Law, Politics, and Economics Track

The Law, Politics, and Economics Track (LPE) is for students interested in these three well-established fields within the discipline of anthropology. LPE students are introduced to key theories of value, exchange and justice, for example, and to the comparative studies of law, politics, development, globalization and microeconomics across societies.

The LPE 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 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.

LPE Required Courses (3)

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

LPE Elective Courses (6)

A few examples of LPE electives are shown below. These 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: Debt (ANT 225); Economic Experience in Cultural Context (ANT 303); Food, Culture, and Society (ANT 311); The Anthropology of Development (ANT 314); Economic Anthropology and American Pop Culture (ANT 350)
  • Courses pertaining to politics: Violence (ANT 264); Political Anthropology (ANT 304); Revolt (319); Catastrophes across Cultures: The Anthropology of Disaster (ANT 219); Urban Anthropology (ANT 227); #BlackLivesMatter (ANT 244); Conspiracy Theory and Social Theory (ANT 406); Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia (SLA 420/ANT 420)
  • Courses pertaining to law: The Anthropology of Law (ANT 342); Policing and Militarization Today (ANT 223); Justice (ANT 263)

Possible Cognates (2)

LPE students are allowed to take two cognates. Appropriate cognates for LPE might include courses taught in the departments of Economics or Politics; a regional studies course; courses taken during study abroad; and/or anthropology courses taught outside the Law, Politics, and Economics 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 must write a senior thesis on a topic related to law, politics and/or economics, broadly defined. The methodological and theoretical approach taken must be approved by the student’s senior thesis adviser. Ethnographic and/or community-engaged research is strongly encouraged, along with creative modes of data visualization and storytelling.

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.