Anthropology

Cooperation With Other Institutions and Interdisciplinary Programs

 

Anthropology Department members participate in a wide variety of interdisciplinary programs on campus and cooperative programs with other St. Louis institutions. This gives students access to a broad base of resources at UMSL and in the community.

The Center for Human Origin & Cultural Diversity

Origins of the Center: The Center for Human Origin and Cultural Diversity (CHOCD)was founded in Fall, 1995, as a joint venture between the Department, the School of Education, and the Mayibuye Center (Archive of the African National Congress) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.  It is housed in the Honors College, and its Director and Co-Director are Department members.  The Anthropology Department provides expertise in understanding human origin and cultural diversity; the School of Education provides expertise in designing curriculum for elementary through high school students.

Purpose of  the Center: Building on the foundations of anthropological knowledge, the Center has designed a K-12 curriculum.  Currently, no comprehensive anthropology curriculum exists in the U.S.  The program targets African-American children and their teachers in the St. Louis Area.  It seeks to empower them by teaching them that the continent of their origin plays a unique role in the history of humankind.

The position of anthropology is that "race" is not a defensible scientific concept.  It is a cultural concept that attempts to classify people on the basis of biological variation. In reality, there is as much variation within "races" as there is between them. The greatest differences between humans are cultural, not biological. We are all members of one species.

The goal of the Center's K-12 program is to teach about the common human heritage and the importance of maintaining diversity to secure the future of the world.  Lessons are designed around:

CHOCD Personnel:

The Center has an Advisory Board consisting of leading educators, clergy, businesspeople, and civic leaders from the diverse African-American community in St. Louis.  Its president is attorney and businessman Steven C. Roberts, an owner of Roberts Broadcasting. Jacquelyn Lewis-Harris is Director, Pamela Ashmore is Associate Director. Sheilah Clarke-Ekong is a CHOCD fellow and advisor. Department Assitant is Mary Ann Sommer. 

The Center for International Studies

The Center for International Studies at UMSL has consistently facilitated research conducted by anthropology faculty who engage in cross-cultural research activities.  In addition to providing matching funds, CIS provides release teaching time and supports the development of new courses to expand anthropology course offerings.

Anthropology faculty benefit from being officially associated with CIS as research and fellowships.  In this capacity, Anthropology faculty have contributed significantly to the World Area Certificate programs on campus.  CIS offers a number of other certificate programs that include anthropology courses.  Dr's. Clarke-Ekong, Brownell, Uhlmann and Ohnersorgen participate in the CIS.

The Gerontology Program

The Gerontology Program offers undergraduate and graduate certificates in Gerontology. Students who wish to combine an anthropology major with the certificate should consult with Dr. Hurwicz.

The Institute for Women's and Gender Studies

The Institute for Women's and Gender Studies offers a certificate in women's studies. A number of anthropology faculty teach courses that are cross-listed with the program, and they benefit from the regular colloquia and other activities of the Center.  Dr's. Clarke-Ekong, Brownell, and Hurwicz participate in the IWGS.

The International Center for Tropical Ecology

The International Center for Tropical Ecology includes an anthropology component since many tribal cultures and primate species are impacted by the deforestation of the tropics.  The Anthropology Department, in conjunction with the Biology Department, offers courses in Primate Behavior and Primate Ecology. Anthropology majors with a strong interest in biology can combine the major with the undergraduate Conservation Certificate.

The Missouri Historical Society The Missouri Historical Society. "A city brings together its institutions and people," says anthropologist John Wolford. "If institutions are linked and work together, they become less impersonal, more human to one another. They develop complementary roles and help unify the city." That quotation aptly describes a partnership of UMSL and the Missouri Historical Society, which strengthens the link between two of St. Louis' most important institutions.

Former Anthropology Department faculty member, John Wolford, is now a full-time employee at MHS and continues to act as a contact for students who might wish to have internships or do research at MHS. Through the St. Louis Research Exchange, about a half-dozen UMSL faculty have spent semesters at the Historical Society's Library and Research Collections Center at 225 South Skinker Boulevard pursuing the research interests of the Historical Society as well as their own,

This partnership was officially established in 1991 and announced by UMSL Chancellor Blanche Touhill and Missouri Historical Society President Robert Archibald. Through the St. Louis Research Exchange, about a half-dozen UMSL faculty have spent semesters at the Historical Society's Library and Research Collections Center at 225 South Skinker Blvd. pursuing the Historical Society's and their own research interests.

Many anthropology majors have also done internships at MHS under the guidance of Dr's. Wolford and Wright. 

The Museum Studies Program

The Museum Studies Program was established in 1997, thanks to a generous endowment provided by St. Louis philanthropist E. Desmond Lee, as a collaboration between The University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Missouri Historical Society (MHS). It is an innovative graduate program intended to train professionals in the new, community-oriented style of museology, in which MHS is a national leader. It is an interdisciplinary program that offers an M.A. in History with a concentration in Museum Studies and/or a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies. Dr. Jay Rounds, who holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology, is Director of the Museum Studies Program. 

Certificates

Certificate in Archaeology 

The certificate in archaeology provides applied training in both laboratory and field methods to students who could be hired to assist professional archaeologists in area firms. Internships can be arranged with the UMSL archaeology lab or with a local institution (e.g. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Missouri Historical Society, Mastodon State Historic Site). These internships can be conducted on Saturdays, Sundays or in the evenings.

Other Certificates

Other certificates that can be combined with the anthropology major are the Writing Certificate in the English Department, the Religious Studies Certificate in the Religious Studies Program, the Urban Studies Certificate, and the African Studies Certificate or the Diasporan Studies Certificate in the Africana Studies Program.