Anthropology is the study of humans in the past and present, at home and around the world, in all our social, cultural, linguistic and biological diversity and complexity. The four subfields of Anthropology -- Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology and Sociocultural Anthropology -- are united by shared perspectives on how we study the full breadth of humanity.  

At Western, we have one of the most balanced four-field Anthropology departments in Canada. The four subfields structure our undergraduate modules and courses and our graduate programs (MA and PhD). Faculty members from across the subfields contribute to our collective research strengths in anthropological perspectives on: the Environment; Bodies and Health; Human Relations, Inequality and Power; and Individual, Social and Cultural Identities.

As anthropologists, we acknowledge and respect the longstanding relationship that Indigenous Nations have to this land and we strive towards active and meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities at all stages of the research process. We commit to conducting research that serves the interests of the communities with whom we work, and the process of truth and reconciliation. Through our teaching and research, we are committed to building understanding and acceptance of differences among human beings and identifying and fighting structural racism and inequality.

News and Updates

Nevis Field Trip 2023

Western students dig up history in the Caribbean

When Western professor Neal Ferris led an archaeology field school on the small Caribbean island of Nevis this summer, his goal was to teach students how to use their skills in service of community heritage work. 

Six undergraduate students and a graduate student were part of the field school, which provided foundational skills in archaeology, such as identification, excavation, and handling artifacts when they’re recovered. The group worked closely with the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society. 

Javier Alvarez Vanier scholar

PhD candidate one of four Western Vanier Canada Scholars

Anthropology PhD candidate Javier Alvarez Vandeputte has been named one of four Western Vanier Canada Scholars for 2023-24.

Javier’s research focuses on the linguistic revitalization strategies developed by the Mapuche Indigenous people of south-central Chile. The Mapuche language, called Mapudungun, is threatened.

Working in collaboration with Mapuche teachers, Javier will study ways to improve Mapudungun teaching skills and offer new approaches that contribute to Indigenous control of local schools.

Pam Block and students in Brazil

How a field research trip to Brazil opened new worlds

Nadine Domingo wanted to learn a language that has special meaning in her life. Monica Rocha Martinez wanted to explore a new region and culture in her home country. 

The students travelled to Brazil with Professor Pamela Block to explore disability studies and activism, teaming up with Block’s longtime research associate and friend Marivete Gesser, a psychologist and professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianopolis.