Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at Mississippi State University. Here you can view the exciting research that is being conducted by our world-class faculty and the rewarding opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students that we offer.

Mississippi State University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a comprehensive doctoral research university with higher research activity. In addition, we are a land grant institution. In line with this unique status in the state, our faculty is committed to educating and serving the people of Mississippi through advancement of the science and application of anthropology.

Mission Statement

The Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures (AMEC) at Mississippi State University is committed to holistic research concerning past and present human artifactual, biological, cultural, and historical diversity and to the training of students in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies. Our overriding goal is to assess, develop, and apply anthropological method and theory in ways that acknowledge and engage an ever-changing world. In so doing, we seek to gather, disseminate, and employ anthropological knowledge to solve critical problems, at home and beyond, through outreach and education.

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of what makes us human. Anthropologists take a broad approach to understanding the many different aspects of the human experience, which we call holism. They consider the past, through archaeology, to see how human groups lived hundreds or thousands of years ago and what was important to them. They consider what makes up our biological bodies and genetics, as well as our bones, diet, and health. Anthropologists also compare humans with other animals (most often, other primates like monkeys and chimpanzees) to see what we have in common with them and what makes us unique. Even though nearly all humans need the same things to survive, like food, water, and companionship, the ways people meet these needs can be very different.

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What is Middle Eastern Studies?

Middle Eastern Studies promotes interdisciplinary scholarship on the Middle East, North Africa, and greater Islamic world. Its scope includes both ancient and contemporary populations, and recent scholarship has emphasized the transnational and transregional forces at play in shaping the region, both past and present. Scholars working in Middle Eastern Studies draw on a range of disciplinary theories and methodologies from fields such as history, anthropology, archaeology, political science, language, and art and architecture.

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