Students interested in material culture studies from both an archaeological or ethnographic perspectives may also take courses offered through the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology (CMRAE), a Boston-area consortium, based at MIT and composed of faculty from the host institution as well as from Brandeis, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston University, Harvard University, Tufts University, UMass Boston and Wellesley College.
An important part of the intellectual life of the department is the Colloquium Series, a regular program of invited lectures by faculty members and outside scholars. This lecture series provides an excellent way for graduate students to hear about current work in the various subfields of anthropology, to participate in formal and informal questioning after the talk and to make personal contact with visiting scholars. The department also sponsors workshops focused on the practice of anthropology. Throughout the academic year informal lunch sessions provide opportunities for students and faculty to discuss topics of mutual interest.
The department has curatorial responsibility for a teaching collection of art and artifacts from Africa, Asia, Australia, the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, the Near East, South America and Oceania — all available for student research. The center has a digital camera, lighting equipment, a computer and scanner, storage cabinets and a 1,000-volume research library. A rotating selection of objects is on display at the department.
Visiting research scholars and professors emeriti are available for student consultations. This program is not intended as a substitute for the help and advice available from departmental professors, but rather to provide students with access to anthropologists having special interests that augment those of the teaching staff. The program is research-oriented and open to graduate students preparing to undertake dissertation research and undergraduates intending to write an honors thesis or do independent study. To schedule an appointment, send the name of the person you wish to consult, along with a very brief description of the topic you wish to discuss, to Laurel Carpenter.
The social-science collections of the university are housed in Goldfarb and Farber libraries. These materials are accessible at the library and through an online catalog system, Library OneSearch. The library has facilities for users to do computerized searches of bibliographic databases such as the Social Science Index, the MLA Index and other periodical indices. The Interlibrary Loan Office provides books or photocopies of materials not owned by the university. Brandeis is a member of the Boston Library Consortium, an association of 20 academic and research libraries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. A collection of anthropology books and journals donated by the late Robert Manners is housed in the Graduate Study Room.