Cultural Anthropology 

Anthropology is the study of humanity in all times and places. Cultural anthropologists study humanity by immersing themselves in the everyday lives of people in particular societies and cultures. This might mean working alongside Andean villagers cleaning an irrigation ditch, sitting in a meeting in a neighborhood in Paris or Detroit where people are planning a local park, or talking with a vodun priest in West Africa as he prepares for a religious ritual. We participate, observe, and learn from those we work with about how they understand their world. Encompassing the whole range of human diversity, cultural anthropology allows us to question our own cultural ‘common sense’ and to see what may seem ‘strange’ as another way of being human. It also provides tools for analyzing inequality within and between societies. 

Anthropology students at Wayne State receive thorough training in the concepts, theories, and methods of cultural anthropology, including opportunities for participating in faculty research, study abroad, and student research projects in the Detroit area and elsewhere. Course offerings in cultural anthropology address critical contemporary topics such as world religions, globalization, capitalism, urban issues, and the environment. Faculty with personal experience and expertise teach courses on particular regions such as Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and others. 

Cultural anthropologists in the Department maintain both a strong urban presence and a global reach in their respective research activities. All of our graduate students perform local fieldwork as part of their training in research methods, and many go on to write master's essays, theses or doctoral dissertations on Detroit or southeastern Michigan, while others conduct doctoral research in other areas of the United States and abroad. 

Core Cultural Anthropology Faculty: Barry Lyons, Guerin Montilus, and Andrew Newman.

Other Cultural Anthropology Faculty in the Wayne State Anthropology Department: Allen Batteau, Yuson Jung, Mark Luborsky, Jessica Robbins-Ruszkowski, Andrea Sankar, Jonathan Stillo.

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