The Anthropology program at Willamette emphasizes cultural anthropology – the study of contemporary cultures in various parts of the world. For example, we offer courses on the cultures of Asia, Native North America, Latin America, and Africa. All of these are areas where our faculty have carried out in-depth field research.
Our students also analyze U.S. culture, through taped interviews, observations of rituals, comparisons with other cultures, and various other methods.
Our course electives cover topics like religion, ethnomusicology, health and illness, gender, human rights, the environment, art, folklore, museum studies, warfare, language, and documentary film.
In short, we strive to make “the strange familiar and the familiar strange” – to make ostensibly strange cultural practices comprehensible, and to make our own culture an object worthy of analysis.