Department of Sociology & Anthropology



Department Mission

The Sociology and Anthropology Department supports the University's goals of providing a liberal arts education for our students. We emphasize in our programs the ability to examine and understand an increasingly complex, diverse, and ever-changing world. We actively work with our students to apply sociological and anthropological perspectives towards the improvement of the human condition.

We are committed to:

*assisting students in crafting a personal academic plan towards the fulfillment of their intellectual and career goals.

*preparing students for post-graduation learning and work experiences through our teaching, via departmental projects and programs, and by providing students with individual support and mentoring.

*engaging in active scholarship through which we may practice and model our disciplines.

*maintaining a welcoming environment for all faculty members, staff, students, alumni, and friends.

Our curricula:

*offer diverse courses, many without formal prerequisites, that make sociology and anthropology accessible, interesting, and useful to IWU students at all levels of the curriculum.

*challenge students to critically examine what it means to be prepared for democratic citizenship and life in a global society, and the ideals for which they stand.

*involve students in their own education by encouraging them to engage personally in research, analysis, writing, and experiential learning.

*provide the guidance and resources for students to undertake internships or volunteer work in the community, conduct independent research, work on honors projects, and present their work in professional settings


Spring 2014 Events

Upcoming Events

Department Colloquium Series: 

Thursday, April 10
4:00 p.m. State Farm Hall, Room 110
"Secret Societies, Witch-finding & “Traditional” Political Institutions in the Shaping of Mijikenda Identity: Selections from Contesting Identities: The Mijikenda and Their Neighbors in Kenyan Coastal Society" Panel Presentation by Diane Ciekawy (Anthropology, Ohio University), Rebecca Gearhart & Linda Giles (Anthropology, IWU),
Thomas Hakansson (Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Monica Udvardy (Anthropology, University of Kentucky) See flier

Field Trips

Saturday, January 25 "Winter Gathering" at Dickson Mounds Museum
Contact Prof. Gearhart for more information

Friday, February 7 "Sweat lodge (inipi) Traditions" at Seven Circles Heritage Center. See a photo of the participants.

Past Events

Monday, March 31     "Global Mental Health and Local Constructions of Depression in Chile" by
Courtney Cuthbertson (Sociology, UIUC) at 4:00p.m. in CLA 205 followed by a pizza dinner.

Monday, February 24
"Canoe Crossings Illinois: Revitalizing Indigenous Oceanic and Native Great Lake Seafaring Traditions at Clinton Lake, Illinois" by Vicente Diaz. 4:00p.m. CLA 105 followed by pizza dinner .

Monday, Jan. 20 MLK Teach-In on "Healthcare Inequality at Home & Abroad" 1-4 p.m. Hansen Student Center 

Thursday, Sept. 12 Graduate School Information Session for Anthropology and Sociology Students: 6:00 p.m. CLA 105

Saturday, Sept. 21 Field trip to the Seven Circles Annual Pow Wow. See photos from the trip

Anthropology Club:

Regular Meetings:

The Anthropology Club meets regularly in the Underground at the Dugout, Memorial Center. TBA

The Anthropology Club  sponsors excursions to local restaurants that feature menus from other parts of the world. And check out our blog at

Please contact Nora Peterson for more information.

 Sociology Club:

Regular Meetings:

The Sociology Club meets regularly in the reading area on the second floor of CLA (outside of faculty offices). Contact Katie Bregman for more information.