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Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology (also known as sociocultural anthropology) is the branch of the discipline concerned with documenting the wide range of institutions, beliefs, practices, and technologies of contemporary human populations around the world. It is equally concerned with developing generalizations based on comparative study. The main technique of this subdiscipline is ethnographic research, the first-hand documentation of a people and their situation by a trained investigator. Another technique is ethnohistory, which employs documentary sources of information.

Tulane's Anthropology Department has five cultural anthropologists:

  • Prof. William Balée is an historical ecologist, working in lowland South America.
  • Professor Emerita Victoria Bricker has conducted ethnographic, ethnohistorical, and epigraphic research, all concerning the Maya people of Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
  • Prof. Shanshan Du conducts research on ethnic minority peoples of China and is concerned with the comparative study of gender relationships.
  • Prof. Emeritus Robert Hill has conducted ethnographic, ethnohistorical, and archaeological investigations focusing on the highland Maya peoples of Guatemala.
  • Prof. of Practice Nicole Katin
  • Prof. Adeline Masquelier is a West African specialist, focusing on issues of religion and concepts of illness and healing.
  • Assistant Prof. Sabia McCoy-Torres conducts research on the English and Spanish speaking African Diaspora, race, gender/sexuality, transnationalism, and Black popular music and performance

Among them, these professors offer a wide range of courses on specific world areas, topical subjects, and theoretical perspectives. For a listing of these courses, please refer to our Classes page. Prospective students should feel free to contact any of the faculty whose interests match their own.