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Mission Statement

The Department of Anthropology educates students to understand and value past and current human cultural, social, and biological diversity. By studying archaeology, cultural anthropology, and biological anthropology, our undergraduate students are provided with a holistic approach to anthropological knowledge. Active learning experiences in the laboratory, the field, and the community, reveal the interconnections between theory and empirical research, thereby allowing broad application of anthropological knowledge. Faculty and student collaborations promote a community of scholars on and off-campus. Thus, four central dimensions define the Anthropology Program:

  • understanding past and current cross-cultural realities;
  • direct research experience in the primary fields of anthropology
  • commitment to community-based learning that integrates engaged anthropology into the curriculum;
  • integration with other programs at the university and in the community to foster intercultural and collaborative education for Santa Clara students.

By combining teaching excellence, scholarly research, and community service, we strive for integrated education in the Jesuit tradition, helping our students to become individuals of professional competence, social conscience, and global compassion.

Student Learning Goals and Objectives

1. Anthropology students will understand the current central concerns of the anthropological subdisciplines of biological anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology, and how they are applied. They…

  • will demonstrate a proficiency in the fundamental concepts, theory, and methods of the subfields (e.g., by developing a literature review)
  • will demonstrate a broad, holistic awareness of the diversity of past and present cultures. This includes recognition of the varied social, cultural, and biological forces that shape human society and variation
  • will communicate anthropological issues and concerns effectively across a variety of media.

2. Anthropology students will apply the basics of field/lab/community research in the discipline and identify the theoretical, methodological, and ethical underpinnings of this work. They…

  • will demonstrate familiarity with the theories, methods, and ethical considerations appropriate to particular research domains (e.g., through the development of a research paper or proposal).
  • will plan and conduct research in one or more of the subdisciplines of anthropology (e.g., archaeological lab/field work, ethnographic research, biomarkers, primate observation, etc.).
  • will use their knowledge of specific research domains to engage in research that foregrounds a commitment to community accessibility, collaboration, and/or participation.

3. Anthropology students will connect their knowledge and research to significant human issues. They…

  • will assess how critical issues (e.g., poverty, health, migration, racism, gender-based violence, etc.) impact particular communities, through class research projects, community-based learning, field courses, and internships.
  • will critically examine the long-term development of and the internal and external responses to these issues
  • will assess how different understandings of human difference have real-world implications for the well-being of particular communities and for the shifting of long-standing power dynamics/hierarchies of knowledge production in the field.

Faculty Service Goals and Objectives

  1. Anthropology seeks to serve the community outside SCU.
    • Faculty will work with students in their classes and in the Anthropology Club to engage students in community service and social justice initiatives.
    • Anthropology classes, when appropriate, will include community service components in their curriculum.
  2. The faculty seek to bring anthropological contributions to the public.
    • Faculty will work with the Anthropology Club in venues (e.g., the Sally Ride Festival) to highlight Anthropology.
    • Faculty will organize and contribute to the Anthropology Seminar Series. Where appropriate, faculty will give seminars/communicate with local groups where ever they are working.
    • Faculty will teach classes that seek to support community welfare and concerns here and/or abroad.
    • Faculty will collaborate with other disciplines and programs of the university to prepare students and faculty for cross-cultural immersion experiences in the U.S. and abroad.

Scholarship Goals and Objectives

  1. Anthropology faculty will work with the University to develop facilities for research, mentoring and collaboration (including mixed media, archaeological opportunities, biological anthropology lab, and a public engagement). They will...
    • provide venues for faculty to do their research and pursue collaborative faculty-student research.
    • provide adequate equipment, space allocation and storage capacity for all labs.
  2. Anthropology faculty value communication of scholarly work to a wide spectrum of audiences, including ones beyond those typical to academia. Where feasible, publication in peer-reviewed academic venues is supplemented by works that interpret scholarly work for the public. They will...
    • use Mark Lynch Research Interns and other students as research assistants in their projects.
    • have students present their research at the Anthropology and Sociology Undergraduate Research Conference, SWAA, and other campus, regional, national, and international venues.
  3. Anthropology faculty value communication of scholarly work to a wide spectrum of audiences, including ones beyond those typical to academia. Where feasible, publication in peer-reviewed academic venues is supplemented by works that interpret scholarly work for the public. They will...
    • regularly present the results of their research (public and professional).
    • present anthropological topics/issues/research to groups outside the university.