About the Program

The Fieldstudies training program works on the principle of small group collaborative learning. Participants move through a three semester course sequence as a group, sharing their ideas and and experiences with each other. In this way, participants learn from each other and the faculty instructor who guides them through the process from beginning to end.  

Participants are free to choose the research site and topic that most suits their interests. Students develop these ideas into full-fledged research projects - taking the project through the various stages of design, data collection, analysis and report/publication.  The idea is to experience the challenge of individual field research with the advantage of close guidance and support.

Here is how it works:

Semester One:

Students enroll in a 4 credit seminar, Anthropology 660. During this semester students work on the design of their research project and bibliography. This is an intensive seminar where students read and discuss the basic elements of research design, grant writing, research ethics and various research methodologies.

  • At the end of the semester participants orally present their research proposals in a public Departmental seminar and also submit a written grant proposal. Proposals are reviewed by the faculty and if approved, a student then moves on to the fieldwork stage.

Semester Two:

Participants enroll in Anthropology 660 (9 credits). Students go to their selected research sites in Europe for the duration of the semester (12-14 weeks) and carry out their research.  Students stay in close contact with their fieldwork supervisor and submit regular progress reports.

  • Mid-semester, everyone meets for a retreat in a location selected by the supervisor.   Here students exchange experiences and get feedback to help them in their research.

Semester Three:

Students returning from the field enroll in Anthroplogy 685 (3 credits). This seminar is devoted to evaluating the fieldwork experience and analyzing the data students have collected.  

  • At the end of the semester, everyone submits a written report and presents their research results in an open seminar for the Department.

For more on these and related courses see Courses.

For more on past projects see Participants.