




Anthropology at Columbia is the oldest department of anthropology in the United States.  Founded by Franz Boas in 1896 as a site of academic inquiry inspired by the uniqueness of cultures and their histories, the department has fostered an expansiveness of thought and independence of intellectual pursuit.  Cross-cultural interpretation, global socio-political considerations, a markedly interdisciplinary approach, and a willingness to think otherwise have, from the outset, informed the spirit of Anthropology at Columbia.  Boas himself wrote widely, on pre-modern cultures and modern assumptions, on language, race, art, dance, religion, politics, and much else, as did his graduate students, including, most notably, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead.  In these current times of increasing global awareness, this same spirit of mindful interconnectedness guides the department.  Professors in Anthropology at Columbia today write widely--on colonialism and postcolonialism; on matters of gender, theories of history, knowledge, and power; on language, law, magic, mass-mediated cultures, modernity, and flows of capital and desire; on nationalism, ethnic imaginations, and political contestations; on material cultures and environmental conditions; on ritual, performance, and the arts; on symbolism and questions of representation.  They write as well across worlds of similarities and differences--concerning the Middle East, China, Africa, the Caribbean, Japan, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, Southeast Asia, the United States, and other increasingly transnational and technologically virtual conditions of being.

At the heart of anthropology is a concern with possibilities of difference and the craft of writing.  Anthropology at Columbia has emerged, in recent years, as a particularly compelling undergraduate liberal arts major; in the last several years, the number of majors has more than doubled.   Undergraduates come to Anthropology, not surprisingly, with a wide variety of interests, pursuing overlapping interests in, for example, performance, religion, writing, law, ethnicity, mass-media, archaeology, teaching, language and literature, history, human rights, art, linguistics, the environment, music, medicine, film, and many other fields of study, including geographical areas of particular interest and engagement.  Such interests can be brought together into creative conversation with a major or concentration in Anthropology.  The requirements for a major in Socio-Cultural Anthropology are relatively minimal: 30 points in anthropology courses (including within these 30 points: 1002 “The Interpretation of Culture,” 2004 “An Introduction to Social and Cultural Theory,” and 2005 “The Ethnographic Imagination”); two courses (from either within Anthropology or outside the department) concerned with a particular culture, nation, or literature.

***Inquiries may emailed to:  ***



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