Univ of Southern California
University of Southern California
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Master of Arts in Anthropology

Degree Requirements

Students are not accepted for the M.A. in Anthropology alone, but the M.A. in Anthropology can be granted after two years of course work and satisfactory completion of the screening exams.

required coursesUnits
ANTH 501History and Foundations of Anthropology4
ANTH 502Contemporary Theory in Anthropology4
ANTH 503Regional Ethnography, or
ANTH 506Primate Behavior and Sociobiology4
ANTH 562The Practice of Ethnography (or another methods course approved by the supervisor for primatologists)4
Four 4-unit graduate-level courses in anthropology16

A screening examination must be taken before a student has completed more than 24 units of course work and should be submitted in the third year of residence. The exam consists of three written field statements, a working bibliography and an oral defense.

The Center for Visual Anthropology

The primary goals of the Center for Visual Anthropology (CVA) are: to promote the incorporation of visual modes of expression into the academic discipline of anthropology; to promote mutual understanding and collaboration between professionals in the visual media and in anthropology; to create an awareness of the anthropological perspective in documentaries produced for mass audiences; to improve the materials and techniques available for using film in teaching anthropology; to encourage the collection, archiving and analysis of visual documentation for anthropological research. The Ethnographics laboratory is a part of the Center for Visual Anthropology, which provides archival and computer facilities for students and faculty who work with nonlinear editing systems and interactive media in anthropology. The primary mission of the Ethnographics Lab is to promote the integration of all forms of information, whether text, graphics of time-based media, into a new synthesis of anthropological knowledge. It provides support for research and representation in multimedia formats carried out in a new laboratory facility based on computer AV technologies and software.

The Jane Goodall Research Center is the designated repository of field data from Jane Goodall’s work among the primates of Gombe National Park in Tanzania. A computer interactive multimedia archive of these materials is being implemented to make them available to students, faculty and other interested scholars.

The CVA housed at the Social Science Building on the USC campus and at the C‑Lab, is equipped with broadcast-quality production and editing facilities in video.

These include Super 8 systems and highband 3/4" as well as 1/2" videos. Editing facilities include Super 8 editors, JVC 1/2" editing systems, a Sony 3/4" time code system, an on-line editing system and an AVID system. Editing and viewing facilities are also located in the School of Cinematic Arts. The CVA maintains a complete still photography lab and darkroom.

Policy on Films and Videos Produced by Students
All films and videos produced with school equipment, funding or facilities are the property of USC. Any income from distribution of student-produced films and videos will be used for the benefit of CVA students through production budgets, equipment purchases or scholarships.

Certificate in Visual Anthropology

Students can be admitted to the certificate program in visual anthropology after they have completed their Ph.D. qualifying examinations. The certificate is an interdisciplinary program, with training in digital video production provided by the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Professional skills in video production are designed to help students present their research results to a wider audience and to use visual media effectively in communicating ideas about anthropology. After completing fieldwork, students take a year-long editing sequence and practicum (ANTH 576 and ANTH 577) to finish a visual project, which will complement the written dissertation.) A total of 16 units is required.

required coursesUnits
ANTH 575Seminar in Ethnographic Film4
ANTH 576LAnthropological Media Seminar4
ANTH 577LAdvanced Anthropological Media Seminar4
CTPR 507Production I4

Students may begin to take course work required for the certificate in their first year, but they cannot complete their project until they have satisfied other requirements for doctoral candidacy. The Certificate in Visual Anthropology is received at the same time as the Ph.D.

Master of Visual Anthropology

Students can apply for the Master of Visual Anthropology only if they have a strong undergraduate background in visual anthropology and have a clearly outlined project for a documentary based on ethnographic research that can be completed within a year from the time that they are admitted.

Required coursesUnits
ANTH 502Contemporary Theory in Anthropology4
ANTH 562The Practice of Ethnography4
ANTH 576LAnthropological Media Seminar4
ANTH 575Seminar in Ethnographic Film4
ANTH 577LAdvanced Anthropological Media Seminar4
MDA 501Introduction to Visual Studies: Methods and Debates, or
One 4-unit graduate Anthropology course4
One elective from among the following recommended courses (4 units):
ANTH 501, ANTH 503, ANTH 509, ANTH 510, ANTH 601, ANTH 602, ANTH 603, ANTH 604, ANTH 605, ANTH 606, or MDA 599 Special Topics4

The final documentary project must be submitted in rough cut format by the end of August following the completion of all course work in May.