JoAnn D’Alisera
Acting Chair and Director of Graduate Studies
330 Old Main

Anthropology Department Website

Degrees Conferred:
M.A., Ph.D. (ANTH)

Areas of Study: Archeology; biological/physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology. 

Primary Areas of Faculty Research: The biological anthropology faculty studies the present and past nature and evolution of humans and other primates. Faculty specializations are evolutionary theory, paleoanthropology, dental analysis, bioarcheology, comparative morphometrics. The cultural anthropology program focuses on such issues as gender, class, religion, and public culture as shaped by history and migration. Faculty area specialties include North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Training is offered in popular memory, material culture, religion, performance studies, sociolinguistics, ethnobiology, medical anthropology, and popular culture. The archeology faculty is particularly strong in the U.S. Southeast, Great Plains, and the Middle East. Their research interests range from ethnohistory to lithic analysis, Quaternary environments, ground-based geophysical and satellite remote sensing, applications of geographical information systems technology, quantitative techniques, mortuary studies, historical archeology, and ecology. A major emphasis, in collaboration with the Arkansas Archeological Survey, is public archeology.

M.A. in Anthropology

Prerequisites to Degree Program: Applicants must be admitted to the Graduate School and meet the following requirements: 1) satisfactory undergraduate preparation in anthropology, 2) three letters from persons competent to judge applicant’s potential for graduate studies, 3) satisfactory GRE scores, and 4) a completed departmental application. Students who do not meet these requirements may be admitted conditionally. Students with course deficiencies may enroll concurrently in graduate courses.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree: (Minimum 30/36 hours, depending on option chosen.) A student may choose one of three options to satisfy the requirements for a Master of Arts degree in anthropology:

Anthropology M.A. with Thesis:(Minimum 30 hours.) A minimum of 24 semester hours of course work including distribution requirements specified by the department, six semester hours of thesis, and an oral examination conducted by the candidate’s faculty committee.

Anthropology M.A. with Internship: A minimum of 30 semester hours of course work including distribution requirements specified by the department, six hours of internship, evidence of research ability, and an oral exam conducted by the candidate’s faculty committee.

Anthropology M.A. without Thesis: Thirty-six semester hours including distribution requirements specified by the department and an oral examination conducted by the candidate’s faculty committee.

A list of courses that meet the general distribution requirement is available from the departmental chair. A minimum of 21 graduate hours in anthropology is required in all three options.

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.

Ph.D. in Anthropology

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree:(Minimum of 42 hours, including 18 hours of dissertation.)

Admission Requirements: Applicants are generally required to have a master’s degree in anthropology (or the equivalent) and demonstrate competence in the subfields of archeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. A student who begins doctoral study with an M.A. from another university must take the courses required for the M.A. here that were not taken elsewhere, but these deficiency courses may, with the consent of the student’s advisory committee, count toward the 24-hour course requirement. Applicants without a master’s degree in anthropology (or its equivalent) but with exceptionally strong qualifications may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program at the discretion of the department faculty.

Advisory Committee: During the first semester of study, all students will be assigned an advisory committee that will determine their particular programs. Students will select a subfield of specialization (archeology, biological anthropology, or cultural anthropology).

Foreign Language Requirement:Students are required to demonstrate competence in a foreign language.

Course Requirements: Students in the doctoral program are required to complete 24 semester hours of course work for graduate credit beyond the M.A. degree. This work will include four seminar courses to include at least one class in archeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. To strengthen and support an area of expertise, a student may take up to six hours of graduate course work in other departments. Subject to the approval of the student’s adviser, these hours will count toward the 24-hour course requirement for the degree.

Candidacy Examinations:A student must complete Graduate School residence requirements and departmental course requirements before taking the written candidacy examinations. Students will notify their committees of their intention to take the examination, and their advisory committee will construct the examination questions. The exams will be taken on campus over a period of three days. The areas that will be examined are discussed in the department’s Graduate Student Handbook.

The student’s advisory committee, in consultation with other faculty as needed, will evaluate the written answers. The student’s advisory committee chair will meet with the student and provide relevant feedback, including any weaknesses in the written examination that might need to be addressed in the oral examination.

