Anthropology and Classical Studies at The University of Akron


hominid skulls

Fossil skull of ancient hominid

What is Anthropology anyway?

Anthropology is the broadest scholarly field imaginable, because it is about everything human and what makes us that way.  It is about humans as:

  • biological organisms and how we evolved, and how biology interacts with culture
  • cultural beings, and how cultures are organized to give meaning to their members
  • makers and changes of cultures over vastly longer periods of time than history covers 

Anthropology has nothing to do with dinosaurs, but no other field offers anthropology's breadth and depth of perspective on the human experience.  Customs that might seem "strange" can be quite sensible, and our own customs can seem quite strange to others.  The more we understand other cultures, the more we prosper in a changing and rapidly globalizing world. 

Our faculty work everywhere from Akron to Africa, and our students have the opportunity to conduct anthropological research independently, or with faculty.  Current faculty projects are located in Greece, the midwest USA, and the Great Basin, as well as in the Akron area.  Recent student research projects include most of those areas, as well as Barcelona, central Europe, the Balkans, and Washington, D.C. 

What are Classical Studies?

Classical Studies was one of the first programs of study at Buchtel College, after it was founded in 1870.  Our alumni includes leaders in the field of Classics and Archaeology, as well as leaders in the community at large.  Today, we offer a curriculum that emphasizes the study of culture, mythology, archaeology, and history for its own sake, and promotes achievement in the faculties of critical evaluation and effective communication.  Students can also expect to gain fundamental insights into the ways in which the Classical past has been shaping the world around us for the past 2,500 years.  The value of any classic is timeless and universal, so that the classics of any culture will embody ideas and ideals considered worthy of transmission to each new generation.  Thus, while Classical Studies involves specifically the study of ancient Greek and Roman Classics, the subject matter is perpetually modern and relatable to other cultures and epochs, spanning antiquity to the present day. Faculty in Classical Studies conduct archaeological and related research throughout the Mediterranean.  Current emphases include the Roman marble trade and silver trade throughout the Mediterranean between 1500 and 500 BCE.