At New College, our Anthropology AOC seeks to impart a broad perspective on past and present peoples and cultures around the world through study of the methods and materials of the discipline. Through required coursework, you will develop a solid knowledge of the scope and objectives of cultural anthropology and archaeology and of at least one other subdiscipline within the field (i.e., biological anthropology and/or linguistics). You will also acquire in-depth critical knowledge of the theory and methods of anthropology.
As a student pursuing an Anthropology AOC at New College, you will be immersed in classroom and field research in the United States and/or abroad, have access to top faculty and facilities, and develop an in-depth critical knowledge of the theory and methods of anthropology.
Our students have participated in projects ranging from archaeological digs in Central and South America to active planning for the homeless in Sarasota, from critiques of sexism in human evolutionary models to studies of the creolization process in Black English Vernacular.
Theory and practice go hand-in-hand as students develop their understanding of the world and share this with fieldworkers, academics and planners outside the New College community.
Since anthropology is a quintessentially interdisciplinary field of study, you will also be encouraged to expand your knowledge and expertise by taking complementary courses in other disciplines within the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. Intermediate level work in a foreign language is required as well.
In addition to classes and field research, students in our Anthropology AOC also regularly engage in internships in the local community and beyond. Some of the organizations with which our students have recently worked as interns include the Sarasota Film Festival, SCOPE (Sarasota Openly Plans for Excellence) and the Center for American Indian Languages at the University of Utah.
But what really separates our program from many others at the undergraduate level is the abundant opportunities you have to engage in hands-on research with our faculty, each of whom is widely published within the field. One of them is among the country’s leading experts on the archaeology and ethnohistory of Mexico and Central America, while another specializes in the analysis of contemporary social issues and is a former editorial board member for the Tampa Bay Times, one of the country’s leading newspapers. Others include an expert on the archaeology of the Middle East and early Florida who is the director of our Public Archaeology Laboratory, an environmental anthropologist with expertise in community-based conservation efforts in Africa and the U.S., and a Mesoamerican specialist who is an expert on the iconography and hieroglyphic texts of the pre-historic Maya.
Through the real-world experience you will gain while working with these experts in their fields, you’ll acquire the research, analytic and communication skills needed to succeed at both the graduate school level and in the workplace. Our faculty are also terrific teachers and mentors who can advise you on graduate school and career choices, as well as on internship and study abroad opportunities that might be a good fit for your personal interests.
Thanks to the extensive hands-on emphasis of our program and the quality of our faculty as teachers, researchers and mentors, many of our graduates in Anthropology have gone on to earn master’s degrees and Ph.D.s from some of the country’s leading graduate programs. They now teach at the college and K-12 levels. Others have pursued careers in publishing, museum curatorship and law, as well as a host of other fields.
Since the field of anthropology is interdisciplinary by nature, our AOC in Anthropology begins with work in the four major subfields of the discipline: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. As students proceed, their work in specialized theoretical and area courses is complemented by work in languages, other social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities; combined areas of study range from anthropology and literature to anthropology and biology.
Intermediate/advanced courses and tutorials are offered in the history of anthropological theory, method and theory in archaeology, myth and ritual, ecological anthropology, urban anthropology, historical archaeology, human origins, primate behavior, anthropology and literature, and ethnographic methods.
Area courses focus on Old World, Middle Eastern, Mesoamerican, and Andean prehistory; and on contemporary cultures of the United States, the Middle East, and Middle America. Students wishing to focus on the prehistory and ethnography of other regions of the world may do so through tutorials approved by faculty within the discipline.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Anthropology:
Ancient Mesoamerican Civilization
Ancient North America
Anthropology of Food
Anthropology and Literature
Conservation and Indigenous Knowledge
Contemporary Anthropology of Africa
Cultures of the Contemporary USA
Development in an Anthropological Context
East African Anthropology
Early Cultures of the Old World
Ethnography: Theory and Practice
Heritage: History and the Past Today*
History and Culture of Mesoamerica*
History of Anthropological Theory
Human Origins and Evolution*
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology*
Language, Culture and Society
Method and Theory in Archaeology
Myth and Ritual: Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion
Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East*
Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective
Survey of Archaeology*
The Anthropology of Performance
The Colonial Encounter
The Universal Experience of Aging*
Urban Anthropology: Past, Present, and Future
For a complete list of courses, click here.
Eben Kirksey ‘96 is a cultural anthropologist who teaches in the Environmental Humanities program at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He studies the political dimensions of imagination as well as the interplay of natural and cultural history. His first book, Freedom in Entangled Worlds, is about an indigenous political movement in West Papua, the half of New Guinea under Indonesian control. As a guest co-editor of Cultural Anthropology, he assembled a collection of original research articles from the emerging field of multispecies ethnography. His second book, an edited collection called The Multispecies Salon: Gleanings from a Para-Site, is forthcoming from Duke University Press. While a New College student, he was awarded a British Marshall Scholarship to attend Oxford University where he earned his M.Phil. degree. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
New College is proud of the many Anthropology graduates who have contributed to the field. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
• Traci Ardren received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Yale and is currently Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Miami. A Maya archaeologist, she has directed several archaeological projects in Yucatan and has published several books and articles.
