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, and microeconomics (what anthropologists call exchange) across cultures. This track requires nine courses total; three are required and the other six include departmental electives focused on the law, economics, and politics (see examples from the list below). Students in this track are allowed to substitute one 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 six elective courses.

Required Courses (3)

  • ANT 300 Ethnography, Evidence and Experience
  • ANT 301 The Ethnographer's Craft
  • ANT 390 History 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.

Courses pertaining to Economics, examples: Economic Life in Cultural Context (ANT 203); Economic Experience in Cultural Context (ANT 303); The Anthropology of Development (ANT 314); The Resource Curse and Development in Africa (ANT 421); Ethnography and Wicked Problems (EGR 385/ ANT 385); Debt (ANT 225); Global Pharmaceuticals: Science, Political Economy, Ethics (ANT 405)

Courses pertaining to Politics, examples: Political Anthropology (ANT 304); Rituals of Governing (ANT 453); Power and Politics in Southeast Asia (ANT 332); Revolt (ANT 319); Anthropologies of Water (ANT 416); Catastrophes across Cultures: The Anthropology of Disaster (ANT 219); Medical Anthropology (ANT 240); Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia (SLA 420/ ANT 420); Infrastructures of Modernity in the Middle East (ANT 404); Conspiracy Theory and Social Theory (ANT 406)

Courses pertaining to Law, examples: The Anthropology of Law (ANT 342); The American Family in Law and Society (ANT 207); Social Lives, Social Forces (ANT 232); Labors of Consciousness: Culture, Capital, Moral Economy (ANT 417); Democracy and Ethnography in the United States (ANT 427); Ethnography of Law (ANT 407)

Possible Cognates (2)

A cognate is a course that the departmental representative 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 Introduction to Microeconomics (ECO 100), a course taught in the Politics Department, a regional studies course, a course taken during study abroad and/or an anthropology course taught outside the LPE track. 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 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 concentration on their resumés.

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

Return to the main page for Tracks