Anthropology

The Anthropology Department offers a rigorous and comprehensive program for graduate students, who examine and experience anthropology through course study, fieldwork, and laboratory work.

Our faculty members are at the forefront of research in politics and society, human sexuality, and evolutionary biology. We have a large complement of faculty working in the anthropology of religion and world affairs, including the single largest concentration of anthropologists of Islam in the United States and Western Europe.

Social anthropologists typically identify themselves in relation to two broad types of concerns: regions of areal expertise and topics of theoretical investigation. Areally, the department has concentrated on four regions: Africa, Asia broadly conceived, the Islamic world, and North America/Western Europe. These areal emphases build on center and department resources across the University, including the African Studies Center, the Center for the Study of Asia, the Center for Muslim Societies, and the Pardee Center for Global Affairs. In terms of theoretical topics, our social anthropology faculty are leaders in the study of youth and gender, religion and modernity, psychological anthropology, comparative politics, social movements, and democratization.

Boston University has also committed itself to a program of intensive development in biological anthropology, with the goal of producing a world-class center of research and education. Current faculty research projects afford opportunities for students to become involved in cutting-edge field research and laboratory studies of humans and other primates and mammals. Highlights include Matt Cartmill’s work on the evolution of locomotion, Carolyn Hodges-Simeon’s comparative studies of human maturation, and Cheryl Knott’s work on orangutan ecology.

In all these respects, the graduate program in Anthropology at Boston University is committed to the training of a new generation of anthropologists capable of addressing the challenges of the modern world.