Anthropology is a broad discipline because its subject matter is the entirety of human diversity. Anthropologists contribute to an understanding of the human condition through interpretations of human biological and cultural variation. Anthropology is often divided into four sub-fields. Archaeology examines the past using material remains, including artifacts, skeletal material, and architecture. Social and cultural anthropology is concerned with contemporary human societies throughout the world, and their complex inter-and intra-relationships. Linguistic anthropology* examines diversity in language, including historical migrations and relationships between languages. Biological anthropology concerns human biological evolution and biological variation, including skeletal and genetic, and the interaction between human biology and our environments.
KPU Anthropology students work toward leadership-based careers integrated with local and global communities. Students will cultivate and demonstrate skills in inter- and intra-cultural communication, analysis, and both scientific and humanistic methodology.
KPU is a participant of the BCCAT Flexible Pre-major transfer agreement for Anthropology. For detailed information pertaining to the Flexible Pre-Major in Anthropology, please visit the Anthropology Department's website kpu.ca/arts/anthropology
Note: The Anthropology Department at KPU does not currently offer courses in Linguistic Anthropology. Students are encouraged to take Linguistics courses through the Department of Language and Cultures at KPU.
Who Studies Anthropology?
Since Anthropology has a four sub-field approach to the study of humankind, our students can specialize in arts and science credits. Anthropology students can excel in both lecture and lab courses. We also believe in teaching about the practical aspects of the world as well as the theoretical.
The student of anthropology has an interest in human cultural and biological diversity. They are inquisitive, tolerant and like studying and learning about the world through multiple perspectives, and know the wisdom of listening to multiple voices. Students in the major degree tend to have a fascination with the human body (inside and out), material remains of past societies, and the unique ways of life of contemporary and historically recent human populations. An anthropology student knows the value of studying the human species from the viewpoints of both the arts and sciences, and believes in applying the methods of anthropology to problems in the real world to help communities both globally and locally. Examples of applied scholarly work include the medico-legal identification of an unknown human body, the documentation and preservation of an indigenous language, or the location and conservation of an ancient archaeological site in an area of recent economic development. Minor students need an understanding of a topic in anthropology, such as the human body, in conjunction with another subject of study, for example a student taking fine arts who want to become a forensic facial recognition artist.
Department's website: kpu.ca/arts/anthropology
A Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology is directly applicable in employment fields such as market research, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and development studies, business, community liaison, legal careers, criminal investigation, environmental assessment and management, teaching, and health care, among many others. We anticipate our graduates will use skills developed during an anthropology degree throughout the rest of their careers. Our current anthropology field school involves direct interaction at a high level with First Nations communities and Anthropology professionals, and has been endorsed by the British Columbia Association of Professional Archaeologists, the first such endorsement in Canada. Our program is also designed to give students a solid foundation for entry into graduate programs.
Some Skills Learned From an Anthropology Education
- Planning projects
- Writing grant proposals
- Interviewing, surveying
- Sampling, gathering and organizing data
- Examining data and artifacts
- Conducting field studies
- Summarizing results
- Communication across cultures/languages
- Recognizing cultural differences/similarities
(Examples of Jobs in Archaeology)
- Field Archaeologist
- Excavation Supervisor
- University or College Professor
- Museum Curator
- Archaeological Lab Technician
- Government Historic Preservation Officer
- Indigenous Reburial Issues
- Consultant, Emergency Site Recovery
- Cultural Artifact Specialist
- Environmental Impact Assessment Researcher
- Cultural Resource Manager
(Examples of Jobs in Biological Anthropology)
- Become a University Professor or Museum Curator. Study the human skeleton and compare the physical appearance of people found all across the world.
- Become someone who studies mummies.
- Become a Primatologist (someone who studies non-human primates — their conservation, research, and similarities to humans). Become a zoo researcher or conservationist. e.g. The Calgary Zoo
- Become a Paleoanthropologist (someone who studies how humans evolved to their modern form).
