The Four Subfields of Anthropology

Archaeology

Photo Courtesy of Domenique Sorresso, Chickasaw site survey

The University of Florida Department of Anthropology offers many stimulating courses in archaeology, paleoanthropology, and historical anthropology at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Students have the opportunity to study in field schools, laboratories for artifact analysis and GIS, and museum collections.

Biological Anthropology

Photo taken at the University of Tennessee's William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection by an NPR photographer while Allysha Winburn was conducting her dissertation research. In this photo, Allysha is analyzing human remains (lumbar vertebrae and left and right innominates) for her dissertation (topic: investigating contributions of age, activity, and body mass to the development of osteoarthritis).

The Department of Anthropology offers many stimulating courses in biological, physical, and forensic anthropology at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Our extensive undergraduate catalog offers a variety of interdisciplinary classes and provides opportunities for students to learn laboratory techniques and research design.

Cultural Anthropology

Photo Courtesy of Scott Hussey, photo of a fort with cannons

The Department of Anthropology offers many stimulating courses in ethnographic technique, gender anthropology, linguistics, visual anthropology, and diaspora studies at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Linguistic Anthropology

Susan Milbrath photo of old document

Linguistics and linguistic anthropology at University at Florida are taught collaboratively between the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Linguistics. University of Florida faculty conduct linguistic research in the United States, Mexico, India, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and East Africa. Graduate and undergraduates students with an interest in linguistic anthropology are encouraged to pursue coursework in both anthropology and linguistics, as advised by UF faculty.  

Thematic Clusters

UF Anthropology faculty and graduate student interests have converged around certain topics that provide programmatic foci, and have produced collaborative research in which qualified undergraduate and graduate students participate. These foci are presented here as six thematic clusters:

Photo Courtesy of Deborah Andrews during trip. Photo of anthropology classmates

The New Ecologies

Culturally mediated interactions between humans and their environments

  • Ecological Anthropology, Anthropology of Environmental Disasters, Zooarchaeology, Anthropogenic Environmental Impacts (past and present), Primatology

Long-term Perspectivism

Analyses of historical and evolutionary processes and changes to our species and human culture

  • Historical and Prehistoric Archaeology, Ethnoarchaeology, Historical Ecology, Paleoecology, Paleoanthropology, Historical Anthropology, Ethnohistory, Historical Linguistics, Evolutionary Anthropology, Cultural Heritage Management

Biocultural Anthropology

The interrelationship of biology and culture

  • Medical Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, Forensic Anthropology, Skeletal Biology, Molecular Anthropology, Genetics, Race and Gender Studies, Gerontology, Primatology, Nutritional Anthropology

Multiscalar Processes and Structures

The intersection of macro (e.g., national, global) processes, institutions, and forces with micro (e.g., local, subgroup) contexts

  • Anthropology of Development, Political Economy, Transnationalism, Diaspora, Sovereignty and Citizenship, Entrepreneurship, Cultural Heritage Management

Symbolic Anthropology

The analysis of cultural representations and expressions and various forms of communication

  • Anthropological Linguistics, Cognitive Studies, Oral History, Ethnohistory, Visual Anthropology, Symbolic Anthropology, Museum Studies, Anthropology of Art

Rights

Analyses of social conflict and justice, particularly indigenous rights

  • Legal Anthropology, Social Justice, Race, Class and Gender, Forensic Anthropology, Anthropology of Development

Many of these programmatic foci relate directly to pressing social, biological, and environmental issues. They have substantial practical applications and point to areas in need of the innovative research for which UF Anthropology faculty and students are known.

Department Synergy

Archaeological excavations in Levy County, Florida near the Gulf of Mexico

Archaeological excavations in Levy County, Florida

Expertise within the six thematic clusters cuts across anthropological subfield specializations. The research within the thematic clusters intersect with one another at various points, allowing for an unusual synergy within and among clusters that typifies the integrative interdisciplinarity of the UF Department of Anthropology.

Forensic Anthropology

UF Forensic Anthropology is enhanced by collaboration with colleagues focusing on Molecular and Medical Anthropology, while the perspective of forensic anthropology strongly informs Human Rights and Social Justice issues and the anthropology of Environmental Disasters.

Cultural Heritage Management

Cultural Heritage Management at UF intersects with Development, Indigenous Human Rights, and issues of National Sovereignty but also has strong ties with Archaeology and the analysis of representations such as Oral History and Museum Studies.

Medical Anthropology

The UF Medical Anthropology program is enriched by collaborative research in Ecological Anthropology, the Anthropology of Development, and Human Rights.

Historical Ecology

Historical Ecology at UF incorporates human—environmental (and by extension cultural—biological) interactions over the long term, examining the dynamic intersections of macro- and micro-phenomena from the past into the present.

Diaspora Studies

Diaspora Studies at UF builds upon the Department’s long standing commitment to African and African-American Studies, with growing expertise in Latin American and Caribbean studies. It bridges older concerns with migration and newer interests in transnationalism, engaging a long-term perspective. It provides a focal point for discussions of race and population genetics that draw on the knowledge of cultural, biological, linguistic, and archaeological anthropologists.

 

Photo Credits: Archaeology Photo Courtesy of Domenique Sorresso; Biological Anthropology Photo Courtesy of Elissa Nadworny/NPR; Cultural Anthropology Photo Courtesy of Scott Hussey; Thematic Clusters Photo Courtesy of Deborah Andrews