Explore Our Classes

We invite you to follow your intellectual curiosity by exploring our OpenCourseWare.


Major Introduction

Professors talk about what you can learn through this major.

Faculty Members

BROWN, Bernardo Enrique / ブラウン, ベルナルド エンリケ
KATO, Etsuko / 加藤 恵津子
MALARNEY, Shaun K. / マラーニー, ショウン K.
MORIKI, Yoshie / 森木 美恵

Mission Statement

Anthropology is a discipline devoted to the study of human diversity. Although as humans we are all members of one species, homo sapiens, our species is distinguished by tremendous cultural variation. We can see this variation in terms of the many languages, religions, rituals, and culinary traditions that can be found all over the planet. Our goal in anthropology is to understand both the shared aspects of our human existence and this remarkable variation.

Learning Goals

To achieve this goal, the Anthropology Major has five main components: internationalism, flexibility, hands-on training, critical analysis, and global citizenship.

Internationalism: Anthropology is a comparative discipline and ICU anthropology courses study societies and cultures from all over the world. Our department's strength is societies in East and Southeast Asia, but anthropology students can pursue their interests in any culture in the world, past or present. Anthropology students are fundamentally international in their personal and professional outlook.

Flexibility: The study of human diversity is an extremely broad endeavor, thus anthropology majors are free to study any aspect of this diversity. ICU anthropology courses focus on multiple aspects of this diversity, such as religion, medicine, the environment, nationalism, globalization and transnationalism, gender, symbolism, violence, food, and inequality. Anthropology students are encouraged to study and research those topics and issues that interest them most.

Hands-On Training: Anthropologists conduct their research by living among and talking with the people they are studying. Anthropology majors are encouraged to participate in a fieldwork course in which they have the opportunity to design their own research project, go to the field to conduct their research, and write up their results. Previous fieldwork trips have been to Hokkaido, Okinawa, Canada, and Indonesia.

Critical Analysis: Culture is often thought of as involving beautiful practices and traditions, but anthropologists recognize that culture also involves power and politics. Anthropology majors learn how to critically analyze and understand these aspects of human societies and cultures.

Global Citizenship: Anthropology rejects parochialism and encourages its students to recognize that we are all part of a global community. Anthropology majors are encouraged to reflect upon their place in a diverse world and what role they can play in improving it.

ICU anthropology students have gone on to careers in many fields, such as education, the media, business, and others. Given their international orientation, a number of graduates have gone on to internationally-oriented careers, such as in international business or in international organizations. Many have also gone on to graduate school in Japan and abroad. The ultimate goal of the ICU anthropology major is not simply to produce students who understand the discipline of anthropology, but to help create people who will have the respect, sensitivity, and understanding needed to play important roles in our global community.