The Anthropology Concentration Through the Years

The following sections detail the skills learned and expectations for each year in the Harvard anthropology program. They also detail the writing skills and assignments that concentrators should expect to encounter, with links leading to more information about each writing assignment.


Required Courses



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Sophomore Year

What to expect:

Sophomore Tutorial (required): This course serves as the concentration's introduction to anthropological theory. The theoretical frameworks learned throughout the course are used to teach the tools to develop a deep understanding of theory in order to analyze it critically.

Writing in sophomore year is geared toward developing an analytical voice and strength in argumentation. Coursework throughout sophomore tutorial includes close readings of classical texts and writing assignments designed to make students engage rigorously with the text. 

Courses: ANTHRO97x (Soph. Tutorial in Archaeology). ANTHRO97z (Soph. Tutorial in Anthropology)


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Junior Year

What to expect:

Junior Tutorial & Junior Paper: This course has been developed to serve as a collaborative environment for students concentrating in anthropology to develop original research questions. Where sophomore tutorial is about developing the tools for critical analysis, junior tutorial is meant to put those skills to work in the form of an individual research paper. Students learn how produce ethnography supported by their professor, TF's. and peers. The questions developed and work done in this class can serve students in writing a senior thesis. 

Courses: ANTHRO98za, ANTHRO1610 (Ethnographic Methods)

Amanda (Video 1): Reflecting on assignment given in junior fall, discussing writing an ethnographic paper based on fieldwork done in Bolivia and the role of positionality before doing fieldwork.

Haley and Marisa (Video 2): A conversation about the collaborative environment of junior tutorial.

Diana (Video 3): How lens of writing as an "intervention" learned in EXPOS has played a role throughout her time at the college.

Allison (Video 4): Reflecting on the value of junior tutorial regardless of the writing of a senior thesis, 


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Senior Year

What to expect:

Senior Thesis & Senior Thesis Tutorial (optional): This course is structured around the completion of particular milestones in writing a thesis, typically the completion of a chapter or predetermined amount of writing. Senior thesis tutorial is meant to provide guidance through the writing process through peer collaboration and supplementation of advice given by thesis advisors.

Video: Peer feedback of Senior tutorial but also, as Rachel Thompson says, "knowing that you aren't alone."  The way in which the senior tutorial is the culimatin of your path with a series of peers whom you have grown to know, work with, and collaboration among over the years.

Writing a Senior Thesis...
challenges & rewards

Ajantha Subramanian, in conversation with Angela Ortiz '19, speaks on the scope of undertaking original ethnographic fieldwork for a Senior Honors Thesis.  Professor Subramanian deals with a wide array of questions concentrators might encounter: Should you write a thesis and what might you expect? How can you choose a topic? What happens when you enter the field as well as coming back to grapple with writing?

Additionally, Professor Subramanian covers how the Anthropology tutorials build onto one another - and what might one expect through the cycles of research development in Anthropology.

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Joint Concentrations


Some general infomation on joint - what that means for writing a thesis...

History & Literature & Anthropology (Video 1)
Being between two writing intensive programs  - how to balance it?

Entomology & Anthropology (Video 2)
Sometimes a secondary may not entirely align - but inform in unique ways - the other concentration. Marisa has been working through Sonic Ethnography to connect the relationship of insects, machines and people through sound pieces.

Theater Dance Media (Video 3)                                                                                                          Doing fieldwork and understanding and reading people in social settings.



LIST of common joints


TITLE of some projects that were carried out in last few years