College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Anthropology

Cultural/Social Anthropology

Cultural anthropology is the holistic (integrated) study of what people think, make and do as members of societies around the world.  The WSU anthropology program has strengths in kinship, gender, childhood & child development, cultural & behavioral ecology, environmental anthropology, cultural psychology, issues of globalization and sustainability, health behavior, foragers, peasants, media, art and work, psychological anthropology, ethnobotany, language, and religion.  Faculty and students work around the globe in Central Africa, India, Polynesia, Amazonia, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Northwest of North America. The department also offers a Masters International Program in Public Health Anthropology at the graduate level.

Students in the MA and PhD programs are exposed to basic issues in the four fields of American Anthropology through core courses in Archaeology, Evolutionary Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics. They are then expected to explore the subdiscipline of Cultural Anthropology through a variety of required and elective courses with the department, as well as courses in other departments, if such classes are appropriate for their research interests.

The Cultural Anthropology Program offers a general MA, a master's degree focusing on public health anthropology in concert with the Peace Corps (referred to as a "Master's International" or "MI" degree) and a PhD. The PhD in Cultural Anthropology offers highly individualized training in a variety of areas according to the student's interests and the specializations of the faculty. PhD students are expected to develop research proposals in cooperation with their advisors in order to obtain outside grant support for their doctoral research.

Cultural Anthropology Faculty

Dr. Julia Cassaniti

Interests: Psychological anthropology, medical anthropology, cognitive psychology, Theravada Buddism, mental health, religion and ritual, gender, agency, contemporary social issues in Thailand, Southeast Asia

Dr. Barry S. Hewlett

Interests: Medical anthropology, hunters and gatherers, infant and child development, evolutionary cultural anthropology, international development. Sub-Saharan Africa (on the Vancouver campus)

Dr. Jeannette M. Mageo

Interests: Cultural theory, psychological anthropology, ethnohistory, dreams, narratives, gender and sexuality, religion, discourse. Oceania

Dr. Nancy P. McKee

Interests: Cultural anthropology, linguistics, ethnicity, modernization, Third World development, Mexican Americans

Dr. Courtney L. Meehan

Interests:  Hunters and gatherers, evolutionary theory, infant development Sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Marsha B. Quinlan

Interests: Sociocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, Ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, psychological anthropology, maternal and child health. Caribbean, South America

Dr. Robert Quinlan

Interests:  Behavioral ecology, demography, medical anthropology, ethnography, parenting, child development, alcoholism, kinship and families. Caribbean

Dr. Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber

Interests: Gender and work, art, colonialism, cinema. South Asia (on the Vancouver campus)

Temporary faculty:
Dr. Shila Baksi

Interests: Linguistic anthropology, linguistics, culture change, untouchables, gender and culture. India



Graduate Coordinator
Dr. Marsha Quinlan

(509) 335-5405

Student Representative

Emily Casillas


Cultural Anthropology Program Course Requirements


One-page pdf admission checklist


Main Office Information:


College Hall 150
PO Box 644910
Pullman, WA 99164-4910
Phone: 509.335.3441
FAX: 509.335.3999


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Department of Anthropology, PO Box 644910, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4910, 509-335-3441, Contact Us