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The Department of Social Anthropology and History embraces a perspective which focuses on the study of the social, historical and cultural aspects of human action. In an era largely characterized by a turn to partial and fragmentary academic knowledge, this Department persists in its continuing support of a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary approach as the most appropriate means to a fuller understanding of social and cultural phenomena. And this is broadly the framework within which the Department organizes teaching, educational and research activities for both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our teaching focuses on providing complete studies in the fields of Social Anthropology and History. The Department shows a consistent interest in the promotion of the evolving discourse between these two fields and in the approach of specific topics, such as family, gender, kinship, immigration, minority groups, ethnic identities, etc., correlating the anthropological and historical perspectives. The Department holds that a multifaceted and well-rounded exploration of contemporary social and cultural phenomena presupposes their understanding as historical phenomena, thereby recognizing their historical dimension. The investigation and comprehension of the interaction between the past and the present as well as the various uses of the past in the present has been the cornerstone of the Department's research and academic profile since its founding, and it has proven particularly fruitful to date. This profile is generally reflected in the structure of our Undergraduate and Postgraduate study programs, in the subjects of the doctoral dissertations under our supervision and in the four conferences this Department has organized so far.

Our focus on the social, historical, and cultural facets of human activity, along with their global examination, entails close ties with other disciplines in the Social Sciences. Although our primary concern is with the systematic induction of the students into the fields of Social Anthropology and History, there is a wide choice of related courses from the Social Sciences on offer, such as Art History, Political Economy, Political Philosophy, and Linguistics. These courses enrich the purview of the fields in the Department and assist in consolidating knowledge in the core fields. The ties with these related fields of study have been strengthened even more with the opening of two new Departments, Geography and Sociology, within the School of Social Sciences of the University of the Aegean.

The Department of Social Anthropology and History was founded together with the University of the Aegean in 1984 and constitutes one of its oldest departments. Currently it forms part of the School of Social Sciences together with the Departments of Geography, Sociology, and Cultural Technology and Communication. The Department of Social Anthropology and History started to operate at a postgraduate level in 1987-88 and at an undergraduate level in 1988-89.  Since its inception, it has shown a considerable growth in staff, students and infrastructure. Today, there are 450 undergraduate students enrolled at the Department, 30 postgraduate students and 19 doctoral candidates.

           The Department offers two Postgraduate Programs of Studies. The PPS  "Social and Historical Anthropology" started the academic year 2001-2 and leads to the award of a Master's Degree. It has a 2-year duration and is designed for students of various academic backgrounds. The PPS 'Women and Gender' started operating the academic year 2003-4. It has one and a half years duration and receives annually 15 students of various backgrounds.


There are three research labs operating within the Department which provide support for teaching and research: the Ethnography Lab, the History Lab, and the Family and Kinship Studies Lab.  A fully equipped computer center is designed to cover the needs of undergraduate and postgraduate students and to provide them with the opportunity to participate in electronic literacy seminars focusing on a variety of software programs. The computer center is connected with the University's web-server (Aegean-NET) and there is free access to all students.