Study human practices from stone tools to social media.
Open-Ended Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Methods
Anthropologists experiment with a wide range of media for generating and sharing insights about the world - including but not limited to writing books, curating online archives, and drawing ethnographic comics.
Language and Communication
In addition to the study of individual languages, Oberlin offers a rich course of study in the field of linguistics, the formal study of language itself.
This course adopts a biocultural approach to investigating the age-old question of what makes us human? Anthropology is simply – and powerfully – the study of the human species past and present, and in all of our facets as cultural, linguistic, and biological entities. Students will explore our species’ shared evolutionary heritage, the origins of the rich cultural diversity observable among us today, and our place in the natural world.
- Taught by
- Amy Margaris ’96
This course will cultivate an anthropological understanding of the intersections between disease, health, society, the body, culture, and global political economy. Drawing on accounts from across the globe, our topics will include: comparative study of health systems; cross-cultural definitions and understandings of disease, illness, and health; bodies, medicine, and the media; maladies from chronic pain to AIDS to cholera; topics in disability studies and fat studies; health, ethics, and morality; health inequalities; and global health.
- Taught by
- Damien Droney
How do we affirm the importance of cultural difference while also recognizing that oppression is often rooted in culture? Through an examination of the ways in which people in different societies of the world identify and define ethical and social standards, this course examines the concept of universal human rights and attempts at applying it in the United Nations system and beyond.
- Taught by
- Baron Pineda
This course introduces students to anthropological perspectives on language use as an embodied practice, with attention to the diverse sensory ecologies through which language is produced and perceived. Drawing on comparative work from around the world, we will highlight how perspectives from deaf and disability studies enrich understandings of the political and phenomenological dimensions of language. We will also explore how linguistic practices contribute to the construction of and experience of disabilities.
- Taught by
- Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway
Zola Barnes ’19, a double-degree student, received a funded year of training, mentorship, and learning opportunities focused on the skills needed to achieve social change as part of the Newman Civic Fellowship.
Oberlin Shansi Fellow
Radia Lahlou ’18, a double major in Anthropology and Linguistics, grew up balancing American, Moroccan and French cultural norms, and is a heritage speaker of French. At the Shanxi Agricultural University in Taigu, China, she will explore how cultural exchange can be used as a pedagogical tool in her classroom.
Poet, Activist, and Optimist
Anthropology and Creative Writing double major David James ("DJ") Savarese '17 now works as a public speaker, artful activist (poet, essayist, filmmaker), and practicing optimist, working to make interdependent, self-determined lives a reality for non-traditionally speaking people.