• James H. Jones earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology at Harvard University and and is now an associate professor at Stanford University, where he is currently the Director of the Methods of Analysis Program in the Social Sciences and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment.
• Mary Barnes is the education and outreach coordinator at Houston Maritime Museum. While a New College student, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Indonesia.
• Aimee Placas went on to receive her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University and is currently a faculty member at the College Year Abroad program of the International Center for Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies.
• Christa Craven is the author of Pushing for Midwives: Homebirth Mothers and the Reproductive Rights Movement. Her New College thesis was titled, “Words of Empowerment: Language and Behavior in Direct-Entry Midwifery.” She is a professor and chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at The College of Wooster in Ohio.
• Bill Burger is the Sarasota County Archaeologist with the Sarasota County History Center.
• Alexis Santos, a 2012 graduate, is a contributing editor at Engadget.com with articles and reviews about technology. His senior project was on “Creating an Interactive Past: Digital Technologies for Public Representation of Archaeological Sites and Artifacts.”
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Anthropology
• Harvard University
|Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Anthropology:
“Ethnographic Cinema in the 21st Century” by Jacqlyn Bender
“Silver and Gold: Victorian Masculinities of the Nineteenth-Century American West” by Elizabeth T. Bennett
“Archaeology Rolls into the Public Sphere: An Introduction to Florida Public Archaeology Network’s Archaeocart” by Rozalyn E. Crews
“The Ethical and Practical Limitations of the Use of Anthropology in The Military” by Morgan Dolan
“Parallel Kinship in Nihon Buyo” by Dominique Ghirardi
“May All Its Days be Circus Days: An Enthnographic Exploration of Circus in Sarasota, Fl” by Chrystal E.I. Kersey
“Contra Dance : An Example of Fully Participatory Dance Performance in the United States” by Julie Allison Lado
“The Colors that Bind: Dyeing and Natural Dyes in Maya Textiles” by Kristen Michelle Leahy
“Constantly Varied/Highly Functional: An Exploration of Ethnographic Filmmaking in the Digital Age” by Nicholas Manting Brewer
“Organizational Culture, Emotional Labor, and the Work Role of Mental Health Case Managers in a Managed Care Company” by Justin Mihalick
“The Shaft Caches of Structure 4 at Blue Creek, Belize: An Analysis of the Archaeological Evidence and Symbolism of the Feature and its Presumed Interment Ceremony” by Lyssabeth C. Pedersen
“Creating an Interactive Past: Digital Technologies for Public Representation of Archaeological Sites and Artifacts” by Alexis Santos
“A Giant’s Strength: A Multisited Spatial Biography in 19th Century Florida” by Elizabeth Ann Usherwood
“A Blaze In The Northern Sky – A Symbolic Analysis of Ethnicity in the Early Norwegian Black Metal Scene 1986-1997” by Eric Van de Castle
“The Enduring Landscape the Archaeology of Seminole Ethnogenesis in West-Central Florida” by Michael Wass
“At the Liaison’s Gates: Spirit and Security in Hong Kong” by Benjamin Goodman
“The Linguistic Construction of Ethnic Identity in a Greek-American Community” by Natalie Boyd
“Embodying the Holy Spirit A Phenomenology of Tongues” by Jake Elrod
“”Ich Kenne Jeden Stein Mit Vornamen” History, Heritage, and Discourses of Power in Schwabisch Hall, Baden-Wurttemberg” by Dylan Bailey Howard
“What Do the Textbooks Say? An Anthropological Study of Highschool American History Curriculum Content” by Chelsea Montgomery
“A resource for Harmony: An Etunographic Study of Exhibition, Heritage, and Race at Family Heritage House Museum, Bradenton, Florida” by Christina Chavez
“Toxic Entanglements: Florida’s Farmworkers and the Fight for Environmental Justice” by Samuel Chillaron
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free: An Examination of Refugee Resettlement in the United States” by Jessica Certain
“An Anthropology of Remembering: Queer Theory, Collaborative Archaeology, & the Apalachea past” by Lee Bloch
“The Great Ringling: A Cristical Archaeology of Cad’zan in Sarasota, Florida” by Michael Sanderson
“MADRE: An Ethnographic Study of Feminism, Social Change and Women’s Human rights” by Erica Lindegren
“Handling Sushi: People and Places of a Transnational Cuisine” by Mark Wilco
“Fresh from the Grove: Ethnographic Research in Florida’s Citrus Industry” by Miranda Rosalynne Bailey
“Not Everything in its Path: Confusion and Coping on the Bolivar Penninsula after Hurricane Ike” by Mary Barnes