- Become a Forensic Anthropologist (specialists in the biological description of humans; descriptions of wounds and trauma to the skeleton; and genocide investigators). They are usually civilian consultants; and often professors with a Ph.D. in biological or forensic anthropology. Forensic anthropologists can get a job as a consultant for International Human Rights Missions and will document war crimes for future generations.
- Become a Policeman with Forensic Training
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police
- Vancouver City Police
- Become a Forensic Artist and assist police agencies with sketches of missing people, suspects, and victim related crimes.
- Become a Probation Officer
(Examples of Jobs in Social-Cultural Anthropology)
Entry (Undergraduate) Level
- Community Development Specialist
- Community Service Administrator
- Curatorial Assistant
- Ecotourism Director
- Employment Recruiter
- Friend of the Court Caseworker
- Immigration Inspector
- Information Officer
- Legislative Aide
- Management Trainee
- Marketing Researcher
- Multicultural Program Leader
- Museum Technician
- National/State Park Interpreter
- Peace Corps Volunteer
- Program Coordinator/Assistant
- Public Relations Specialist
- Research Associate
- Social Worker
- Travel Agent/Guide/Consultant
- Writer, Editor
Visit the BC Transfer Guide - bctransferguide.ca - for information about course transfer in B.C.
Students will study the interrelationships among culture, community and well-being. They will examine the diversity of human thought and behaviour in cross-cultural perspective. Students will focus on topics such as ethnographic research methods, gender, marriage and kinship, culture and adaptive strategies, social and political organization, religion, world view, and globalization.
Students will explore human ancestry, fossil hominids, non-human primates, and modern human physical variation. They will examine how we have evolved to become modern people and how our bodies and behaviour have been changed and shaped over millions of years. Students will gain knowledge of the theories of Charles Darwin together with the modern synthesis of his ideas, which show how our genes have evolved in response to our environment.
Students will study forensic anthropology in order to identify unknown human skeletal remains for legal purposes. They will learn techniques for assessing the age-at-death, stature, and sex. Students will also explore the validity of determining "race" or "genetic heritage" based on biological remains. Students will analyze the skeleton to the level of individual identity by understanding how disease, trauma, and behavioural patterns can leave their mark on bones and teeth, through an examination of the application of forensic anthropology in particular investigative cases. They will also learn how cause and manner of death, and the postmortem interval affect the ability to apply forensic anthropological techniques.
Students will analyze the various methods and perspectives used by archaeologists to study ancient cultures from around the world. They will examine the major branches of modern archaeology, as well as the historical development of the discipline. Students will learn how archaeological sites form and become preserved over long periods of time, and will discover how archaeological data are collected and analyzed through survey, excavation and dating methods. They will learn methods used to reconstruct both the economic and sociopolitical organization of ancient societies through analysis and critical discussion. Students will survey world prehistory and critically evaluate the effectiveness of the various methods and approaches studied. Students may earn credit for only one of ANTH 1300 or ANTH 1112, as they are equivalent courses.
Students will conduct an overview of anthropological methods such as cross-cultural comparisons, multi-sited ethnography, participant observation, surveys, archival research, media analysis, narrative, collaborative ethnography, and visual analysis. They will critically explore ethical issues that have emerged within ethnographic research while they apply methods to case study examples.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1100
Students will use a cross-cultural perspective to explore the concept of gender; the cultural construction of gender roles and identities; and gender relations as a dimension of culture, politics and society. They will critically examine anthropological approaches to gender from early studies that overlooked women to feminist anthropology and research on masculinities and gender diversity. The class will investigate political and cultural responses to gender inequality and discrimination in diverse cultural contexts.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1100
Students will investigate the broadly defined interrelationships between culture and religious beliefs, and practices. They will focus on topics such as religious symbols, magic, and witchcraft; rites of passage; spirit possession; and religion in popular culture.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1100
Students will examine the anthropology of Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia, including archaeology, history and cultural studies. They will be using language and culture areas as a basis for a regional understanding of the diverse Indigenous Peoples of British Columbia. Students will also come to understand the importance of health, well-being and other contemporary issues. They will find it especially important to understand these ideas in order to examine the current debates regarding lands, resources, treaty rights, and the rationale and history behind the modern treaty negotiations in British Columbia, as distinct from the rest of Canada. Students may earn credit for only one of ANTH 2140 or ANTH 1220, as they are equivalent courses
Students will explore the diversity of Indigenous peoples and cultures across Canada. They will examine cultural transformations resulting from European colonization and Indigenous resistance to it, including treaty processes, the Indian Act, and Indigenous rights. They will investigate contemporary Indigenous lifeways and activism related to decolonization and cultural and linguistic revitalization. Students may earn credit for only one of ANTH 2142 or ANTH 1260, as they are equivalent courses.
