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Butler University Bulletin

History and Anthropology

Administration

Ageeth Sluis, PhD, Department Chair

Professors

  • Bruce Bigelow, PhD
  • Elise Edwards, PhD
  • Paul Hanson, PhD
  • Tom Mould, PhD
  • Thomas Paradis, PhD
  • Ageeth Sluis, PhD
  • Scott Swanson, PhD

Associate Professors

  • John Cornell, PhD
  • Vivian Deno, PhD
  • Zachary Scarlett, PhD
  • Sholeh Shahrokhi, PhD

Assistant Professors

  • Antwain Hunter, PhD

Instructors and Lecturers

  • Jeana Jorgensen, PhD (visiting)
  • Julie Searcy, MA

Department Website

www.butler.edu/history-anthropology

The disciplines of history, anthropology, and geography share the same home because they address the same fundamental questions about life from different perspectives, the interplay among which enlarges our students’ minds and lives. Butler is singular among American universities in knitting these three disciplines into a working organism. Prospective majors in both history and anthropology take a first-year course together, introducing them to each other and to the disciplines in their departments, thus offering all the advantages of self-standing disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches.

Members of the department offer expertise in wide-ranging areas of the world: the United States, Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Within these areas we offer courses on the fundamental conditions that shape human life past and present: citizenship, politics, peace and war, gender, race, class, sexuality, language, economics, religion, and thought. The department offers a small student-faculty ratio, individual attention, and abundant opportunities for undergraduate research. Most of our students also study away from Butler, either abroad or in Washington, DC, offering them a taste of this increasingly global world we inhabit.

Why Study Anthropology?

Anthropology explores the human condition, appreciating humans and human practices holistically. We focus on cultural anthropology and research methods critical to understanding the complexities of the modern world. Our graduates enter a wide range of careers—including field archaeology, social work, law, public health, and library sciences—as well as top-level graduate programs.

By producing original work through course research assignments, and possibly self-designed honors thesis projects, students learn how to think critically and write effectively. They leave our program equipped to carefully investigate issues and creatively solve problems on their own—essential skills for any future career direction.

Why Study History?

History explores the human condition throughout the world from earliest time to the present moment. Through course work and individualized projects, students will learn how to contextualize and investigate past events and understand their relevance for the present as well as the future.

With a minimum of prescribed courses, our curriculum allows you to follow your curiosity and feel free to discover through a myriad of course offerings the unfolding of past events and the processes of history making that are such a central component of the human condition.

By producing original work through course research assignments, and possibly self-designed honors thesis projects, students learn how to think critically and write effectively. They leave our program equipped to carefully investigate issues and creatively solve problems on their own—essential skills for any future career direction.

Why Study Geography?

Cultural geography brings together history, culture, and spatial patterning, and reinforces the message of both history and anthropology in a common department. Geography at Butler starts by studying Indianapolis, then moves outward to Indiana, the United States, and the world. These courses are generally valuable, but particularly so for students preparing to teach social studies in secondary school.

Anthropology and History at Butler

  • Small class size and student-faculty ratio, guaranteeing one-on-one attention, mentoring, and guidance to all majors and minors.
  • Unique partnership between history and anthropology, providing cutting-edge training in theory and methodology that binds the two disciplines.
  • Access and connections to premier area museums, regional historic sites, archival collections, archaeological field sites, and community cultural groups.
  • Extensive internship, employment, and study-abroad opportunities.
  • Guest lectures, site visits, and numerous other means to meet professionals in the field.
  • Opportunities to do independent research projects, participate in the Butler Summer Institute and other funded research possibilities, produce honors theses, and attend regional and national conferences.

Anthropology Student Learning Outcomes

The anthropology program seeks to teach students to think for themselves, appreciate human and cultural differences, and master the basic tools necessary for understanding those differences. They learn to employ the ethnographic method, understand issues from a diversity of viewpoints, and ready themselves for responsible citizenship. More specifically, we seek to teach students the characteristic methods of anthropology and the basic range of anthropological theories, to analyze evidence and develop arguments, incorporate the views of other people into their projects, understand issues in all their complexity rather than oversimplify them, and share their ideas and research effectively.

History Student Learning Outcomes

The history program seeks to teach students to think for themselves independently and critically, master the history of one part of the world, apply the past to understand the present, appreciate those who are different from themselves, appreciate academic and civil discourse, and ready themselves for responsible citizenship. More specifically, we seek to teach students the characteristic methods of history and the basic range of historical theories, to analyze evidence and develop arguments, conduct historical research, incorporate the views of other people into their projects, look at problems from a variety of perspectives, and share their ideas and research in proper form.

Degree Programs

  • Major in Anthropology (BA)
  • Major in History (BA)
  • Master of Arts in History (MA)
  • Combined Major in Anthropology and Psychology (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Combined Major in Anthropology and Religion (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Combined Major in History and Anthropology (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Combined Major in History and Political Science (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Minor in Anthropology
  • Minor in Geography
  • Minor in History