The committee chair will then schedule an oral exam with the student’s advisory committee. After the oral exam, the advisory committee will meet and make one of the following recommendations:

  1. The student has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities to proceed with his/her dissertation. The student is then admitted to candidacy.
  2. Remedial work is necessary. Remedial work may include taking portions of the qualifying exam again, writing another paper, taking an additional course or independent study, or other options as appropriate. Upon successful completion of this remedial work, the student will be admitted to candidacy.
  3. The student is not admitted to candidacy.

The committee recommendations will be communicated in writing to the student and to the department chair, and the Graduate School will be notified in writing by the department chair when students have passed their candidacy examinations.

Proposal Defense:Upon admission to candidacy, students will select a dissertation committee with a major professor as chair to direct the research and writing. Under direction of the major professor, candidates will develop programs of reading in the general areas and research techniques pertinent to preparing their dissertations. To demonstrate competence in this preparation, the dissertation committee will conduct an oral proposal defense. This proposal defense must be taken no later than the end of the fall or spring semester after completing the written qualifying examinations.

Dissertation and Dissertation Defense: Students will demonstrate a capacity for independent research by writing an original dissertation on a topic within their subfield of specialization. Within the time limits specified by the Graduate School, students must submit a dissertation acceptable to their dissertation committee. Students’ final examinations will be oral and primarily a defense of their dissertations.

Teaching Requirement: Although the Doctor of Philosophy degree is primarily a research degree, communication skills are critical to professional development. Therefore, each doctoral candidate will be required to engage in teaching activities before completion of the program.

Faculty members located off-campus are available for research and individual guidance in any of these options. They may also chair and serve on student committees.

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to doctoral degrees.

Environmental Dynamics: Anthropology participates in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Environmental Dynamics.

Common Market: Through an agreement with the Academic Common Market, residents of certain Southern states may qualify for graduate enrollment in this degree program as in-state students for fee purposes.

Graduate Faculty

Brandon, Jamie, Ph.D. (University of Texas), M.A. (University of Arkansas), B.A. (University of Memphis), Associate Research Professor, 2014.
D'Alisera, JoAnn, Ph.D., A.M. (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign), B.A. (State University of New York at New Paltz), Associate Professor, 1999.
Delezene, Lucas, Ph.D., M.A. (Arizona State University), B.S. (Emory University), Instructor, 2011.
Erickson, Kirstin C., Ph.D., M.A. (University of Wisconsin-Madison), B.A. (St. Olaf College), Associate Professor, 2001.
Kay, Marvin, Ph.D. (University of Colorado-Boulder), M.A., B.A. (University of Missouri-Columbia), Professor, 1980.
Kvamme, Kenneth L., Ph.D. (University of California-Santa Barbara), M.A., B.A. (Colorado State University), Professor, 1999.
Marion, Jonathan S., Ph.D., M.A. (University of California-San Diego), B.A. (University of Redlands), Associate Professor, 2012.
Natarajan, Venkatesan Ram, Ph.D., M.A. (New York University), B.A. (Johns Hopkins University), Assistant Professor, 2015.
Nolan, Justin Murphy, Ph.D., M.A. (University of Missouri-Columbia), B.A. (Westminster College), Associate Professor, 2002.
Plavcan, Joseph M., Ph.D., B.A. (Duke University), Professor, 2001.
Rose, Jerry, Ph.D., M.A. (University of Massachusetts), B.A. (University of Colorado), University Professor, 1976.
Sabo, George, Ph.D., M.A., B.S. (Michigan State University), Professor, 1980.
Stoner, Wesley, Ph.D., M.A. (University of Kentucky), B.A. (Pennsylvania State University), Assistant Professor, 2014.
Swedenburg, Ted R., Ph.D., M.A., (University of Texas at Austin), B.A. (University of Beirut), Professor, 1996.
Terhune, Claire E., Ph.D., M.A. (Arizona State University), B.A., B.S. (College of Charleston), Assistant Professor, 2013.
Ungar, Peter S., Ph.D., M.A. (State University of New York at Stony Brook), B.A. (State University of New York, Binghampton), Distinguished Professor, 1995.
Vining, Benjamin R., Ph.D., M.A. (Boston University), B.A. Colgate University, Assistant Professor, 2016.


ANTH 500V. Advanced Problems in Anthropology. 1-18 Hour.

