Anthropology Department


About Anthropology and the Department

Our Anthropology Major and Minor programs have been discontinued. If you have questions about how this may affect your program of study, feel free to contact the department head, Dr. Isidore Lobnibe. New students please consider a degree in Social Science with an Anthropology Concentration.  Check back here periodically for any further updates.

Anthropology is the study of humankind from our earliest beginnings in the remote past to the interdependent cultures of today’s complex and dynamic world. It integrates scientific and humanistic perspectives to describe and analyze human behavior and biocultural diversity. In the introduction to Coming of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead wrote, “… as the traveler who has been once from home is wiser than he who has never left his own door step, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own” (1928).

We challenge our students to journey through time and across cultures, to recognize and question their own assumptions, and to develop the kind of critical analytical skills that will serve them effectively throughout their lives. In an era that continues to redefine our understanding of the dynamics of globalization, anthropology prepares students to promote intercultural understanding and respect among individuals, communities and nations.

We provide core courses in the four traditional subfields of our discipline. Building on this foundation we actively promote an applied perspective, showing how anthropology can contribute to a better world. Students are encouraged to use anthropology to solve human problems at home and abroad, to make public policy more responsive to all members of society, and to achieve a resilient, sustainable adaptation in local and global environments.




Joshua Henderson - Anthropology Major

Meet Dr. Latham T. Wood, our new Anthropologist!  Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Oregon (2021)
Dr. Wood studies contemporary socio-political formations and the politics of “culture" on the island of Aneityum—the southernmost island in the Republic of Vanuatu, in the South Pacific Ocean. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Aneityum had firmly established itself on the tourism world stage, as they received over one-hundred cruise-ship calls a year, and tourism was the primary source of revenue for indigenous Anejom people. Currently, he is now exploring changing debates concerning the dependence on “culture” as a political and economic resource in the post-Covid-19 world. His research interweaves understandings of global processes with indigenous perspectives, life-worlds, and kinship—to contribute to a critical understanding of post-colonial socio-political movements, and the politics of “culture” in a global political economy.
Where can Anthropology take you?  Ask 2010 WOU graduate Laura Gage!

Contact information

For more information about the Anthropology program contact: Isidore Lobnibe, Head Anthropology Department BELL 210B Western Oregon University Monmouth, OR 97361 (503) 838-8306