Anthropology at University of Manitoba

Located on original lands of the Anishanabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the homeland of the Métis Nation, the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba is committed to community engagement and research on the rich, diverse, and multifaceted ways of being human.

We are interested in diverse methodologies and anthropological approaches that help create socially responsible and ethical engagements with our world. We actively seek to build understanding across the differences that appear to separate us. In so doing, we contribute to more equitable and respectful ways to address the most challenging issues of our time, including conflict, environmental change, global health, and social inequality.

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is a science of humanity that addresses human issues from cultural and biological points of view. The narrowest concern of anthropology is the survival of humanity; its broadest is sustaining, and appreciating, the material conditions and meanings that make life worth living. While broadly educated, individual anthropologists generally specialize in a particular approach to this whole view of humanity.  Our University offers undergraduate and graduate training in four approaches, or "sub-disciplines" of anthropology:

Cultural Anthropology examines the complex conditions and consequences of environmental, social, economic, political, and cultural changes rapidly altering our world. Sociocultural areas of research include global political economy, cultural production and performance, political ecology, human rights, indigenous knowledge, social movements, food studies, gender and development, media, urban/national/transnational/global formations, and applied anthropology.


Archaeology deals with the reconstruction of past ways of human life through the recovery and analysis of the material remains from past cultures. Archaeologists help us understand how people lived, survived, and interacted with each other in the past. They explore topics such as domestication and food systems, urbanization, and population interactions and economic systems in the past. Archaeologists often require additional special training in fields such as zoology, botany, and/or history.


Biological or Physical Anthropology is concerned with the biological characteristics of the human species. Biological anthropologists may study living or fossil primates, fossil hominins, or any aspect of past human biology (including health and disease, growth and development, demography, or activity patterns). They may also use their knowledge of the human skeleton and archaeological field methods in the field of forensic anthropology. Today, there are also new opportunities to bridge the division between the cultural and biological points of view, especially in the area of medical anthropology. Training in human biology as well as human social life and in a range of cultures both past and present uniquely equips anthropologists to research the human condition.



Anthropological Linguistics is the study of language as the primary mechanism of human communication. At the University of Manitoba, this subfield is offered primarily through the Department of Linguistics.





Students who study anthropology develop research skills and have an increased knowledge and understanding of human cultural diversity, past and present. Many students find that anthropology broadens their thinking and gives them perspective on interpretations offered by other disciplines.

 For information about our Undergraduate Program