“Nomadic Pastoralism in Mongolia’s Age of the Market” by James William Birmingham
“Conservation and Restoration in Archaeology: Practical Complexities in the Implementation of International Agreements” by Alana Boynton
“Sacred Pathways: The Importance of Caves in Maya Ritual and Ideology” by Karin Camila Boynton
“Representing Rwanda: Anthropology’s Role in Witnessing Genocide” by Kaitlyn Collins
“Moving Upstream: Domestic Violence Prevention Initiatives in a Community-Based Advocacy Organization” by Myranda Pierce
“(No) Incidents of Travel in Yucatan: An Investigation of the Talk in Piste, Mexico, Revolving Around the Influenza Phenomenon of 2009” by Justin Quinn
“Cultivating Community: An Ethography of Orange Blossom Community Garden” by Anastasia Sallen
“Tibetan Buddhist Autobiography: 18th Century To Present” by Theresa Sellers
“Recovering The Temple Mount: The Politics of Place, Memory and Identity” by Britney Summit-Gil
“Traditional Place and Feminist Space: The Japanese Tea Ceremony Makes Room for Empowerment” by Morgan Boecher
“Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going: Feminist Voices in Anthropology” by Roxanne Sawhill
“People Helping People: Community, Identity, Memory, and Place at the Senior Friendship Center” by Loren Mora
“FRAMING GRAFFITI: Walls as Sites/Sights of Resistance to the Regulation of Public Space” by Alexa Anderson
“Shopping for Ornaments at the “Ornament of All Galilee”: Zippori National Park in Israel and the Global Phenomenon of Heritage Tourism” by Lisa Avron
“Constructing a Public Archaeology at Historic Spanish Point in Osprey, Florida” by Steven Garte-Wolf
“Diving Into a Mirror of Light: A Diachronic Exploration of Cenotes” by Jessica Anne Wheeler
“WAS BEDEUTET BIO FUR EUCH? Exploring Collaborative Research on a Demeter Farm in Germany” by Lee Ellen Reed
“Looking East: Muslim Identity in the Archaeological Record of American Enslavement” by Kacie Allen
“Soteriology as a Gift System: Religious Practice Among the First Tibetan Buddhist Nun Scholars” by Junmei Georgia Kashnig
“Difficult Hope: An Ethnography of the Bread and Puppet Theater” by Austin McCann
“Hnahnu Immigrants, Soccer, Mexican/Latino Business, and Power” by Jose Manuel Godinez Samperio
“Radio Silence: Paradoxes in Audioethnography at Tallevast, FL” by Sam Greenspan
“Perspectives on Game Use in Three Populations: An Ethnographic Study of the World of Warcraft” by Kathleen McAuley
“Powers of Invisibility: An Ethnographic Study of Copy Editors and Journalistic Objectivity” by Kara Phelps
“Fuzion Dance Artitists: An Ethnography” by Jenna Virgo
“Whose Development in ‘Theatre for Development’?: Donors, Directors, and Local Participation in a South African Non-Governmental Organization” by Laine Forman
“Myths, Floods and Archaeology of the Ancient Middle East” by Jennifer Sullivan
“Anthropology and Phenomenology of Birth” by Claire Michelsen
“The Paradox of the Fiesta de los Diablitos: Tradition and Change Among the Boruca of Costa Rica” by Martin Louis Gibbs
“The Five Points of the Pentacle: Pagan Identity in Sarasota Florida” by Story L. L. M. D. Boyle
“The Academy: Men, Practice and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” by Walker Kahn
“Out in the Woods: Performances of Self and Play in Landscapes of Queerness and Community” by John David Kelley
“The Archaeology of Paradox: The Evolution of Social Policy and Cultural Resource Management in China” by Jen Stubbs
“The Neo-Evolutionary Classificatory System and its Application to Societies on the Theshold of Statehood” by Eleanor Vekert
“The Canvas as a Common Ground: Cross-Cultural Communication through Indigenous Art in Australia” by Katie Steen
“An Ecological Anthropology of the Israeli National Water Carrier” by Mitchell Gomez
“Mending Broken Lives: Recovery among Argentina’s Family Members of the ‘Disappeared’” by Timothy Murray
“The Ethiopian Jewish Community: Transition and Change in Israel” by Miriam Schwartz
“Ancient Adventures in a Newly Constructed Past Exploring the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida” by C. Tara Ingram
“Imagining ‘Home’: An Ethnography of a U.S. Expatriate Community in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico” by Jamie Marisa Samowitz
“Tea Tasting: A Historic-Anthropological Study of Tea Cultivation and Commodification” by Christine E. Savage
“Community, Service, and Spirituality: An Ethnography of Zen Hospice Project Volunteers” by Craig Schuetze
“Gendered Archaeology of the God Pan on Cyprus” by Sarah Mullersman
“Food for Thought: American Jewish Identity and the Role of Food” by Elizabeth Berman
“The Casa de Theresa: An Ethnography of an HIV/AIDS Day Shelter in Sarasota, FL” by Danielle Quinn Beiling
Hal C. Ball Anthropology Laboratory
New College Public Archaeology Laboratory
Jane Bancroft Cook Library