Students will analyze competing definitions and interpretations of social and physical environments, from various cultural groups around the globe. They will examine the complexity of human relationships with the environment in a world where conflicting cultural systems are often competing for survival. Students will learn to appreciate actions that are crucial to the well-being of environments and the adaptive strategies of threatened cultures.
Students will investigate the interrelationships among culture, community and well-being. They will explore anthropological topics such as healing systems; culture, spirituality, and well-being; the language of distress; social suffering; and, practitioner-patient interactions.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1100
Students will study the role of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), understood to be not-for-profit or 'third sector' organizations concerned with addressing problems of poverty, social justice and/or the environment. They will explore the concepts of global civil society and emerging features associated with social, cultural, economic, and political activity that operate alongside but outside of state and market processes. They will come to understand the various roles that NGOs fill in providing services, promoting particular values, forming the basis for community self-help initiatives or campaigning on public issues. Students will analyze, and demonstrate their familiarity with organizational behaviours and practices.
Co-requisite(s): ANTH 1100
Students will explore scientific hypothesis testing by performing experiments that evaluate current forensic methods. They will study several forensic fields such as: metric measurement, fingerprint examination, image analysis (including photographs and x-rays), bone trauma analysis, and discriminating human from animal bone. Students will participate in a one-day outdoor archaeological excavation exercise. They will apply the information learned in the course to practice the techniques associated with the recovery & analysis of material evidence & human remains. Students will also reflect on the ethical dilemmas involved in the integration of scientific, anthropological, archaeological, and legal testimony in professional reports and in the court system.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1217
Students will study how the human body develops and ages throughout one's life. This study of the human skeleton will examine the influence of both natural and human-made environments on growth and development. Students will study evolutionary and biological characteristics of human development by being introduced to the theoretical foundations of growth, development and aging research. Through the application of a bio-cultural approach students will discover how biological, socio-cultural and environmental factors directly and indirectly influence growth, development, aging and health outcomes.
Students will conduct an in-depth review of current methods in anthropological archaeology. They will examine the historical development of the discipline and study the nature of the archaeological record, including categories of data and site formation processes. Students will study research design, data collection, dating methods and classification of artifacts. They will critically evaluate methods used to examine prehistoric technology, environmental reconstruction, subsistence and diet, and trade patterns.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1300
Students will examine the key concepts and methods used to analyze the funerary rituals and burial practices of ancient and recent societies. They will examine the theories and methods used by archaeologists to understand the social and ideological aspects of mortuary behavior. Students will study various forensic techniques used to analyze human remains from ancient and recent burials, and critically analyze the kinds of information they provide. They will also examine the ethical issues involved in the analysis of human remains from archaeological sites from a variety of different perspectives.
