Student Research is the Core of Anthropology

Anthropology students learn to design and complete research projects in our methods courses. In their senior year, each student prepares a senior thesis based on original research he or she designs in consultation with a faculty advisor, working alongside peers in the Senior Colloquium course. Students develop a research problem, complete background research, design appropriate research methods, and carry out the research and analysis. Most students do original fieldwork or lab analysis; some apply new perspectives to already published scholarship. Toward the end of the senior year, students present their thesis research results to the department faculty and fellow Anthropology majors.

Students prepare senior theses in any area of Anthropology. Many students develop projects related to their long-term interests or career goals. Some build on work they began in field schools, other summer fieldwork opportunities, or while studying abroad. Others develop projects on or near campus. Here is a list of theses that Anthropology students completed in 2012 and 2013.

2013 Senior Theses:
    Changing Agricultural Practices in a Rural Andean Community
    Identity, Community, and Social Capital in Chicago Steppin' Style Dance
    Nordic Identity and the Emergence of "New Nordic Cuisine" in Denmark
    Three-dimensional Analysis of Dental Change and Early Hominin Diet
    Implications of Genetic Data for Research on Neandethals
    Perspectives of Amish People on Health and Genetic Disorders
    Preservation and Promotion of Yiddish Language in the United States
    Generational Changes among Indian Communities in the United States
    Native American Communities and Historical Trauma
    Maternal and Child Health in Rural Eastern Africa
    International Development Volunteers and their Perceptions of Effectiveness 
    Cultural Aspects of Anxiety among College Students
    Gender and Culture in Alcoholics Anonymous

2012 Senior Theses:
    Dental Evidence for Diet in an Archaeological Population
    Women's Work and Changing Economic Conditions in Rural Eastern Africa
    The Archaeology of Religious Change and Mortuary Practices in the Ancient World
    Transnational Uses of Electronic Social Networking
    Socioeconomic Standing and Access to Improved Water Sources in Rural Eastern Africa
    Ethnographic Approaches to Bee Colony Collapse in the Mid-Atlantic United States
    Health Care Decision Making among College Students 
    Nationalism and the Study Abroad Experience
    Changing Options in Elderly Care in the United States 

Theses from the Previous Decade:
Theses over the previous decade similarly covered a wide range of topics, including the following: Medical Anthropology; Economic Development; Gender; Agriculture and Sustainable Development; Archaeology and Cultural Heritage; Osteology and Archaeological Populations; Nonhuman Primates, Communication and Conservation; "Race" and Racism; Forensic Anthropology; Religion and Culture; Political and Legal Anthropology; Human Rights; Gerontology; Body Modification; and Migration, Immigration, and Refugees. These projects were based on fieldwork in the following countries: Cameroon; Dominican Republic; England; France; Kenya; Mexico; Tanzania; and the United States. Lab analysis and work with mobile populations in these earlier theses concerned the following countries: Bosnia; Egypt; Jordan; Mexico; Uganda; and the United States.