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Tutorials in Anthropology

The core discipline in Anthropology seeks to expose students to a the wide history of Archaeology, Social Anthropology, Social Theory, and methodological practices. Tutorials are sequentially designed to build student interests from an idea/hunch into an analytic research question and later paper or thesis and are characterized by strong mentorship. Students move from Sophomore Tutorial to Junior Tutorials into the optional Senior Tutorial. 

Sophomore Tutorial


The Sophomore Tutorials in Archaeology and Social Anthropology aim to build a familiarity with anthropological history and social theory and its uses. Anthropologists tend to use theory in a distinctive and critical manner. This course will teach students to recognize that theoretical lenses are framing and communicative devices that help us, as scholars, make sense of a vast quantity of information. But as such, theoretical frameworks also have limitations in what they allow us to see and do. As anthropologists, we move back and forth between between inductive and deductive approaches to theory, between observations of the social world around us in all its complexity and the ideational devices that we encounter in theory, to arrive at more insightful ways of apprehending social realities.

Junior Tutorial

The Junior Tutorial in Anthropology serves as a collaborative environment for students to develop their individual interests into thoughtful and original research questions and essays. Where the Sophomore Tutorial is about developing tools for critical analysis, Junior Tutorial is meant to put those skills to work in the form of an original research paper. To do so demands developing a research question, contextualizing it, and honing in on how it is relevant in larger fields. Mentorship in this task is provided by your professor, tutors, and peers. The questions developed and work done in this class can serve students in writing a senior thesis. 


Beyond the Senior Thesis

Allison Torsiglieri '16 reflects on the importance of the Junior Tutorial beyond the writing of a senior thesis.

Junior Tutorial: A Collaborative Space

Haley Baker '17 and Marisa Houlahan '17 discuss the the collaborative environment of the Junior Tutorial.


Senior Tutorial

Senior Thesis & Senior Thesis Tutorial (optional)

This course provides students with practical guidance and advice during the thesis writing process through structured assignments around key writing milestones and peer feedback on work-in-progress. The tutorial supplements faculty thesis advising and, most importantly, allows students to share their work and experiences with other thesis writers in a collegial and supportive environment.


Peer Support in Senior Tutorial

Rachel Thompson '16 discusses the importance of peer feedback and support in Senior Tutorial as the culmination of an intellectual journey with peers whom you have grown to know, work with, and collaborate with over the years.

The Arch of Writing a Thesis

Should you write a thesis? Professor Ajantha Subramanian, in conversation with Angela Ortiz '19, discusses the research and writing process of a senior thesis and how tutorials are designed to help you prepare you for its challenges.


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Joint Concentrations

Anthropology's commitment to field research and focus on people allows it to speak thoughtfully to a variety of disciplines. Joint concentrations with anthropology act as creative and critical ways to enhance knowledge in different disciplines. Recent examples include: History and Archaeology, Music and Anthropology, Earth and Planetary Sciences and Archaeology, Anthropology and WGS, Anthropology and Linguistics, among others.  



Balancing Requirements and Audiences

Haley Baker '17, a joint concentrator in History and Literature and Anthropology, discusses the challenges of balancing two writing intensive programs and writing for multiple audiences in her senior thesis about motherhood in Chile. 

Anthropology and Scientific Knowledge

Alexia Zagouras '17, a joint concentrator in Anthropology and Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology, describes how Anthropology gave her the tools to ask critical questions about laboratory practices and the production of scientific knowledge central to her research on stem cells.