Students will be introduced to Old World Prehistory from the development of agriculture to the rise of complex state societies. They will examine and critically evaluate the major theories that attempt to explain the rise of early farming communities and become familiar with the range of diversity in ancient food production systems in several areas of the Old World. Students will also become familiar with and critically evaluate the kinds of evidence used by archaeologists, and researchers in other related disciplines, to document and explain the different cultural and economic pathways taken by Old World peoples. Attention will also be placed on how changes in the economic practices of these ancient cultures led to major social changes such as the rise of social inequality, trade, conflict and environmental degradation in many regions. Part of the course content will also involve overviews of the ancient civilizations of: Egypt and Mesopotamia; the early states of Europe; the evolution of Indus Valley civilizations and the early states of East and Southeast Asia. Students will critically evaluate the theories and methods of data analysis used to study these ancient cultures and develop their own theories and ideas from a more modern global perspective. Students may earn credit for only one of ANTH 2320 or ANTH 1215, as they are equivalent courses.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1300
Students will examine the archaeological record of North and South America. They will examine culture history of the indigenous groups from these continents. Cultures or geographical areas examined can include the Inka, Aztec, Maya, Moche, Nazca, Amazonia, Norte Chico, Olmec, Hopewell, Haudenosaunee, Northwest Coast, Ancestral Pueblo, or others. Students will also critically examine theoretical or ethical problems particular to the archaeology of the Americas, including the impact of colonialism, the first peopling of the continents, the role of descendent communities in archaeology, and the evolution of urban societies, language, and agriculture. Students may earn credit for only one of ANTH 2340 or ANTH 1216, as they are equivalent courses.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1300.
Students will develop their understanding of how cultural anthropologists use social theory in conducting research, interpreting social processes, and writing ethnography. They will examine how political, intellectual, and cultural contexts have influenced the historical development of anthropological theory. Students will study theoretical writings and ethnographies that reflect a range of theoretical perspectives, time periods, geographical regions, and ethnographic genres. Note: This is a seminar course.
Prerequisite(s): 9 credits including (a) ANTH 2100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in ANTH at the 2000 level or higher
Students will examine and practice the techniques and ethical conduct of ethnographic research in Cultural Anthropology, building on previous knowledge and experience. They will develop, plan, conduct, and present the results of individual or small group original ethnographic research projects related to an identified theme. Note: This course is only offered as part of an ethnographic field school and will involve an additional fee.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1100, and permission of the Departmental Selection Committee.
Students will analyze competing definitions and interpretations of social and physical environments, in both urban and rural contexts. They will examine the complexity of human connections to the environment, in a globalized world where conflicting cultural systems often come into play. Students will learn to appreciate how the adaptive strategies of threatened cultures function in the current context, with specific reference to Indigenous rights. Note: Students who have taken ANTH 2160 may not take ANTH 3160 for further credit.
Students will learn that although crime and deviance occur in all societies, they are not defined or treated in the same way from place to place. They will study anthropological concepts and theories to examine deviance from a cross-cultural perspective. Students will survey topics such as banditry and terrorism, criminal organizations, 'treasure hunting' on archaeological sites, deviance in folklore and popular culture, and social control.
Prerequisite(s): 18 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1100.
Students will examine the primary aspects of visual anthropology. They will focus on anthropological representations of the interrelationships among culture, society, and the individual through the written and spoken word, still photographs, film, and digital media. Students also will critically apply anthropological concepts and ideas to the study of culture and the politics of representation in popular culture.
Prerequisite(s): 30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1100.
Students will carry out a detailed investigation of an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), understood to be a not-for-profit or 'third sector' organization concerned with addressing problems of poverty, social justice, and the environment. They will complete a case study of a particular organization, or of a particular set of problems that surround a group of organizations. Students will submit original research and analysis. They will also develop an understanding of how stakeholders work towards the solution of social, political, and/or environmental problems.
Prerequisite(s): ANTH 2190
Popular forensic science television programs have generated believable misrepresentations of forensic science that have become known as “The CSI Effect”. Students will go through a process of discovery to determine which information is an accurate portrayal of forensic science in popular culture. The exploration of various forensic science fields of study will introduce students to the practical and logistical applications of forensic methods. Another aspect of this course focuses on the differences between the Canadian and American legal systems. These differences have a tremendous impact on expert witness testimony; in particular, the interpretation of forensic science evidence. Furthermore, our Americanized academic literature rarely reflects these legal system distinctions.
