• Professor of Anthropology; Director of Anthropology Major
  • 864.294.3304
  • Riley Hall 109O
  • brian.siegel@furman.edu

Raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Siegel grew up at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying anthropology and African Studies. He spent two years in Zambia studying local Lamba and immigrant Shona market gardeners. He came to Furman in 1981. Dr. Siegel has a son and a daughter, and two grandsons by each. He has authored a dozen different publications, including the Historical Dictionary of Zambia, an article on anthropological concepts of race, one on the Tribe of Ishmael, and nine on Lamba ethnohistory, including "The 'wild' and 'lazy' Lamba: Ethnic stereotypes on the Central African Copperbelt" (in Leroy Vail's Tribalism in Southern Africa, 1989), and "Water spirits and mermaids: The Copperbelt Chitapo" (in Henry John Drewal's Sacred Waters: Arts for Mami Wata and Other Divinities in Africa and the Diaspora, 2008). Dr. Siegel spent two summers studying historical archaeology near Jamestown, Virginia. His courses include World Prehistory, the Anthropology of Religion, and Cultural Ecology. He enjoys cooking, music (jazz, classical chamber, and accordion music), good detective novels and other forms of high class trash.​

Name Title Description


Cultural Anthropology

Introduction to social and cultural anthropology. Topics include the comparative study of subsistence regimes and economics, stratification and political organization, marriage and kinship, culture and personality, religion, and social and cultural change.


World Prehistory

An introduction to physical anthropology and archaeology. Topics include human evolution, human physical variation, the peopling of the world, the origins of food production and a comparison of complex societies around the world.


Human Evolution

Beginning with the earliest bipedal hominins, six to seven million years ago, human evolution will be considered, including the emergence of the genus Homo (with fire, speech, and the first migration out of Africa), the debate over the origins of Homo sapiens, the peopling of the world, the realities of human physical variation, and the mistaken idea of race.


Peoples of Black Africa

Social and anthropological survey of the diverse peoples in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa.


Cultural Ecology

A comparative survey of how people, culture, and the environment interact -- both when people and their culture adapt to environmental change, and when they adapt to the changes they have caused. Readings include both classic studies as well as current research, with particular emphasis upon subsistence regimes and their attendant scales of social organization, and upon the role of cultural institutions in shaping ecological relationships.


Anthropology of Religion

Examining religion as a cultural phenomenon and from a comparative and holistic perspective on the beliefs and practices used to make sense of this and other worlds, their places within them, and to solve pressing, life and death problems. Topics include myth and symbols; rituals and religious specialists; altered states of consciousness and healing; witchcraft, divination, and magic; ghosts, souls, and ancestors; revitalization and millennial movements; and globalization and transnational change. 4 credits.


Anthropological Mthds & Theory

History of theory and practice in social and cultural anthropology from the armchair evolutionists" of the late 19th century to the symbolic and interpretive anthropologists of the late 20th century. 4 credits."

Ph.D. in Anthropology
University of Wisconsin
M.A. in Anthropology
University of Wisconsin
B.A. in Anthropology
University of Wisconsin

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