Individual research at graduate level on clearly defined problems or problem areas. May be repeated for up to 18 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 5043. Advanced Vector Geographic Information Systems. 3 Hours.

Advanced vector operations and analysis. Topics will include topological analysis, network analysis, geocoding, conflation, implications of source and product map scale, map generation, error mapping, and cartographic production. Prerequisite: ((ANTH 4563 or ANTH 5563 (formerly ANTH 4563)) or ((GEOS 4583 or GEOS 5583 (formerly GEOS 4583)) or equivalent.
This course is cross-listed with GEOS 5033.

ANTH 5053. Quaternary Environments. 3 Hours.

An interdisciplinary study of the Quaternary Period including dating methods, deposits, soils, climates, tectonics, and human adaptation. Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 2 hours per week.
This course is cross-listed with ENDY 5053, GEOS 5053.

ANTH 5063. Popular Culture. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4033.) Study of national and international varieties of popular culture, including music, dance, fashion, and the media. Emphasis will be given to both ethnographic approaches, which focus on the investigation of production and consumption of cultural forms and to cultural studies approaches, which see culture as a terrain of struggle. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4033 and ANTH 5063.

ANTH 5093. The Archeology of Death. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4093.) Study of the analysis and interpretation of archeological mortuary remains and sites. Key archeological and anthropological sources that have influenced major theoretical developments are reviewed. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4093 and ANTH 5093.

ANTH 5103. Applications of Cultural Method and Theory. 3 Hours.

Review of the nature and history of cultural anthropology; recent theories and practical implications and applications of various methods of acquiring, analyzing and interpreting cultural anthropological data.

ANTH 5113. Anthropology of the City. 3 Hours.

Examines cities as both products of culture, and sites where culture is made and received. Explores the implications of several pivotal urban and cultural trends and the way in which representations of the city have informed dominant ideas about city space, function, and feel.

ANTH 5123. Ancient Middle East. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4123.) The archeology of the ancient Middle East with emphasis upon the interaction of ecology, technology and social structure as it pertains to domestication and urbanization. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4123 and ANTH 5123.

ANTH 5133. Settlement Archaeology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4133.) Focuses on the historical development of settlement archeology, the methods of site survey and discovery within regions, ecological and social theories that underlie patterns of human land use and distribution, methods of site location analysis, and descriptive and predictive site location modeling. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4133 and ANTH 5133.

ANTH 5143. Ecological Anthropology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4143.) Anthropological perspectives on the study of relationships among human populations and their ecosystems. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4143 and ANTH 5143.

ANTH 5153. Topics in Anthropology. 3 Hours.

Graduate level seminar with varied emphasis on topics relating to cultural anthropology. May be repeated for degree credit.

ANTH 5203. Applications of Archeological Method and Theory. 3 Hours.

Review of the nature and history of archeology; recent theories and practical implications and applications of various methods of acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting archeological data.

ANTH 5243. Archeology of the Midsouth. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4243.) Survey of prehistoric and protohistoric cultures of the lower Mississippi Valley and adjacent regions. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4243 and ANTH 5243.

ANTH 5256. Archeological Field Session. 6 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4256.) Practical field and laboratory experiences in archeological research. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4256 and ANTH 5256.

ANTH 5263. Indians of Arkansas and the South. 3 Hours.

Study of the traditional lifeways and prehistoric backgrounds of Indians living in the southern United States, including Arkansas.

ANTH 5273. Photography for Fieldwork. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4273.) This class explores the use of photographic images as both data and representational tools in anthropological research, emphasizing the ethical, theoretical, and methodological issues involved. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4273 and ANTH 5273.

ANTH 5283. Survey in Ethnographic Film. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4283.) Survey of the development and evolution of ethnographic film, based on class screenings to build familiarity, vocabulary, and literacy with this branch of visual anthropology. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4283 and ANTH 5283.

ANTH 5293. Identity and Culture in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4263.) An exploration of the interplay between Latino/a, Mexican, Anglo, and Native American identities and cultures along the U.S.-Mexico border. Course examines identity formation, hybridity, social tension, marginalization, race and gender, from an anthropological perspective, paying special attention to the border as theoretical construct as well as material reality. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4263 and ANTH 5293.

