2023-2024 College Catalog

Anthropology, Bachelor of Arts

Department Chair:

Jason Antrosio


Connie Anderson; Namita Sugandhi






Anthropology is devoted to the holistic study of humankind, understanding and explaining human beings in all of their diverse aspects at all times and places. Teasing out the origins of Homo sapiens from fossilized bones, discovering the common humanity among different cultures, exploring why contemporary peoples do what they do—all are part of this wide-ranging and fascinating field.

Anthropology at Hartwick addresses three major sub-areas: cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology. Cultural anthropologists explore the varying beliefs and practices of the world’s societies, both non-Western and Western, in contemporary and historic times. Biological anthropologists investigate the interaction of culture and biology in the evolution of and current biological diversity within the human family and our nearest relatives. Archaeologists reconstruct the ways of life of past societies by excavating and interpreting their artifacts and other material remains. Anthropology bridges the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.

The study of anthropology can broaden students’ perspectives on and understanding of other people and cultures as well as their own. Courses in the discipline are valuable components of an education designed to prepare students for a future characterized by growing social and global interdependence.

Students majoring in anthropology take a core of preliminary courses followed by seminars that survey anthropology’s historical and theoretical insights. Students may use electives to specialize in one of the three major sub-areas and in a particular culture area of the world (e.g. Africa, Latin America, South Asia). At the philosophical level, students develop awareness of the ethnocentrism implicit in Western ways of thinking as well as a sensitivity to the traditions of others. In addition, all students are encouraged to master practical anthropological skills in courses dealing directly with field, museum, lab, computer and other analytical methods.

The department offers a number of special opportunities: a field school in archaeological excavation; off- campus programs in other countries; courses, training and exhibitions dealing with the many unique collections of artifacts found in The Yager Museum; and the Hardy Chair Lecture Program featuring world-renowned anthropologists. Students especially interested in museum work can complete Hartwick’s Museum Studies minor in addition to the Anthropology major or minor.

Hartwick’s anthropology graduates have successfully taken on a diverse range of career challenges from law and medical school, business, education, international relations and government service to archaeological excavation, public health careers, and doctoral programs in anthropology. They have used their understanding of people and their similarities and differences to pursue careers in museums, community relations, journalism, human resources management and social services. Whatever their specific goals, anthropology students emerge with a conscious appreciation of and sensitivity to the critical issues of difference, diversity, and inequality.