Why Study Anthropology?
Anthropology is the study of the human condition, both biological and cultural, across space and time. All societies are confronted with the same issues, from how to adapt to their environment to deciding whom they may marry to understanding the afterlife, but there are myriad ways that these issues are solved. Anthropologists gain an understanding and appreciation of these approaches as they explore the alternative ways of being human.
What Will I Learn?
Students will gain a range of skill sets that can be applied in many settings. Cultural anthropologists will be introduced to ethnographic methods, including surveys and participant observation, as they immerse themselves in the community under study. Those specializing in archaeology and bioarchaeology will learn excavation methods as well as laboratory analysis of artifacts and human remains to reconstruct past lifeways, particularly in the Southeast and Mesoamerica. Students interested in primatology will be taught primate observation methods as well as laboratory techniques for nutritional analysis.
Admission requirements include:
- a completed application;
- transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended;
- GRE scores;
- three letters of recommendation;
- a statement of purpose;
- a resume.
A writing sample may also be submitted, but is optional.
We have an annual assistantship sponsored by the Department of Defense in which a student works closely with the staff archaeologist at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center. Other internships are available in the program laboratories as well as in off campus settings.
Our program has four laboratories where students can gain hands-on experience as they work closely with faculty members. The most unique facility is the center for primate behavioral studies which houses a colony of bushbabies. We also have a bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology lab which curates a large colonial Maya population from western Belize. Our archaeological facility is home to a variety of research collections from Mississippi and the greater Southeast. The biological anthropology lab is also equipped for hormonal analysis and preparing nutritional samples for further analysis and has equipment that allows analysis of tissues for many hormonal indicators.
What Are The Faculty Research Specializations?
Dr. Katie Smith is interested in captive primate behavior, nutrition, and health, and the evolution of diet related chronic disease. Dr. Marie Danforth, a bioarchaeologist, has worked with Maya and Southeastern populations looking at impacts of colonialism on health. Dr. Bridget Hayden is a cultural anthropologist interested in globalization and political-economic change, working in Central America and Mississippi. Dr. Ed Jackson is a archaeologist who specializes in Southeastern prehistory, especially focusing on faunal analysis.
- Field Archaeologist
- Medical Anthropologist
- Laboratory Manager
- College Instructor
- Museum Curator
- Business Consultant
- Heather Guzik (2016)
Anatomy Laboratory Instructor, Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine
- H. Denise Saucier (2018)
Director, Long Beach Public Library
Nic Glass (2018)
Archaeologist, Alabama National Guard
- Dawn Klos (2017)
Doctoral Student, History and Humanities, Trinity University, Dublin
- C. Brady Davis (2015)
Director, Homeland Affairs, Division of Heritage Preservation, Department of Culture and Humanities, The Chickasaw Nation