Graduate Program

The Department of Anthropology prepares students for effective, knowledgeable teaching and for impact and creative research in sociocultural anthropology, enabling them to bring anthropological concepts, findings, and investigative approaches to bear both on cross-disciplinary scholarship and on public understanding and policy.  The Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology is the only degree in the graduate program.  We do not offer a Master's Degree in Anthropology.

Graduate Courses

Spring 2022

Proseminar in Anthropology
This is the second half of a yearlong seminar required for first-year graduate students in Sociocultural Anthropology. The course focuses on anthropology's engagement with critical theory, ethnography, and writing. Through reading key texts in the discipline, we reflect on how anthropologists transition from their fieldwork to theorizing, and from their ethnography to text and public engagement. As we seek to decolonize social thought, we attend to the ways ethnographic subjects become alternative figures of thought, redirecting our modes of expression and restoring movement to ethical and political debates.
Instructors: João Biehl
Advanced Topics in Anthropology (Half-Term): Pragmatic Semiotic Anthropology
This graduate seminar is a systematic multidisciplinary study of the theory and technique of semiotic analysis of cultural phenomena. The course explores semiotics and its elaborations in philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, communication studies, science and technology studies, and cultural studies. By focusing on pragmatic applications of semiotic theories, the students learn to approach the messiness of social, material, affective, and more-than-human lives and the complex inter-actions of signs in and through society. The students learn to apply semiotics and experiment with its potential for designing their research projects.
Instructors: Ryo Morimoto
Advanced Topics in Anthropology (Half-Term): Evidential Regimes in Development Theory
Donor aid has been described as a failure, a faith, and a form of neocolonialism. Which description is most apt? To understand the ethics and value of international development, this seminar explores the history of development theory and practice from the early 20th century to present. In addition, this course offers an approach to understanding what cross-cultural engagements really do by focusing on the experiences of those who participate in development, both donors and recipients. Finally, this course unpacks the language and ideology of development and how that shapes whether we think donor aid is a failure or a humanitarian achievement.
Instructors: Carolyn Rouse
The Quest for Health: Contemporary Debates on Harm, Medicine, and Ethics
The course explores issues in medicine and global health with a focus on ethics. We address both ethics in the context of clinical decision-making and also the social, cultural, and economic "ethical field" of health care. Ever-expanding technological possibilities re-shape our social lives, extending them, giving greater control but taking it away. Treatments such as living donor organ transplantation, stem cell therapies, and physician-assisted suicide transform our understandings of life, death and what we expect from one another. Technologies such as glucometers bring new inequalities.
Instructors: Amy Borovoy


Please note that 400 level undergraduate courses on the Courses section of this website are also eligible for graduate enrollment.