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What Can You Do With A Degree In Anthropology?                              [back]

Write a Novel...

Consider how a double major in Anthropology and Culture and Expression can provide the necessary writing skills to become a novelist. Our program teaches important skills in the observation and description of complex cultural behaviors. Our qualitative methodologies stand in stark contrast to the statistical style of most of the social sciences.

A  number of prominent novelists have started their careers in anthropology. For example:


Rae St. Clair Bridgman

(PhD York 1993)

is a Professor in the Department of City Planning, at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Canada). Her ethnographic studies of chronic homelessness among women and men in Canada, youth homelessness, and innovative housing models for rehousing the homeless, as well as her research on child-friendly

cities, have been published internationally. She complements this last work with a series of award winning children's fantasy novels based in mythical MiddleGate.




Camilla Gibb

is a Toronto-based author and winner of the 2006 Trillium Prize for best novel (Sweetness in the Belly, 2005). She graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Middle Eastern studies from University of Toronto and a Doctor of Philosophy in social anthropology from University of Oxford.


Ursula K. Le Guin

is a HUGO and NEBULA  Award winning author in science fiction and fantasy. She is best know for her Earthsea series, and the novel The Left Hand of Darkness. She obtained her MA in Anthropology in 1952. Her father, Alfred Kroeber, earned the first Ph.D. in anthropology in the United States from Columbia University and went on to found the second department, at the University of California, Berkeley.



If this career path appeals to you, consider doing a minor (honours minor 36 credits) or double major in Creative Writing. Choose some of these courses from among our "Representation, Identity and Performance" offerings:

Required (18 credits):

AN 2110 6.0 Core Concepts in Anthropology

AN 2120 6.0 Visualizing Ourselves, Visualizing Others

AN 3350 6.0 Culture as Performance: The Anthropology of the Arts

Electives (18 credits):

AN 3020 6.0 Race, Racism and Popular Culture

AN 3120 6.0 The Anthropology of Tourism

AN 3130 3.0 Archaelogy and Society: Local Pasts in Global Present

AN 3230 6.0 Women, Culture and Society

AN 3550 6.0 Science as Practice and Culture

AN 4220 6.0 The Cultures of the Web

AN 4350 3.0 Perspectives on Visual Anthropology

AN 4440 3.0 Anthropology of Masculinities

AN 4550 3.0 Anthropology of Cosmopolitanisms




Why do humans have such different ways of living and thinking?

What makes you different from and similar to other individuals and groups both in Canada and around the world?

Why are we not becoming all the same in our global world due to new technologies, new media and more powerful multinational corporations?

Why do social inequality, poverty, racism, and violence continue to occur around the world, including here in Canada?