College of Liberal Arts USC


 Graduate Index

Thomas L. Leatherman, Chair of the Department


    John W. Adams, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1970
    Leland G. Ferguson, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1971

    Karl G. Heider, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1966

    Carolina Distinguished Professor

    Alice Bee Kasakoff, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1970
    Thomas L. Leatherman, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1987

Associate Professor

    Joanna L. Casey, Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1993
    Gail E. Wagner, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, 1987

Assistant Professors

    Janina Fenigsen, Ph.D., Brandeis University, 2000
    Kenneth G. Kelly, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles, 1995

    Ann E. Kingsolver, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1991

Adjunct Associate Professor

    Christopher Toumey, Ph.D, University of North Carolina, 1987

Adjunct Assistant Professor

    Laura Cahue, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2001

Distinguished Professors Emeriti

    Morgan D. Maclachlan, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1971
    Ted A. Rathbun, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1971


The department offers a Master of Arts degree in anthropology. In addition, the department offers a variety of graduate courses intended as cognates for a student’s major and cooperates with the College of Education and several departments in offering the degrees of Master of Arts in Teaching and Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Social Studies.

Master of Arts in Anthropology

The Master of Arts in Anthropology program offers courses in three areas of specialization: archaeology, physical/biocultural anthropology, and cultural (including linguistic) anthropology. These programs are not mutually exclusive; they offer emphases within the field of anthropology to guide students toward the development of marketable skills for practicing anthropology within a flexible curriculum adaptable to a variety of students’ interests and career expectations. Special opportunities are also available for students interested in developing their skills and knowledge in museology and folklore.


Applicants for a graduate degree must have a B.A. from an approved college or university. Applicants must meet all requirements of The Graduate School for admission and be accepted by the Department of Anthropology. In addition to The Graduate School’s admission requirements, the department requires a personal statement of the student’s interest and intent, a writing sample, and the GRE as part of the application. The application and financial aid deadlines are February 1.

Degree Requirements

Residence and other basic requirements for the degree in anthropology are set by The Graduate School. Students are required to complete 27 hours of classroom course work, six hours of fieldwork, and the minimum number of hours of master’s thesis credit as set by The Graduate School. In addition to the basic course requirements, all students must pass a comprehensive exam in anthropology, administered by the department, and complete a master’s thesis in order to receive their anthropology degree. The thesis will be supervised by a committee of three or more faculty.

Course Descriptions (ANTH)

501—Problem-Solving in Anthropology. (4) Methods for formulating research problems, developing hypotheses, gathering data to test hypotheses. Modeling procedures for analyzing cultures.

512—Gender and Language Use. {=LING 512} (3) The course will explore an approach to gender and language use that emphasizes the grounding in social practice of both.

515—Tradition and Transformations in Islamic Cultures. {=RELG 515} (3) Islam as a dynamic cultural tradition: emphasis on the tension between Islamization and the larger Islamic tradition.

516—Indonesian Culture Through Film. (4) Examination of Indonesian culture, history, social and economic change using scripted Indonesian fiction films and supplementary readings.

517—An Anthropological View of Blacks in Film. {=AFRO 517} (3) Cultural representations, constructions, production, and consumption of African-American identity in the popular culture medium of feature films.

519—Field Problems in Ethnology. (3) A one-semester class and field session. Research design, field methods, interpretation of data, and the development of theory from the data.

520—Field Problems in Ethnology. (6) A two-semester class and field session. Research design, field methods, interpretation of data, and the development of theory from the data.

533—North American Archaeology. (3) Prehistoric and historic archaeology.

534—Prehistoric Archaeology of South America. {=LASP 425} (3) Prehistoric archaeology of the South American continent.

541—Field Problems in Archaeology. (3) (Prereq: ANTH 320) Archaeological field methods and techniques such as excavation, flotation, sampling, surveying, photography, and remote sensing.

542—Topics in Archaeological Field Problems. (1–3) (Prereq: ANTH 320 and permission of instructor) Topics in archaeological field methods and techniques. Individual topics to be announced in master schedule by suffix and title.

545—Historical Archaeology. (3) (Prereq: ANTH 320 or consent of instructor) Archaeological theory and methods applied to data from the historical period.

