The major is organized around a sequence of required courses:
- ANT 130 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
- ANT 220, a colloquium in anthropology
- ANT 223 The History of Anthropological Theory
- One Smith senior seminar
- Four additional anthropology classes are selected, in consultation with the adviser, based on the student's geographical and subject interests.
- Three remaining required courses for the major may be additional anthropology classes or classes in other disciplines that are related to the student's interests.
Majors must show a competency in one foreign language equivalent to four semesters of college level classes. A student may demonstrate this level of competency by completing language courses at the intermediate level, or by certification from a language instructor. For languages that are not represented on Smith's curriculum, students can select a qualified evaluator in consultation with their advisor. A maximum of two language courses may count towards the three related course category for the major. Students who wish to focus their major in biological anthropology may replace the language requirement with two courses in mathematics (M) and/or natural science (N) if the courses serve as an essential foundation for advanced work in this sub-field and they are above the 100 level. Any alternative for the language requirement will be developed in consultation with an adviser and must be part of an overall plan of studies approved by the entire department. Please note that this alternative to the language requirement is considered exceptional and must be justified by a well-considered curricular plan.
The Nancy “Penny” Schwartz (Class of 1974) Fund supports the efforts of current anthropology majors to acquire competence in non-Western languages. Modest grants, not to exceed $500, will be made to help cover expenses associated with international or national travel and study that include language instruction. Domestic funding is for language classes only; no support is provided for other academic coursework, internships, or research conducted in the United States. Domestic funding for tutors, commercial services and/or self-study guides will not be provided and grants will not be made for post-baccalaureate language training.
Requests for 2013 should be submitted electronically to the department’s administrative assistant, Lea Ahlen (email@example.com), no later than February 15, 2013. The request must include specific information on the study program and the language to be studied, as well as a clear statement of the importance of the language to the student’s anthropological interests. Any additional sources of funding to which applications have been made must be identified.
Additional Notes About the major
The Department will typically offer the required theory course and colloquium once a year, fall and spring semester respectively. The colloquium, which is essentially an introduction to anthropological methods, will have different topics based on the choice of the professor who offers it in a given year. No one topic is likely to be of equal interest to all students, but it is important to remember that unlike other courses, the specific subject matter is less important than the skills that the class aims to transmit. The class will include instruction in both qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as in the process of defining a research problem and writing a research proposal.
Students majoring in anthropology are encouraged to consider an academic program abroad during their junior year. In the past, majors have spent a term or year in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Senegal, and South Africa. Students planning to spend the junior year abroad should take at least one but preferably two courses in anthropology during the sophomore year. Students should discuss their study abroad plans with advisers, particularly if they wish to do a special studies or senior thesis upon their return. For more information, visit the Study Abroad page.
Majors interested in biological anthropology or additional courses in archaeology may take advantage of the excellent resources in this area at the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire College.
Special Studies Options
Students wishing to pursue individualized study in their junior or senior years on campus may enroll in Anthropology 404a, b, or 408d Special Studies. A student must secure the agreement of a faculty member to supervise a particular project prior to enrolling in the course. Examples of the kinds of work done under this category include:
- in-depth reading in an area not covered in another course;
- the following-through of a research proposal developed in another course (either library research or empirical research);
- other options, to be negotiated between the student and a particular faculty member.
Courses in Which Field Work or Field Research is Required or Encouraged
- ANT 200 Colloquium
- ANT 342 The Anthropology of Food
- ANT 344 Seminar: Topics in Medical Anthropology