ANTH 5303. Applications of Method and Theory in Biological Anthropology. 3 Hours.

Review of the nature and history of biological anthropology; recent theories and the practical implications and applications of various methods of acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting data.

ANTH 5313. Laboratory Methods in Archeology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4353.) Theory and practice of describing, analyzing, and reporting upon archeological materials. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4353 and ANTH 5313.

ANTH 535V. Topics in Physical Anthropology. 1-6 Hour.

Graduate level seminar with varied emphasis on topics relating to physical anthropology. May be repeated for degree credit.

ANTH 5363. Museums, Material Culture, and Popular Imagination. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4363.) Museums as ideological sites and thus as sites of potential contestation produce cultural and moral systems that legitimate existing social orders. This course will focus on strategies of representation and the continuous process of negotiating social and cultural hierarchies with and through objects that are displayed. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4363 and ANTH 5363.

ANTH 5413. Bioarcheology Seminar. 3 Hours.

Intensive coverage of bioarcheological method and theory with the context of both academic and cultural resources management research.

ANTH 5423. Human Evolutionary Anatomy. 3 Hours.

Paleobiologists reconstruct past lifeways and systematic relationships of our ancestors using comparative studies of bony morphology and associated soft tissues. This course surveys methods and theories used to infer function and phylogeny, and details relevant aspects of the anatomy of humans, living great apes, and fossil human ancestors. Prerequisite: ANTH 1013 and BIOL 1543.
This course is cross-listed with BIOL 5423.

ANTH 5443. Cultural Resource Management I. 3 Hours.

Concentrated discussion of management problems relative to cultural resources, including review and interpretation of relevant federal legislation, research vs. planning needs, public involvement and sponsor planning, and assessment of resources relative to scientific needs. No field training involved; discussion will deal only with administrative, legal, and scientific management problems.

ANTH 5473. Descriptive Linguistics. 3 Hours.

A scientific study of language with primary emphasis on modern linguistic theory and analysis. Topics include phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language acquisition, and historical development of world languages.
This course is cross-listed with WLLC 5463, ENGL 5463.

ANTH 548V. Individual Study of Anthropology. 1-6 Hour.

(Formerly ANTH 448V.) Reading course for advanced students with special interests in anthropology. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 448V and ANTH 548V. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 5513. African Religions: Gods, Witches, Ancestors. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4513.) An exploration of African religions from a variety of anthropological perspectives, exploring how religious experience is perceived and interpreted by adherents, highlighting the way in which individual and group identities are constructed, maintained and contested within religious contexts. Readings reflect the vast diversity of religious life in Africa. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4513 and ANTH 5513.

ANTH 5523. Dental Science. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4523.) Introduction to the study of the human dentition including its anatomy, morphology, growth and development, and histology. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4523 and ANTH 5523.

ANTH 5553. Introduction to Raster GIS. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4553.) Theory, data structures, algorithms, and techniques behind raster-based geographical information systems. Through laboratory exercises and lectures multidisciplinary applications are examined in database creation, remotely sensed data handling, elevation models, and resource models using boolean, map algebra, and other methods. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4553 and ANTH 5553.
This course is cross-listed with GEOS 5453.

ANTH 5563. Vector GIS. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4563.) Introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) applications in marketing, transportation, real estate, demographics, urban and regional planning, and related areas. Lectures focus on development of principles, paralleled by workstation-based laboratory exercises using mainstream GIS software and relational databases. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4563 and ANTH 5563.
This course is cross-listed with GEOS 5583.

ANTH 5583. Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4583.) An exploration of the people and places of Africa from a variety of anthropological perspectives. Classic and contemporary works will be studied in order to underscore the unity and diversity of African cultures, as well as the importance African societies have played in helping us understand culture/society throughout the world. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4583 and ANTH 5583.

ANTH 5593. Introduction to Global Positioning Systems and Global Navigation Satellite Systems. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4593.) Introduction to navigation, georeferencing, and digital data collection using GPS and GNSS receivers, data loggers, and laser technology. Components of NavStar GLONASS, Beidou and other global positioning system are used in integration of digital information into various GIS platforms with emphasis on practical applications. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4593 and ANTH 5593.
This course is cross-listed with GEOS 5293.