550—Archaeological Artifact Analysis. (4) (Prereq: ANTH 320 or 322) Laboratory on basic prehistoric and historic artifact analysis, including analytical methods, laboratory equipment, and data interpretation.

551—Medical Anthropology: Fieldwork. {=HPRE 551} (3) Application of observation techniques, field notes, informant interviewing, and secondary data analysis to interpreting differential perceptions of health problem solving in the community and clinic.

552—Medical Anthropology. {=HPRE 552} (3) Socio-cultural factors in health, illness, healing, and medical systems. Cross-cultural and ethnographic evidence for public health research and program applications.

555—Language and Gender. {=LING 541, WOST 555} (3) Approaches to gender and language emphasizing the social grounding of both; how language reflects sociocultural values and is a tool for constructing different types of social organization.

557—Psychological Anthropology. (3) Psychological aspects of behavior from a cross-cultural perspective.

561—Human Osteology. (4) An intensive examination of the human skeleton and techniques for anthropological interpretation. Lecture and laboratory.

565—Health and Disease in the Past. (3) Varieties and effects of disease patterns among past populations illustrating biological, environmental, and cultural interrelationships.

567—Human Identification in Forensic Anthropology. (3) Theories and methodologies necessary for the identification of human skeletal remains in a forensic setting.

568—Nutritional Anthropology. (3) Nutritional problems in developing nations. Measures of nutritional status. Social, economic, and environmental aspects of food consumption and nutrition. Biocultural responses to food deprivation and undernutrition.

569—Environment and Development. {=GEOG 569} (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Examination of development theory and environmental implications of social and economic change. Study of general theoretical perspectives will be balanced with case study materials.

570—Ethnographic Film. (3) Problems in conveying and interpreting ethnographic information on film or tape. Includes syntax, suitability of subject matter to the medium, irrelevant or distracting information, and observer bias.

572—Temporal Processes in Culture. (3) Clocks, cycles, and contingencies as they affect human societies now and have done so in the past. Theories and models from biology and the other natural sciences will be used to interpret the history of culture.

575—Economic Anthropology. (3) A cross-cultural study of the economic behavior of pre-literate and literate societies.

576—African-American Folklife and Archaeology. (3) Foodways, architecture, crafts, and narrative of African-American cultures.

577—Advanced Topics in the Anthropological Study of Social Organization. (3) Selected recent theoretical and methodological developments in the study of social organization.

579—Cultural Ecology. (3) An interdisciplinary approach to prehistoric, historic, and contemporary relationships between the development of socio-cultural configurations and ecosystems.

591—Selected Topics. (1–3) Topics of special interest. May be taken more than once as topics change.

699—Reading and Research. (3–6)

701—Physical Anthropology and Archaeology for Teachers. (3) Human origins, human evolution, human prehistory, and cultural existence from its less complex forms to early civilizations. An introduction to the concepts, methods, and data of physical, biological, and archaeological anthropology primarily for teachers. May be taken with, or independently of, ANTH 702.

702—Social and Linguistic Anthropology for Teachers. (3) Selected contemporary cultures, including their languages. An introduction to the concepts, methods, and data of sociocultural anthropology and anthropological linguistics, primarily for teachers. May be taken with, or independently of, ANTH 701.

703—Anthropological Inquiry. (3) A discussion of the general topics of anthropological inquiry, theories, and methods.

711—Ethics and Anthropology. (1) An examination of ethical decision making encountered in the practice of anthropology.

712—Thesis Skills Seminar. (1–3) (Skills needed for writing a master’s thesis in anthropology, including literature review, current theory, research design, data analysis, and written presentation (Pass-Fail Grading).

718—Seminar in European Archaeology. (3) Consideration and critique of current research in European archaeology.

720—Development of Anthropological Archaeology. (3) Anthropological archaeology: history, theory, contemporary issues, and relationship to other disciplines.

721—Community Anthropology for Professionals. (3) Those skills of social/cultural anthropology and anthropological linguistics which can aid practitioners in health, law, education, and other professional fields to function in community settings. Emphasis on cultural and sub-cultural differences in South Carolina, the Southeast, and the United States.