Students will undertake a comprehensive study of the human skeleton through hands-on identification, interpretation and analysis of complete and fragmentary skeletal and dental elements. They will study and identify stages of skeletal growth and development, variation in human skeletal anatomy, as well as distinguish human from animal bone. They will also appraise the form and function of soft tissue attachments on bone, in order to determine individualizing characteristics such as age-at-death, sex and other research interests. Notes: This course is considered essential for students planning future work in the interpretation of modern and archaeological human remains. This course is lab intensive.
Students will study the diversity, behaviour, and conservation status of a group of mammals called primates. They will better understand humans by exploring the social organization, social interactions, and ecology of non-human primates. Students will consider the implications of the high number of non-human primate species that are at risk of extinction by exploring the ethical and conservation issues arising from human activities such as the pet trade and the use of non-human primates for medical experiments. They will begin to recognize the significant connection between the animal and human world.
Students will analyze the development and application of theory in archaeological research. Students will trace the historical development of archaeological theory from a cross-cultural perspective. They will study the culture history, processual, and post-processual paradigms and examine how they have influenced the development of contemporary theory. Students will critically analyze theories of culture change, cognition, gender and ethnicity, and how they are applied to actual archaeological data sets. Students will assess the importance of ethics, cultural resource management, and public relations in conducting research within the context of a modern world. Note: This is a seminar course.
Students will develop a hands-on understanding of several aspects of archaeological methodology central to cultural resource management (CRM) work. They will learn to apply these quantitative and qualitative methods to the analysis of archaeological and landscape data, including how to report and organize the results of these analyses. Students will also be tasked with other important aspects of methodology in CRM, which include mapping, site forms, reporting, budgets, and proposals. NOTE: This course is co-requisite with ANTH 3361 and offered as field school studies during summer term. Students may earn credit for only one of ANTH 3301 or ANTH 2301.
Prerequisite(s): 30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1300.
Co-requisite(s): ANTH 3361
Students will study the origins and development of complex societies in East Asia. They will analyze the archaeology of China, Korea, and Japan, including an exploration of key issues in cultural evolution and interaction. Students will examine major topic areas such as: early human migrations into the region; early foraging economies; the development of food production; and the evolution of social complexity. Students will critically analyze the current methods and theories used by archaeologists in studying the evolutionary development of East Asian civilizations. Students will examine the modern cultural context of prehistory in East Asia as a source of discussion on ethnic identity.
Students will examine the pre-contact and proto-historic archaeology and cultures of British Columbia's aboriginal peoples. They will study the environmental adaptations and complex cultural developments of both interior and coastal groups, and will develop an understanding of the great diversity and depth of B.C.'s native cultures. Students will critically analyze the theories and archaeological evidence of prehistoric cultural developments in the area from the earliest occupations up to contact with Europeans and Americans. Note: This course is usually offered as field school studies during summer term.
Prerequisite(s): 30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1300.
Students will study and practice the basic techniques of archaeological survey and excavation. They will learn and examine field techniques such as site survey and mapping; GPS data collection, mapping, and analysis; excavation methodology; analysis of site stratigraphy; and the proper documentation, collection and curation of field data. Students will examine how archaeological remains are cleaned, sorted and properly stored in the laboratory and will apply preliminary data analysis methodology. Note: This course consists of a six-week field studies project and is offered only during the summer term.
Prerequisite(s): Both (a) 30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1300 or equivalent, and (b) permission of the department selection committee.
Co-requisite(s): ANTH 3301
Students will examine a selected topic in Cultural Anthropology. They will critically analyze relevant literature and develop a comprehensive understanding of particular theories, methods, and themes. Students will question and evaluate recent developments in the topic area and debate future directions of possible study. Note: The specific course content will be established in advance by the instructor. Students may take this course multiple times for further credit on different topics.