ANTH 5603. Landscape Archaeology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4603.) This course provides an introduction to the methods and theories of landscape archaeology. Topics include archaeological survey techniques, environmental and social processes recorded in the archaeological landscape, and analysis of ancient settlement and land use data to reveal changes in population, resource utilization, and environmental relationships. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4603 and ANTH 5603.

ANTH 561V. Field Research in Archeology. 1-6 Hour.

Directed graduate level archeological fieldwork. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 5623. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4613.) Introduction to the biology of the order of Primates. This course considers the comparative anatomy, behavioral ecology and paleontology of our nearest living relatives. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4613 and ANTH 5623.

ANTH 5633. Archeological Prospecting & Remote Sensing. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4633.) Ground-based geophysical, aerial, and other remote sensing methods are examined for detecting, mapping, and understanding archeological and other deposits. These methods include magnetometry, resistivity, conductivity, radar, aerial photography, thermography, and multispectral scanning. Requires computer skills, field trips, and use of instruments. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4633 and ANTH 5633.

ANTH 5653. GIS Analysis and Modeling. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4653.) Unlike conventional GIS courses that focus on studying "where", this course will teach students to address beyond "where" using various GIS analysis and modeling techniques to explore "why" and "how". The course will provide theoretical and methodological reviews of the principles of cartographic modeling and multi-criteria decision-making. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4653 and ANTH 5653.
This course is cross-listed with GEOS 5653, ENDY 5043.

ANTH 5703. Mammalian Evolution and Osteology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4703.) This course will focus on describing the evolutionary history of mammals, a group of vertebrates that include over 5,000 species in 29 orders, and will provide an overview of living species and their identifying features. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4703 and ANTH 5703. Prerequisite: ANTH 1013 and ANTH 1011L, BIOL 1543 and BIOL 1541L, or instructor consent.

ANTH 5803. Historical Archeology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4803.) Review of the development of historical archeology and discussion of contemporary theory, methods, and substantive issues. Lab sessions on historic artifact identification and analysis. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both ANTH 4803 and ANTH 5803.

ANTH 5813. Ethnographic Approaches to the Past. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4813.) Review of the uses of ethnographic data in the reconstruction and interpretation of past cultures and cultural processes, with particular emphasis on the relationships between modern theories of culture and archeological interpretation. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4813 and ANTH 5813.

ANTH 582V. Applied Visual Research. 1-6 Hour.

(Formerly ANTH 482V.) This class provides hands-on skill and training conducting visually informed fieldwork designed to help represent unique cultural settings, experience, and heritage. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 482V and ANTH 582V.

ANTH 5863. Quantitative Anthropology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4863.) Introductory statistics course for anthropology students examines probability theory, nature of anthropological data, data graphics, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, test for means and variances, categorical and rank methods, ANOVA, correlation and regression. Lectures focus on theory methods; utilize anthropological data and a statistical software laboratory. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4863 and ANTH 5863.
This course is cross-listed with GEOS 5863.

ANTH 5903. Seminar in Anthropology. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4903.) Research, discussion, and projects focusing on a variety of topics. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4903 and ANTH 5903. May be repeated for up to 12 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 5913. Topics of the Middle East. 3 Hours.

(Formerly ANTH 4913.) Covers a special topic or issue. Credit will not be given for both ANTH 4913 and ANTH 5913. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 600V. Master's Thesis. 1-6 Hour.

Master's Thesis. May be repeated for degree credit.

ANTH 6033. Society and Environment. 3 Hours.

This course examines the complex interrelationships between human societies and the natural environment. Drawing on diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives in archaeology, ethnography, history, geography, and palaeo-environmental studies, readings and discussion will explore the co-production of social and environmental systems over time. May be repeated for degree credit.
This course is cross-listed with ENDY 6033.

ANTH 610V. Internship. 1-18 Hour.

Internship. May be repeated for up to 18 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 6813. Seminar: Cultural Anthropology. 3 Hours.

Variable topics in Anthropology will be explored in depth. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 6823. Seminar: Archeology. 3 Hours.

Various topics in Archeology will be explored in depth. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 6833. Seminar: Biological Anthropology. 3 Hours.

Various topics in Biological Anthropology will be explored in depth. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

ANTH 700V. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-18 Hour.

Doctoral Dissertation. May be repeated for degree credit.