Anthropology Department

Science and Environmental Studies

The Department of Anthropology created a Science and Environmental Studies (SES) concentration, which complements the existing Environmental Studies program at Reed. However, an SES track within Anthropology offers a uniquely anthropological lens on the broad array of topics covered in both science studies and environmental studies. Such a focus acknowledges the importance and centrality of interrogating the diversity of cultural understandings and practices involved in human-environmental relations, as well as the myriad topical and geographical areas of study.

Anthropology’s central concepts and methodological approaches provide perspectives on diverse human interactions with physical and biological elements (ranging from geological formations, forests, water, animals, and microbes) that are unique to the discipline. This work informs critical analysis of environmental policies. Anthropological approaches to environmental studies’ central foci require specific programmatic approaches, including a proficiency in ethnographic methods, such as participant observation, structured interviews, and field notes, as well as a familiarity with anthropology’s foundational conceptual frameworks.

Department Requirements

  1. Foreign Language Proficiency: 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, at least one area course, at least one 400-level course, and at least two SES anthropology courses.
  3. Junior qualifying exam in Anthropology
  4. Anthropology 470 (SES focused thesis)

Allied Field Requirements

  1. History and social sciences courses (2 units total). 1 unit of ES-designated courses taken from at least 2 of the following: economics, political science, and history.
  2. Mathematics and natural sciences courses (5 units total):
    ● Biology 101 & 102
    ● Chemistry 101 & 102
    ● One upper-level environmental studies-biology course OR one environmental studies-chemistry course (numbered 200 or above).
    ● ES 300 (Junior Seminar) recommended.

 Current Anthropology of Science and Environmental Studies Courses

  • Anth 201 Global Political Ecology (Vaidya)
  • Anth 201 Global Health (Brada)
  • Anth 341 Medical Anthropology (Brada)
  • Anth 378 Nature, Culture and Environmentalism (Sullivan)
  • Anth 3xx South Asian Environmentalisms (Vaidya)
  • Anth 442 Ontological Politics (Sullivan)