Law, Politics, and Economics Track

The Department of Anthropology's Law, Politics, and Economics Track (LPE) is for students interested in three well-established fields within the discipline of anthropology. Students in this track are introduced to comparative studies of law, politics, development, exchange, and microeconomics across cultures.

This track requires nine courses total; three are required and six are electives that include departmental courses focused on the law, economics, and/or politics (see examples from the list below). Students in this track are allowed to substitute up to two of the six elective courses with a class taught within the Department of Anthropology but outside the LPE track. Students are also allowed to take two cognates as part of their nine departmental courses.

Required Courses (3)

  • ANT 300 Ethnography, Evidence and Experience
  • ANT 301 The Ethnographer's Craft
  • ANT 390 Histories of Anthropological Theory

Elective Courses (6)

Examples of LPE electives are shown below. Elective courses are typically taught every other year, although some may be offered annually and others less frequently. A list of pre-approved LPE electives will be published each semester before course enrollment begins. When available, pre-approved cognates will also be listed.

Courses pertaining to Economics, examples: Economic Life in Cultural Context (ANT 203); Debt (ANT 225); The Anthropology of Development (ANT 314); Economic Anthropology and American Pop Culture (ANT 350)

Courses pertaining to Law, examples: The Anthropology of Law (ANT 342); Policing and Militarization Today (ANT 223)

Courses pertaining to Politics, examples: Violence (ANT 264); Political Anthropology (ANT 304); Revolt (ANT 319); Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia (SLA 420/ ANT 420) 

Courses pertaining to Law, Politics, and/or Economics, examples: Catastrophes across Cultures: The Anthropology of Disaster (ANT 219); Urban Anthropology (ANT 227); #BlackLivesMatter (ANT 244); Food, Culture, and Society (ANT 311); Gender and the Household (ANT 440)

Possible Cognates (2)

A cognate is a course that the director of undergraduate studies has reviewed and deemed to be relevant to a student's independent work or correspond to a student's course of study (i.e., track). LPE students are allowed to take two cognates as part of their six elective courses. Appropriate cognates for LPE might include a non-ANT course in Economics or Politics, a regional studies course, and/or a course taken during study abroad. Proposed cognates must be approved by the department. Approval prior to enrollment is normally expected, however, retroactive approval is granted when warranted.

Senior Thesis

LPE students write a senior thesis on a topic related to law, politics, and/or economics, broadly defined, using a methodological and theoretical approach appropriate to anthropology and approved by a student's senior thesis adviser.

Degree at Graduation

The transcript degree of students in the Law, Politics, and Economics Track will be A.B. in Anthropology. Students who successfully complete the LPE curriculum will receive a departmental attestation on Class Day and may note their track focus on their resumés.

To compare LPE to other Anthropology Tracks, see the comparison table.

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