What is Anthropology at York University?

York houses one of the largest socio-cultural anthropology departments in Canada, offering comprehensive and engaging programs of study. A  degree in Anthropology will give you the skills you need to engage critically with, and ask new questions about the world in which we live. Our overall goal is to prepare you to ask questions about contemporary, past and future social life and to provide you with the critical analytic tools to understand our place in the social and cultural diversity of the world, past and present.

Anthropology is the study of different societies around the world — their origins, development and cultural similarities and differences. The goal of anthropology is to advance knowledge of who and what we are, how we came to be, and where we might be going in the future. Anthropology is a discipline that equips you with the skills to think critically and work creatively in an increasingly globalized and complex world.  Explore how people are subjected to, participate in, and contest the processes of living in a world that is interconnected by powerful economic, cultural and technological forces. Gain the tools necessary for critical analysis of our place in the social and cultural diversity of the world. Our goal is to prepare you to ask questions about contemporary, past and future social life.

Our students think critically and productively about how concepts such as class, race, gender and ethnic identities are produced and expressed in shifting local and global contexts of power. These themes are explored in a wide variety of courses and engage such topics as:

  • Development and the environment,
  • Media and popular culture,
  • Health,
  • Illness and disability,
  • Gender and sexualities,
  • Tourism,
  • Religion and science,
  • Diasporic communities and displaced peoples,
  • Violence and conflict, and the colonial process.

Other courses focus on processes of change in the prehistoric and historic past.

Faculty members in the Department of Anthropology have national and international reputations for scholarship, engaged advocacy, and excellence in teaching at both the Graduate and Undergraduate levels. With fifteen faculty members and eight affiliates, we are one of the largest socio-cultural anthropology departments in Canada.