Anthropology at Brown
The Department of Anthropology at Brown is a vibrant, award-winning group of scholars in the subfields of cultural anthropology, archaeology, and anthropological linguistics. Our research and teaching cover a wide range of the field, with special strengths in anthropological demography, political anthropology, medical anthropology, language and culture, ethnicity, gender, ancient writing and representation, early urbanism, historical and forensic archaeology, and Latin American studies.
As a discipline, Anthropology works at the crossroads of the social sciences and the humanities, and it works to understand human experience in all of its fullness. Unlike other departments, Anthropology does not restrict itself to a single aspect of human social life, such as the political or the aesthetic. Conversations in our classrooms and seminar rooms attempt to put behavior in the broadest contexts of meaning, power, institutions, and history. They cast a global net, ranging from discussions of the transnational process of foreign aid between Japan and Latin America to the hieroglyphic system of the ancient Mayan people to the relationship between Islamic ethics and organ transplant in Egypt. In a world of increasing specialization and fragmentation of knowledge, Anthropology provides an opportunity to look at the big picture and find it in the locally meaningful. In a world of manifold crises, it provides opportunities for applying the knowledge it produces, and in a world of increasingly global connection, the discipline provides many roadmaps.