Graduate Program

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago offers doctoral programs in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology and in archaeology. Although doctoral students must complete a Masters paper during their course of study at the University (or receive credit for a Masters degree earned at another institution), no one is admitted to the department solely to seek a Masters degree. Terminal Masters degrees are granted at the discretion of the Department of Anthropology.

The program in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology offers opportunities to pursue a wide range of ethnographic and theoretical interests. While the Department does not emphasize a particular theoretical perspective, it is well-known for its attention to classic problems in social theory along with an engagement with the latest developments in theories of history, culture, politics, economics, transnational processes, space and place, subjectivity, experience, and materiality. Shared topical interests among its members include culture and colonialism, postcoloniality and globalization, gender and sexuality, historical anthropology, history and social structure, politics and law, political economy, religion, ritual, science and technology, semiotics and symbolism, medicine and health, and subjectivity and affect. Africa, the Caribbean, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Oceania, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the United States of America are among the geographic areas of faculty research. Course work and study with faculty in other departments enable the student to pursue interdisciplinary interests, language training, and other regional studies.

The archaeology program enables students to articulate archaeology, history, and sociocultural anthropology, with emphasis on the integration of social and cultural theory in the practice of archaeology. Current faculty specialize in the archaeology of Latin America (the later prehistory and colonial periods of the Andes and Mesoamerica), Europe (the “Celtic” Iron Age and Greco-Roman colonial expansion), Southeastern and Southwestern US (urban history, colonialism, landscapes), South and Southeast Asia and Oceania (from the Neolithic to the early colonial periods), and West Africa (history, landscape, complexity and political economy), as well as ethnoarchaeology in Africa and experimental archaeology in South America. Research interests include: urbanism, state formation, imperialism, colonialism, industrialization, art and symbolism, spatial analysis, politics, ritual and religion, human-environment interactions, agricultural systems, material culture, economic anthropology, political economy and the socio-historical context and the history and politics of archaeology. Faculty members have ongoing field research projects in Bolivia, Cambodia, France, India, Peru, Senegal, and the United States (New Orleans and Mexico), and also have research interests in Kenya and Hawai’i.

Teaching in physical anthropology, mainly directed towards evolutionary anthropology and primatology, is offered by Russell Tuttle.