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Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences
One Discipline, Four Fields

Field Program in Oaxaca, Mexico

Summer 2012 Anthropology
Field Program in Oaxaca, Mexico:
Heritage and Cultural Diversity in Oaxaca, Mexico
May 21 – June 12, 2012

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 30, 2012

Faculty Directors: Profs. Daniel Suslak, Stacie King, and Anya Royce

Three IU anthropology faculty members will offer their summer field program in Oaxaca, Mexico for the third time in 2012.  The course, titled “Heritage and Cultural Diversity in Oaxaca, Mexico”, was first taught in May 2008 by professors Stacie King, Anya Royce, Dan Suslak, and Catherine Tucker.  They designed the course to introduce students to a broad range of topics within anthropology, including cultural patrimony, linguistic change, cultural diversity, economic revitalization and human-environment interactions.  

The Department of Anthropology at IU Bloomington is truly unique in the United States for having four anthropologists who conduct research in Oaxaca on the faculty.  Each professor works in a different part of the state in different environmental zones, with indigenous peoples of different ethnicities who in some cases speak distinct languages. 

The course covers three of the four subfields of anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics.  In 2012, Professor Stacie King will direct the program and will teach the course along with Professors Royce and Suslak.  The field program highlights the breadth and diversity of anthropology as a discipline and will give students the chance to see the how different kinds of anthropological research are conducted in a field setting.  

Students will have the opportunity to meet local activists, students, and community members, and in the process, experience Oaxaca's tremendous cultural diversity.  In Oaxaca City, students will attend class sessions and take field trips to museums, archives, archaeological sites, markets, and arts events.  The rest of the program is dedicated to traveling outside the city to visit field research sites, including the high mountains of the Sierra Mixe, Nejapa, the low-lying Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Costa Chica.  New this year, we might visit the arid Mixteca Alta of western Oaxaca.  In these locations, students will attend festivals, meet with local community members, go on hikes, and participate in ecotourism activities.  Site visits will encourage students to think about the production of anthropological knowledge and experience first-hand how anthropological research is done. The course is a 3 credit, 3 week course offered through Overseas Study.  

The course is open to undergraduate students at all levels by application, and program requirements are flexible and depend in large part on enthusiasm, interest, and fit, rather than meeting specific requirements.

For more information (syllabus, program itinerary, application tips, etc.) and access to the online application, visit the IU Overseas Study Program website