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College of Arts and Sciences
Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Cultural Anthropology

What does it mean to be human? Anthropology is an integrated and interdisciplinary field that offers a cross-cultural, holistic engagement with this question. The undergraduate study of anthropology is a fascinating, practical way to build a critical understanding of the broad past, present, and future of human experience, cultural interaction, and the individual’s role in society. Regardless of your future career plans, anthropology gives you the foundational skills to successfully navigate and understand our increasingly global, multicultural world, while opening up new horizons for personal reflection and growth.

The major is designed to empower students with anthropological knowledge and skills that are both immediately valuable as well as a foundation for further intellectual development. A broad understanding of human culture around the world and across time is achieved through three types of classes. The first set of classes, the foundations of anthropology, provides a solid grounding in the principles, theories, and methods of anthropology. The second set of classes, the anthropology major electives, offers students opportunities to explore a variety of specific anthropological themes. Students complement these anthropology classes with a third set of classes that are drawn from disciplines outside anthropology yet focus on the themes of society and culture. The major thus offers students ample opportunity to develop and pursue their particular interests while acquiring a solid foundation in anthropological principles, methods and theory.

Degrees offered: BA, BA with departmental honors, minor

In spring, 2017, Dr. Mark Cohan's university core class, Sociology of Food, partnered with Seattle-based Northwest Harvest, a non-profit food bank distributor, to help them promote a conference they planned to host. Through research and personal interviews, the students helped create a video to help promote a national conference, "Closing the Hunger Gap: From Charity to Solidarity."

News and Events

Closing the Hunger Gap: From Charity to Solidarity

Dr. Mark Cohan's students studied the structural forces, from international economic dynamics to institutional racism, that cause hunger and limit access to whole, healthy food, particularly in poorer communities of color. They also learned about the food justice movement, which seeks to address these problems in ways that depend on the leadership, insights, and voices of those in these marginalized communities. The students then conducted video interviews with food bank managers and other professionals in the emergency food system with a focus on what food justice means and how they can foster it. The students completed interviews of 20 to 40 minutes in length, then edited them down to 10 to 15 minute highlights as their final projects. Over the summer, a Northwest Harvest staff member edited the videos into the professional, promotional video seen above, to use in promoting the conference, which occurred in early September. 

Dr. Madeline Lovell and Taylene Watson, MSW

Seattle University BSW undergraduate awards renamed in recognition of pioneers in field of social work, the late Dr. Madeline L. Lovell, Assistant Professor Emeritus, and Taylene Waston, MSW. Read more.

Student-Faculty Research: When Sociology Professor Jodi O’Brien starting looking at how practicing Catholics make sense of family planning practices that don’t conform to the Church’s position, she didn’t expect to find important Catholic teachings as a foundation for an alternative viewpoint. Working closely with her research assistant Cal Garrett ‘16, O’Brien uncovered important insights regarding the ways Catholic women root their practices within the tenets of their faith. Read the article and watch the video here.

 
The Danny Woo Community Garden in Seattle’s historic Chinatown-International District has welcomed immigrants from Asia for more than 40 years. Professor Rob Efird enlisted the aid of student Taylor Burmer to prepare an exhibit about the unique aspects of the garden for the Wing Luke Museum. The exhibit runs through March 2017. Read the article and watch the video here.
 
Alumni Profile: Sociology alumnus Cervante Burrell '12 came to Seattle University to play basketball and figure out life after college. Now as the founder of The Unforeseen and dean of students at Sacramento Charter High School, he is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of students. More here.
 
Faculty Profile: Social Work Professor Amelia S. Derr, read the article and watch the video here.