Anthropology is the study of human diversity. It brings rich insights to the most important and critical questions of our time. The kind of knowledge that anthropology teaches is invaluable, not least in the turbulent, globalised world in which we live today.

The study of anthropology prepares students to address key global issues through an in-depth study of society, culture and language, asking how we might build better understanding and respect across real or imagined divisions. Here at ANU, we aim to build better understandings of different people and different cultures, and also gain insights into the complex processes facing all of humanity such as migration, globalisation and climate change.

With an emphasis on long-term ethnographic fieldwork as a research method, we are able to gain uniquely deep local and comparative insights and knowledge. In doing so, we are able to pose key questions about power and politics, religion and world-views, gender and class, and other normative views regarding how to live in the world.

The Anthropology Program in the School of Culture, History and Languages has a long and proud tradition of scholarly excellence and leadership in research on the diverse cultures and people of Asia and the Pacific in particular. ANU's anthropology program is ranked 7th in the world and No. 1 in Australia according to the QS World University Rankings. Our scholarship and teaching is deeply anchored in long-term ethnographic research and the foundations of social and cultural theory. Our department is committed to cutting-edge, intensive debate on current research in the Asia-Pacific region and we maintain extensive international links with leading scholars in the field.

We specialise in fields related to urban anthropology, globalisation and development, borderlands, communications technologies, religion and spirituality, ethnic identity politics and ritual. In addition to permanent members of staff, our large group of PhD students also make important contributions to the department's dynamic and engaged research culture.

Anthropology research projects

Research projects

The on-going research interests of academic staff and graduate scholars are focused on mainland and island Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southwest Pacific and immigrant Australia.


Our staff are frequently sought out by government agencies, the media and private sector, for their knowledge and expertise.

Facilities & resources

View information relating to facilities and resources available to students whilst studying within the CHL Anthropology department.

About us

Watch this video of Matt Tomlinson explain the importance of Anthropology.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster