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 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 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. 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 Politics, examples: #BlackLivesMatter (ANT 244); Political Anthropology (ANT 304); Revolt (ANT 319); Rituals of Governing (ANT 453); Catastrophes across Cultures: The Anthropology of Disaster (ANT 219); Urban Anthropology (ANT 227); Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia (SLA 420/ ANT 420); Conspiracy Theory and Social Theory (an ANT 406 topic)
Courses pertaining to Law, examples: Policing and Militarization Today (ANT 223); The Anthropology of Law (ANT 342); Labors of Consciousness: Culture, Capital, Moral Economy (ANT 417)
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 Introduction to Microeconomics (ECO 100), a course taught in the Politics Department, 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.
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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