Prerequisite(s): 18 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1100.
Students will engage in an intensive study of the human physical form by studying a special topic selected by the instructor. They will explore a topic in one of the major focus areas within biological anthropology such as: forensic anthropology (an applied aspect); evolution and heredity; non-human primate studies; human evolution; or modern human biological variation. Students will examine and evaluate recent developments in the specific focus area, assess the implications of these developments, and identify future research directions in order to determine what it means to be a member of the human species. Note: Please check with the department for proposed offerings and the specific prerequisite. Students may take this course multiple times for further credit on different topics.
Students will study particular aspects of archaeology selected by the instructor. They will examine how archaeology attempts to document and interpret the course of human cultural evolution and to trace the development of cultural traditions in various areas of the world by studying a current issue in archaeology. Student emphasis will be on the methodological, technical, and scientific literature relating to archaeological interpretation. Notes: The area of study will be established in advance by the department. Please check with the department for proposed offerings. Students may take this course multiple times for further credit on different topics. This is a seminar course.
Prerequisite(s): 18 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ANTH 1300.
Students will examine the anthropological approach to the study of genocide which is a unique multidisciplinary approach due to the contribution of each subfield of anthropology. They will examine the following topics: why anthropology is so well situated to inform the discourse and research on genocide; the definition of genocide and ethnocide; the nature of human aggression from the perspective of our nearest animal relatives; the limitations of forensic investigations in documenting crimes against humanity for future generations; cultural issues, including racial, ethnic and religious concerns; historical and contemporary political issues (local, national, regional, and global through an examination of the United Nations, and other non-government organizations); modern literature and popular culture; and healing processes. Students will, using case examples from Canada and across the globe, investigate the necessity for a multi-disciplinary approach to this problem.
Students will, at an advanced level, study a problem of current concern in anthropology. Students will synthesize current themes and debates arising from a variety of perspectives either about, or within, anthropology. They will study anthropology in institutional and/or applied contexts, by acknowledging the origins of anthropological methodology as well as recognizing its current demands. Students will identify real-life problems through discussion, literature review, and practical observation. They will determine ongoing areas of research that they may utilize for future study or job-related research.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including both of (a) ANTH 1100 and (b) 3 ANTH credits.
Calendar Description: Students will bring together a number of theories, methods, and themes in anthropology. They will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to examine contemporary issues and they will address the contributions of a number of fields of study to further explore the department focus on "Culture, Community, and Well-Being". Students will explore topics such as Indigenous studies; gender & women's studies; biological, medical & environmental anthropology; methods & ethics in anthropological research; human rights issues; audio-visual anthropology; religion and spirituality; and specific geographic area studies with an emphasis placed upon the holistic and applied approach to anthropology. NOTE: This is a seminar course.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including 6 credits from courses in ANTH
Students will engage in the study of a particular issue in the field of anthropology. They will analyze critically the relevant literature and attendant ethical problems, and examine public awareness of the issue, thereby developing a comprehensive understanding of disciplinary considerations. Students will evaluate recent developments in methods and particular approaches, assess the implications of these developments, and identify future directions for the field of anthropology itself. Note: Students may take this course multiple times for further credit on different topics.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including 6 credits from ANTH.
Students will carry out a detailed investigation of a particular region, as identified by the course instructor. They will use specific anthropological approaches to provide insights into the society and culture of the specified region. They will be required to identify relevant sources of information, provide a summary of the literature and develop a discussion of relevant problems. Note: Students may take this course multiple times for further credit on different topics.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including 6 credits from ANTH
Students will complete an applied research project in a particular anthropological subfield, and will analyze critically issues relating to the conduct of applied anthropology. Students will utilize and apply anthropological methods to a particular real world problem, possibly including action research, advocacy anthropology, culture resource management (CRM), methodological design, or a forensic human identification problem.
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