Anthropology seeks to understand and interpret the global range of human experience.
The anthropological imagination draws upon biological, linguistic, historical, and comparative perspectives in creating a systematic vision of how societies are patterned and how culture is experienced.
The program at Illinois Wesleyan University emphasizes the branch of anthropology known as socio-cultural anthropology. This branch relies upon the method of ethnography, or participant-observation, in which a researcher lives among a group of people and attempts to experience, first-hand, how they live and communicate.
Students at IWU are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop the fundamental field research skills used by professional anthropologists. Many of our courses allow students to interact with members of American sub-cultures and peoples of diverse ethnic heritage.
Anthropology majors and minors leave the program with both written and visual ethnographies (photo-essays and ethnographic films) that they have produced themselves.
Sociology and Anthropology Department
Rebecca Gearhart, Chair