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An image of a ceremony held by a community in Saburai, Timor-Leste, to pray for a successful planting season. This photo by assistant professor of anthropology Dr. Susanna Barnes (PhD) won an award in the 2022 USask Images of Research competition.

USask anthropology department changes its name

All the same programming, but a shorter name for the Department of Anthropology


By Chris Putnam

Archaeology and anthropology have a new name at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Starting May 2023, the former Department of Archaeology and Anthropology is called simply the Department of Anthropology.

The department will continue its teaching and research in archaeology. The change is to streamline the unit’s name and highlight the connections between archaeology and anthropology.

“We want to send a strong signal that that we are one department, that we’re working together effectively, and that we’re offering integrated programs for students that will respond to their interests,” said Dr. Clint Westman (PhD), head of the Department of Anthropology.

Clint Westman
Clint Westman is head of the Department of Anthropology.

In North America, archaeology is generally considered a subfield of the larger field of anthropology. The USask department’s rebranding makes it consistent with similar departments at other universities.

“Our faculty members were unanimous in supporting this change. Anthropology means the study of the human, and it encompasses everything that we do,” said Westman.

The name change is part of ongoing work in the department to integrate its anthropology and archaeology programming. In recent years, USask’s separate anthropology and archaeology Bachelor of Arts programs were combined into a single program. Starting next year, that program will be renamed the BA in Anthropology, and the Bachelor of Science in Archaeology program will be named the BSc in Anthropology.

Students will not be affected by the changes, except that they will be offered some expanded options within the BSc program. Those already enrolled in one of these programs can complete their degrees under the old names and requirements.

No changes are planned to the department’s graduate-level programming. The Master of Arts in Archaeology and Master of Arts in Anthropology programs will continue to be offered under separate names.

Anthropology and archaeology programs have been taught at USask since 1968. At different times, the disciplines have had homes in various departments within the College of Arts and Science—sometimes separately and sometimes together. The current combined department was created in 2008.

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