722—Summer Field School in Archaeology. (6) (Prereq: permission of graduate director) Experience in supervising archaeological research, making field decisions, and directing the collection, processing, and interpretation of archaeological data in the field.

723—Summer Field School in Ethnography. (3–6) (Prereq: permission of graduate director) Experience in designing and carrying out ethnographic research including project design, data collection, analysis, and description.

730—Cultural Theory through Ethnography. (3) Theories of culture presented through ethnographies from different parts of the world. Issues in writing, reading, and interpreting ethnographic information.

733—Seminar in North American Prehistory. (3) Consideration and critique of current research in North American archaeology.

740—Current Issues in Archaeology. (3) Review of theoretical trends in American archaeology.

741—Ethnology for Archaeologists. (3) Ethnographic data important to archaeological thinking; archaeological models resting on ethnographic data. Emphasis on variation of ethnographic data.

742—Public Archaeology. (3) The legal, philosophical, and ethical foundations of archaeology in the United States. Considerations on relating archaeology to the non-professional.

743—Research Practicum in Archaeology. (1) Observation and participation in the on going management of archaeological resources.

744—Research Practicum in Conservation Archaeology. (1) Observation and participation in the on going management of archaeological resources.

745—Seminar in Historical Archaeology. (3) Advanced seminar on theoretical considerations and methodological approaches to the study of historical archaeological materials.

747—Language as Social Action. {=LING 747} (3) Examines language as a social, cultural, and political matrix. Topics include ideology, gender, race, power, agency, and resistance. Students will apply linguistic theories in their own analyses of everyday speech.

750—Archaeological Laboratory Analysis. (4) Methods and techniques necessary to operationalize and test archaeological hypotheses in a laboratory context.

751—Archaeological Research Design and Analysis. (3) An overview of skills required to design and organize archaeological field and laboratory research.

754—Anthropology of Nonverbal Communication. (3) Systems of extra-linguistic communication involving face, body, space, and time in cross-cultural perspective.

756—Analysis of Conversation. {=LING 742} (3) Types of interactive organization found within conversation and the methods and procedures used by participants to achieve order.

760—Biocultural Adaptation. (3) Approaches to human adaptation emphasizing the interaction of biology and culture. Studies of biocultural adaptation to environmental, social, and economic constraints. Research design and methodology in adaptation studies.

761—Bioarchaeology Principles. (3) Methods and theories of application of physical anthropological data to archaeological problems.

770—Demographic Anthropology. (3) Cultural influences on demographic processes and demographic influences on culture, including kinship, population, regulation, fertility, migration, and mortality, particularly in small populations.

771—Migration and Culture. (3) Theories of migration; peopling of the earth; family structure and migration in different economic regimes and cultures; seasonal and cyclical patterns.

772—Gender and Culture. {=WOST 772} (3) Different cultures’ ideas about gender and use of gender to organize social groups in a wide range of societies, including American subcultures.

773—Exploring Ethnohistory. {=HIST 772} (3) Cross-cultural study of history. Includes theoretical perspectives and cases from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

774—Cultural Adaptation and Economic Development. (3) Findings of ecological and economic anthropology applied to problems of contemporary development. Emphasis on less developed countries.

775—Anthropology of Art. (4) Anthropological examination of the art of small-scale societies with attention, where appropriate, to the art of more complex societies.

777—Cinema and Archaeology. (1) Critical examination of films dealing with archaeological subjects.

780—Ethnography of Communication. (3) Ethnographic analysis of communication in groups and institutions in different cultures.

781—Human Interaction. (3) Introduction to basic research on how human beings interact with each other and an historically constituted material world.

787—Material Culture Studies. {=HIST 787} (3) Seminar in historical study of material culture; principal disciplinary and theoretical perspectives; emphasis on material culture of North America.

791—Special Topics in Anthropology. (1–3) Seminar for advanced students. Topics vary according to student and instructor interest. May be repeated for different topics.

798—Research Practicum in Anthropology. (3–6) (Prereq: permission of graduate director) Participation under faculty supervision of anthropological research. Development of the research project, collecting, recording, analyzing, and reporting on the data.

799—Thesis Preparation (1–9)

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