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We encourage students to engage in original research that culminates with a written analysis. This research could be part of a capstone seminar, internship, independent study, or honors project. Some of our students take advantage of study abroad programs that incorporate field research with classroom study. Remember that your finished written product can serve as the writing sample you submit to graduate or professional schools.

Students can work with any of our faculty members. Faculty have worked with students on a range of projects that often do not intersect with their specific research. You should not feel discouraged to conduct original work simply because your research interests or region of interest is not represented by the department. If you have an idea for a research project, discuss it with your advisor or other faculty member. They can help you figure out the best way to approach the project that will meet your goals


  • “Asking for Forgiveness: Negotiating the Creation of Memory through Public Memorialization"
  • “Silver, Ships, and Soil: Gift-Giving in Medieval Icelandic Sagas”
  • "From Necessity to Novelty: Historic Trades in Colonial Williamsburg" 
  • “[woman, Native]: The Complexities of Indigenous Femininity as seen through the Canadian Indian Act”
  • "Cultivation through Excavation: Performing Community and Partnership in the Historic First Baptist Church Project" 
  • "Apparel Barbarous: Reconstructing an Early Modern Irish Mantle" 

You can browse through recent undergraduate honors theses here.


There is research funding available through the Charles Center that can support you while you work on your project during a summer. If you are a rising senior and wish to conduct research during the summer before your senior year, you should also apply for the Nathan Altshuler Scholarship for field research. This is a departmental scholarship which carries an award of up to $1,500 to carry out field research, often as a prelude to enrollment in senior honors research.


There are also several on campus and local research centers where undergraduate students can help conduct anthropological research. Your advisor may be able to direct you to the one that can best fit with your interests. Or, you can also reach-out on your own.

The following research centers and laboratories are good starting points for this effort:

  • American Indian Resource Center, contact Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, director, x1-1112 or [[dmoret]]
  • Center for Archaeological Research, contact Joseph Jones, director, x1-1581, or [[jbjone]]
  • Chesapeake Archaeology Laboratory, contact Martin Gallivan,director, x1-3622, or [[mdgall]]
  • Institute for Historical Biology, contact Michael Blakey, director, x1-1061, or [[mlblak]]
  • Oceanic Archaeological Laboratory, contact Jenny Kahn, director, x-1054, or  [[jgkahn01]]
Other local sources for research opportunities are: