Anthropology Department


About Anthropology and the Department

Anthropology is the study of humankind from our earliest beginnings in the remote past to the interdependent cultures of today’s complex and dynamic world. It integrates scientific and humanistic perspectives to describe and analyze human behavior and biocultural diversity. In the introduction to Coming of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead wrote, “… as the traveler who has been once from home is wiser than he who has never left his own door step, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own” (1928).

We challenge our students to journey through time and across cultures, to recognize and question their own assumptions, and to develop the kind of critical analytical skills that will serve them effectively throughout their lives. In an era that continues to redefine our understanding of the dynamics of globalization, anthropology prepares students to promote intercultural understanding and respect among individuals, communities and nations.

We provide core courses in the four traditional subfields of our discipline. Building on this foundation we actively promote an applied perspective, showing how anthropology can contribute to a better world. Students are encouraged to use anthropology to solve human problems at home and abroad, to make public policy more responsive to all members of society, and to achieve a resilient, sustainable adaptation in local and global environments.




Joshua Henderson - Anthropology Major


Dr. Karis joins us this fall, bringing expertise in Southeast Asia, urban environments, and human migration.  View his profile here.

View course descriptions using these links: Fall 2017:  ANTH 407 Peoples & Cultures of SE Asia  crn 11404 Fall 2017: ANTH 461D Urban Anthropology  crn 11405

Where is Prof. Lobnibe?  

 Wissenschafskolleg zu Berlin  

(a short film tour of his quarters)

And who are his colleagues?

The Fellows 2017/2018 

Here's his project: 

Social Change in a West African Family: Biographical Narratives and the Role of Funerals in Family History

Where can Anthropology take you?  Ask 2010 WOU graduate Laura Gage!

Contact information

For more information about the Anthropology program contact:
Robin Smith, Head
Anthropology Department
HSS 209
Western Oregon University
Monmouth, OR 97361
(503) 838-8357