Undergraduate

Anthropology, which views human behavior, biology and society (both past and present) in a cross-cultural perspective, combines scientific and humanistic interests in a social science framework. Anthropology involves the study of humans located around the globe, over a span of four to five million years, using perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities (arts), which makes it one of the broadest ranging of all academic disciplines. A degree in Anthropology can prepare you for a wide array of career choices.

The traditional four-fields in Anthropology are:

Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of cultures of the past by means of the recovery and analysis of material remains. Faculty research in this area includes the peopling of the New World, the prehistoric and historic archaeology of Ontario, hunter gatherer ecology, early sedentism and early urbanism, complex civilizations in Peru, the integration of GIS with archaeology, remote sensing, 3-D imaging, textile analysis, lithic analysis, faunal archaeology, commercial archaeology, and community-based research.

Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology focuses on the genetically controlled aspects of human variability, but is also concerned with how biology and culture are interrelated. Biological anthropologists at Western are currently involved in the study of the relationship between body and brain size over the course of human evolution, the burial practices of middle and upper classes in the ancient Moche civilization of coastal Peru, and the analysis of human mummies, as well as the primatological study of nonhuman primates. Western has research and teaching strengths in bioarchaeology, which encompasses all biological components of the archaeological record.

Linguistic Anthropology

Linguistic Anthropology examines the intersections of language, culture, and society. Studies in linguistic anthropology range from micro-level analyses of interpersonal discourse (looking at language in everyday and ritual contexts, at different linguistic aspects of artistic and expressive language, or at social meaning and social variation in speech) to the macro-level analysis of speech communities where language is used to form social identities or for playing out power relations between people, institutions and even countries. Faculty members have worked with linguistic and cultural groups in South America (Brazil and Venezuela) and North America (urban populations in Ontario and Quebec, First Nations in Southwestern Ontario and Alberta, the Canadian Arctic, and Arizona).

Sociocultural Anthropology

Sociocultural Anthropology seeks to understand how human experience is shaped by the social, cultural, political, economic, and religious realities with which all people live. We approach this ambitious goal by analyzing, comparing and reflecting on research conducted with and about people around the world, including many locations in the Americas (from Canada in the north to Argentina in the south), as well as the South Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa including Madagascar. Current research projects include studies of culture and the environment, refugee and migration studies, the history of anthropology, artisanal mining, mobile phones, the history of public health, and First Nations identity and politics in Canada.

What will students studying anthropology learn?

These broad learning outcomes indicate what students in our Majors and Specialization modules are gaining through their studies in our program. For the learning outcomes associated with particular courses, see particular course outlines.

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

By the end of their studies, students who complete Major or Specialization modules in Western’s Anthropology program will be able to ...
• Read, summarize, and critically evaluate anthropological literature from academic and popular sources.
• Recognize, understand and respect cultural, linguistic and biological diversity in the past and the present, locally and globally.

Knowledge of Methodologies

By the end of their studies, students who complete Major or Specialization modules in Western’s Anthropology program will be able to ...
• Read, summarize, and critically evaluate anthropological literature from academic and popular sources.
• Appreciate the history, key arguments and applications of different theoretical approaches in Anthropology.
• Identify, evaluate and employ appropriate anthropological research methods in an ethical manner

Application of Knowledge

By the end of their studies, students who complete Major or Specialization modules in Western’s Anthropology program will be able to ...
• Read, summarize, and critically evaluate anthropological literature from academic and popular sources.
• Locate and synthesize anthropological research findings, in order to formulate and effectively communicate well-supported arguments on complex topics.
• Recognize, understand and respect cultural, linguistic and biological diversity in the past and the present, locally and globally.
• Appreciate the history, key arguments and applications of different theoretical approaches in Anthropology.
• Identify, evaluate and employ appropriate anthropological research methods in an ethical manner.
• Effectively engage in autonomous and collaborative work with fellow students and/or community partners.
• Cultivate intellectual curiosity as well as analytic, problem-solving, decision making and listening skills.

Communication Skills

By the end of their studies, students who complete Major or Specialization modules in Western’s Anthropology program will be able to ...
• Locate and synthesize anthropological research findings, in order to formulate and effectively communicate well-supported arguments on complex topics.
• Effectively engage in autonomous and collaborative work with fellow students and/or community partners.

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

By the end of their studies, students who complete Major or Specialization modules in Western’s Anthropology program will be able to ...
• Critically reflect upon the personal and disciplinary limits of knowledge and develop an appreciation for uncertainty and ambiguity within interpretation and analysis.

Autonomy and Professional Capacity

By the end of their studies, students who complete Major or Specialization modules in Western’s Anthropology program will be able to ...
• Effectively engage in autonomous and collaborative work with fellow students and/or community partners.
• Engage in scholarly research and debate at the level of sophistication necessary for advancement to graduate and professional studies in anthropology and related disciplines.


We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our program.

Please email us at anthro-ugrad-office@uwo.ca.

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Laura Cousins

SSC-3326
519-661-2111, ext 87064
lcousin3@uwo.ca

Undergraduate Chair
Andrew Walsh

SSC-3405
519-661-2111, ext 85094
awalsh33@uwo.ca