University of Mississippi

Why Study Anthropology?

“Anthropology is the science which tells us that people are the same the whole world over – except when they are different.”
—Nancy Banks-Smith

Anthropologists study almost everything that has to do with being human, and we do this from a comparative perspective. That is, what can the study of the role of kinship among the Chickasaw Indians tell us about how we rely on our own kin system? How can the reconstruction of the subsistence strategies of our earliest ancestors help us understand economic and environmental issues that face us today? If we understand the way in which power was achieved and maintained among the ancient Maya of Central America, will it provide insight into campus politics? We offer a broad range of courses dealing with human evolution, the culture of peoples from around the world and through time, human adaptation, both biological and cultural, as well as archaeology. In addition to classroom and laboratory courses, we offer summer field schools which allow undergraduates to learn first hand about doing anthropology.