The anthropology department emphasizes the holistic study of the human condition.

Our students’ interests range from world cultures and global challenges, to human rights and human origins. Students in Macalester’s Anthropology Department travel the world studying cultures, globalization, environmental issues, public health issues, identity, ethnography, and the practice of anthropology. Students may major or minor in anthropology.


In addition to the standard courses listed in the catalog for Anthropology, faculty also develop new courses to cover timely topics, such as these recent ones:

  • Writing Human Rights
  • Anthropology through Science Fiction
  • Evolutionary Anthropology: Facts, Fantasies, and Frauds
  • Gender and Development in Africa
  • Sex, Family, Kinship
  • Museum Anthropology
  • Primates
  • Darfur: Conflict and Human Rights in Africa
  • Defense against the Dark Arts


Two Macalester students and one 2013 graduate recently presented posters at the Third Annual Student Poster Presentations Session, Minnesota Society of the Archaeological Institute of America at the University of St. Thomas. Carol Meja '15 and Kate Sinnott '14 presented posters detailing an archaeological survey in which they took part during the summer of 2013.  more

A group of students spent four and a half weeks working in the 280-acre Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area this summer. “Professor Legge taught us how to do survey work quickly but soundly,” says Holt. The pottery will be sent to the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul for permanent curation. more

Professor Scott Legge is a co-author on a study which appeared as part of a special report in the April 12 issue of the journal Science, that may change our perspective on human evolution. more

Students from the 2009 F.Y.C. "Evolutionary Anthropology: Fact, Fantasies, and Frauds" honored Professor Legge with an elaborate April Fools' Big Foot display. more

Two students present papers and one alumnus receives an undergraduate student prize more

The Appeal of Halloween more

Professor Scott Legge awarded grant for faculty/student archaeological survey more

Macalester Alumnus wins 2012 Hugo Award for comic “Digger” more