UWL Creates New Cultural Anthropology Program


UW-L Anthropology Professor Katherine Grillo. retrieved from uwlax.edu

Karley Betzler, General Assignment Reporter

aIn April 2017, the University of Wisconsin La Crosse approved a new, specially designed area of study known as the Cultural Anthropology Emphasis major.

Dr. Christine Hippert, UWL Anthropology Program Coordinator, described Cultural Anthropology as, “…the study of contemporary peoples and cultures.”

“The major is specifically designed to give students a cross-cultural and international perspective on human diversity so that they account for cultural context when solving social problems.”

Elvia Valles is a UWL Senior double majoring in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology. Valles shared, “I’m excited about this new major program! I hope other students are excited about it as well. I am fortunate to be able to pursue Cultural Anthropology of Emphasis as a major, while still being on track for graduation.”

Dr. Hippert noted that an increasing amount of organizations have been hiring Anthropology students. The reason for this trend is the skills taught within the Anthropology major; the major helps better students for working with a variety of people, learning the skills of building trust, and valuing input from multiple groups of people.

“Our new major helps students navigate a course of study to help them work on social problems that matter to them, using examples, concepts, and methods from Anthropology.”

Dr. Hippert also added, “Anthropology gives us the tools to better understand other people’s rationales for their behavior and beliefs.”

Valles stated lessons learned from the major. “[Cultural Anthropology] helps us understand why there are still issues that are not resolved to this day. Issues that we thought were “over” when really, they were swept under the rug and not bothered with. Just like people, culture changes over time.”

Dr. Hippert encouraged students interested in learning more about Cultural Anthropology to enroll in one of the General Education classes. “These classes provide students with all kinds of case studies…those who try to eliminate racism and fight for humane treatment of refugees and immigrants all over the globe, and those who work toward preserving people’s languages and cultures.”

Valles hopes to use her skills from Anthropology internationally. “My future plans include living abroad and completing ethnographic research in either Southeast Asia or Mexico. I’m interested in demographic change, especially within Mexico.”


To find out more about the Cultural Anthropology Emphasis Major, click here.