Research Opportunities by Department

Undergraduate Research in the Department of Anthropology

Opportunities:

Original undergraduate research in the Department of Anthropology is usually done in the context of the senior honors thesis and independent study courses. Many upper-level courses such as the Advanced Topic seminars also provide opportunities for research.

Research opportunities can be built into and around the experience of studying abroad, for example, through the department’s summer program in Malawi. The Anthropology Department Undergraduate Research Grant supports original research for undergraduate majors going into their junior or senior years, and students have used the grant to conduct research in the U.S. and overseas, which typically culminates in an independent study project or an honors thesis. Students have also used Barth-Crapsey Undergraduate Research Awards and participation in the McNair Program as resources for pursuing summer research projects, and some  students have pursued independent and original ethnographic research as Senior Scholars. In 2001, two students organized an on campus conference to showcase undergraduate research and to celebrate the centennial of famous American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead. For a complete list of opportunities, please see the department's Undergraduate Research Funding page.

The academic culture in Anthropology is centered about the individual investigator and students are encouraged to develop and pursue independent projects as they work their way through the Anthropology curriculum. Opportunities to pursue team projects are available in ANT 227, Local and Global Market Research.

Research projects recently pursued by Anthropology undergraduate majors and Take Five students include:

  • Daniel A. Brooks '11 “Canned Style: The Evolution of FUA and Meanings of Graffiti in Rochester, New York”
  • Margaret G. Ball '11 “Eagle and Condor in the Same Skies? A Paradoxical Sustainability Narrative in New York's Hydrofracking Debate”
  • Jessalyn Ballerano '11 “Contracted Birth: Limited Agency, Authoritative Knowledge and Modern Meanings of Choice in American Reproduction” 
  • Victoria M. Massie '11 “(Re)Connection: Networking African American Identity in Genetic Ancestry Testing” 
  • Mara Lynn Chinelli '12 “Witnessing Palestinian Life: Mimetics, Prosthetics and Globalizing Local Political Voices”
  • Byron R. Miller '12 “T Shaped Employees: The Changing Nature of Employment and Hierarchy in Tech Workspaces”
  • Sorcha H. Dundas '12 “Green Business and American Dahl: Refugee Resettlement and Integration in Burlington, Vermont”
  • Alysha N. Edwards '12 “Knowledgeable Transactions: The Anthropology of Bureaucracy at the European Parliament” 
  • Christine M. Rose '12 “Teaching a Lesson: Discourses of Empowerment and the Development of “Future Leaders” in Non-Governmental Education Initiatives in Africa”
  • Ramsey Ismail '13 “Precarious Japan: Youth Voices and the Grounds for New Subjectivities"
  • Anaise Williams '13 “Understanding Pregnancy in Northeastern Thailand: Negotiating Local Beliefs and Western Biomedicine”

How to get started:

Pursue appropriate coursework and do well in classes so that an independent project and honors thesis in the senior year are feasible. Students are introduced to ethnographic methods such as participant-observation and interviewing from the very start of the Anthropology curriculum and are encouraged to design and carry out field research. Typically, strong students develop a plan for an independent project during their junior year so that they can complete and report on their work during the senior year.

Research Opportunities by Department—Main List