Anthropology spans the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities, offering interpretations of all aspects of human life. Socio-cultural anthropology, one of the four traditional subfields of the discipline, seeks to understand human life-worlds in all their variation across time and space using people’s lived experiences, practices, ideas and explanations as a principle source of knowledge about the world.
AUC Anthropologists specialize in ethnographic field research and are involved in innovative theoretical engagement with emergent issues of both local and global concern. Our faculty who come from across the region maintain diverse research interests in areas like: religion and ritual, gender and feminism, youth cultures and activism, post-colonial theory, rural studies, cities and globalization, history, memory, and identity, health and the body,war and violence, art, film and aesthetics.
Our research is enhanced by our commitment to training students in the history and foundations of social and cultural theory. The Anthropology program at the American University in Cairo was founded in 1956, making it one of the first in the Arab region, and situated in the region’s largest city. We offer a BA program for undergraduate Anthropology majors, as well as minors in Anthropology and in Community Development. We also run a joint MA program in Sociology-Anthropology, as well as a wide offering of courses that provide students majoring in Middle East studies, economics, psychology and architecture, with new perspectives on their disciplines. Our approach to teaching anthropology is enhanced through fieldtrips, film screenings and seminars where we showcase the research of both faculty and students.
Bachelor of Arts
The undergraduate program aims to present the main themes and trends in cultural and social anthropological thought and practice and thereby to nurture critical, intercultural, and reflexive perspectives as part of liberal education. In doing so, it seeks to foster understanding of the transformation of society and culture in Egypt and the region. The program also engages with other parts of the world, such as Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Our aim is to prepare students for graduate studies and for living and working in an increasingly complex and changing world. Upon graduation our students are well-positioned to pursue careers in teaching, research and applied anthropology, such as in international development agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector, social service, media, and heritage preservation.
To declare a major in Anthropology:
1) A student must earn a B in “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” ANTH 2101 .
2) A student must have an overall GPA at the time of the declaration of C+ (2.3 GPA)
3) Successful interview by unit head at the time of declaring the major
Upper-division (300-400 level) courses are normally taken during the junior and senior years. Students must take ANTH 3102 and ANTH 3104 during the junior year. Students must take ANTH 4107 in their last full academic year. Most of the other courses are offered in alternate years and so may be taken in any order. Courses at the 500-level are also open to selected advanced undergraduates.
A total of 120 credits is required for the bachelor’s degree in anthropology: