For Anthropology Majors

Anthropology Club

Anthropology majors (and other students who are interested in anthropology) are invited to participate in the meetings and other activities of the Anthropology Club. Currently, Alan Wheeler is the faculty sponsor for the club. Contact him at for more information about times and places for meetings and other events.

Graduate School Information

(Once you identify grad schools you are interested in, take the time to explore the website for that particular school. Familiarize yourself with the program, faculty, opportunities for scholarships and fellowships, and with the cost–which includes what it costs to live in the area where the school is located.)

Professional Organizations

American Anthropological Association (AAA)

Links to various sections/societies in AAA

Southern Anthropological Society (SAS)

Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC)

Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA)

American Research Center in Egypt

American Center of Oriental Research

Students should join professional organizations early in their education for a variety of reasons. Networking, and getting up to date information in the discipline are two important ones. There are many more professional organizations than those listed here. These are just ones I am familiar with, some of which I am, or have been, a member.


FISHNET is a listserv discussion group for Christian anthropologists. If you subscribe (it is free) you will receive e-mails about various issues and items discussed by members of the listserv. It is also a good resource if you have relevant questions. Unsubscribing is easy, if you decide to no longer be a part of the listserv. Directions and links for unsubscribing are in every e-mail.

If you wish to subscribe, go to the following site:

Books Every Anthropology Major Should Read

These are books that I think would help prepare undergraduates for grad school by increasing their knowledge both in depth and in breadth. This list is by no means exhaustive. This list is just a place to begin. In addition, every anthropology student should pursue her/his own reading plan according to the area of personal professional interest, which should include reading the professional journals of the discipline. You should always make an effort to pay attention to when particular works were written so as to appreciate the evolution of concepts and theory in anthropology.

Cultural Anthropology has more books listed because I believe that it informs and is fundamental to the other 3 areas.

Cultural Anthropology

Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Ruth Benedict

Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict

Race, Language, and Culture by Franz Boas

Primitive Art by Franz Boas

Yanomamö: The Fierce People by Napoleon Chagnon

Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo by Mary Douglas

Risk and Blame: Essays in Cultural Theory by Mary Douglas

The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life by Emile Durkheim

Primitive Classification by Emile Durkheim/Marcel Mauss

Nuer Religion by E.E. Evans-Pritchard

Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azande by E. E. Evans-Pritchard

Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault

The Golden Bough by James Frazer

The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz

The Jivaro: People of the Sacred Waterfall by Michael J. Harner

Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures by Marvin Harris

Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris

Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture by Marvin Harris

Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture by Marvin Harris

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

The Dobe Ju/’Hoansi by Richard B. Lee

Tristes Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss

The Savage Mind by Claude Lévi-Straus

Structural Anthropology by Claude Lévi-Straus

The Raw and the Cooked by Claude Lévi-Straus

The Elementary Structures of Kinship by Claude Lévi-Straus

Totemism by Claude Lévi-Straus

Primitive Mentality by Lucien Levy-Bruhl.

Political Anthropology by Ted Lewellen

Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski

Magic, Science, and Religion and Other Essays by Bronislaw Malinowski

The Gift by Marcel Mauss

Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead

Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family by Lewis Henry Morgan

Ancient Society by Lewis Henry Morgan

Making Gender: The Politics and Erotics of Culture by Sherry B. Ortner

Anthropology and Social Theory: Culture, Power, and the Acting Subject by Sherry B. Ortner

The Andaman Islanders by A. R. Radicliffe-Brown

Structure and Function in Primitive Society: Essays and Addresses by A. R. Radcliffe-Brown

Orientalism by Edward Said

Power, Politics, and Culture by Edward Said

The Harmless People by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

The Mountain People by Colin M. Turnbull

The Forest People by Colin M. Turnbull

Mbuti Pygmies: Change and Adaptation by Colin M. Turnbull


Note: Archaeology is very region specific, perhaps more so than any other field of anthropology, so students interested in archaeology must read deeply in the regional area of interest in both books and journals.

Ceramic Theory and Cultural Process by Dean E. Arnold

Archaeology: Theory, Methods, and Practice by Paul Bahn and Colin Renfrew

Archaeological Survey by E. B. Banning

Archaeology by Design (Vol. 1, Archaeologist’s Toolkit) by Stephen L. Black

Excavation (Vol. 5, Archaeologist’s Toolkit) by David L. Carmichael

Gods, Graves, and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology by C. W. Ceram

Archaeological Survey (Vol. 2 Archaeologist’s Toolkit) by James M. Collins

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology by James Conolly and Mark Lake

Artifacts (Vol. 4, Archaeologist’s Toolkit) by Charles Robin Ewin

Archaeological Surveying and Mapping: Recording and Depicting the Landscape by Phil Howard

Processual Archaeology: Exploring Analytical Strategies, Frames of Reference, and Culture Process by Amber Johnson

Archaeology in the Holy Land by Kathleen Kenyon

Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Behavior from the Human Skeleton by Clark Spencer Larson

Lithic Analysis by George H. Odell

The Pyramids and Temples of Giza by William Matthew Flinders Petrie

Stylistic Variations in Prehistoric Ceramics: Design Analysis in the American Southwest by Stephen Plog

Curating Archaeological Collections (Vol. 6, Archaeologist’s Toolkit) by Lynne P. Sullivan and S. Terry Childs

Remote Sensing in Archaeology by James Wiseman and Farouk El-Baz

Archaeological Survey Manual by Gregory G. White and Thomas F. King

Reader in Archaeological Theory: Post-Processual and Cognitive Approaches by David Whitley

Presenting the Past (Vol. 7, Archaeologist’s Toolkit) by Larry J. Zimmerman

Biological Anthropology

Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Manual by William M. Bass

Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab and Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales by William Bass and Jon Jefferson

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen J. Gould

Human Evolutionary Genetics: Origins, People, and Disease by Mark A. Jobling, Matthew Hurles, and Chris Tyler-Smith

Lucy: The Beginning of Humankind by Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey

Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins by Donald Johanson and Kate Wong

Forensic Anthropology: Contemporary Theory and Practice by Debra Komar and Jane Buikstra

The Origin of Humankind by Richard Leakey

People of the Lake: Mankind and Its Beginnings by Richard E. Leakey and Roger Lewin

Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropology by William R. Maples

Human Population Genetics by Russell M. Reid

The Human Bone Manual by Tim D. White and Pieter Arend Folkens

Human Osteology by Tim D. White

Linguistic Anthropology

Syntactic Structures by Noam Chomsky

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax by Noam Chomsky

Language and Mind by Noam Chomsky

Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience by Erving Goffman

Directions in Sociolinghistics: The Ethnography of Communication by John Gumperz and Dell Hymes

Foundations in Sociolinguistcs: An Ethnographic Approach by Dell Hymes

The Prison-House of Language by Fredric Jameson

Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

Lectures on Conversation by Harvey Sacks

Course in General Linguistics by Ferdinand de Saussure

Speech Acts by John Searle

Language Typology and Syntactic Description by Timothy Shopen (2 volumes)

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophical Investigation by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Useful Reference Books

The Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by James Birx

21st Century Thought in Anthropology, edited by James Birx