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 recent theses that Anthropology students completed.

2014 Senior Theses:

  •  Organic and Natural Food Preferences of Dickinson College Students
  • Discussion of Historical Trauma within Native American Communities, and A Discussion of Discourse Within The Subject
  • Giriama and Gedi Ruins: Heritage Control and Changing Ethnic Identities
  • Anthropology and the State
  • Anthropological Approach to Personal Health Assessment: A Generational Interpretation
  • Enamel Hypoplasia and Early Mortality: Interpreting Developmental Stress at Neale‚Äôs Landing, West Virginia (46Wd39)

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
    • Migration, Immigration, and Refugees

    These projects were based on fieldwork in the following countries:

    • Cameroon
    • Dominican Republic
    • England
    • France
    • Kenya
    • Mexico
    • Tanzania
    • United States


    Lab analysis and work with mobile populations in these earlier theses concerned the following countries:

    • Bosnia
    • Egypt
    • Jordan
    • Mexico
    • Uganda
    • United States