Anthropology Department

Linguistic Anthropology Concentration

The Department of Anthropology has a long history of emphasizing rigorous work in the subfield of linguistic anthropology. It is axiomatic in the department that language is not just a system of signs, but a complex and embodied practice that pervades social life. As such, the discipline of linguistic anthropology provides tools and methods, as well as models of nuanced ethnographic and historical research, for students to address some of the foundational questions of the field, such as the nature of meaning, efficacy, power, agency, and personhood in cross-cultural contexts. This concentration allows students who want to focus on the politics and dynamics of language as social action to integrate their linguistic anthropological coursework into a thesis project. Students choosing this concentration will also deepen their understanding of linguistic analysis by taking at least three courses in the Linguistics Department.

Department Requirements

  1. Proficiency in a non-English language demonstrated by successful completion of secondary education in that language, successful completion of two units of college-level courses at a second-year level or one unit at a higher level, successful completion of a language placement examination approved by the department, or approval of the department.
  2. A minimum of seven units of anthropology coursework, including Anthropology 211, one area course, one 400-level theory course, and at least three linguistic anthropology courses (preferably including Anthropology 201: Language, Culture, Power).
  3. Junior qualifying examination.
  4. Anthropology 470 (a linguistic anthropology-focused thesis).

Allied Field Requirements

  1. Three units in the linguistics department, including Linguistics 211, Linguistics 212, and one upper-division linguistics course.

Highly recommended but not required

  • Coursework in advanced foreign languages (300-level and beyond), literary theory, foreign literature not in translation.

Linguistic Anthropology Courses

  • Anth 201 Topics in Contemporary Anthropology: Language Culture Power 
  • Anth 342 Language and Medicine
  • Anth 394 Language Attrition and Endangerment
  • Anth 397 Media Persons Publics
  • Anth 405 Semiotic Anthropology
  • Anth 411 Performance and Performativity
  • Anth 465 Suffering, Narrative, and Subjectivity