Cultural anthropology is a humanity and social science that deals with the variation of human culture in time and space. Today as the world becomes increasingly interwoven, anthropology, with its holistic approach to humanity, is gaining as much importance as economics and politics. Both ethnology and cultural anthropology encompass a broad spectrum of theoretical and methodological paradigms, innovative in content and form, dealing with topics that range from traditional to contemporary. The Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology was established in 2003. Its faculty at the moment consists of one associate professor, three assistant professors, one senior research assistant and four research assistants. The Senate of the University of Zadar on 27 May 2015 issued a statutory act on changing the name of the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology to the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology.
The first three years of the program emphasize the importance of anthropology and ethnology for the understanding of contemporary culture, offer an introduction to basic theory and history of the discipline, and introductory methodology, including field work. Thus based on both theory and practice, our program emphasizes the development of students’ critical thinking about their own culture and society, as well as comparative analysis with other societies and cultures. Besides courses pertaining to the Mediterranean region, the program is broadened by courses in other regions of Europe and the world. Theoretically the courses are offered from the perspective of intercultural communication, postcolonial studies, and critical anthropology. While the first two years of the program offer foundations of cultural anthropological terminology, methods, theory and history, the third year includes courses in physical and forensic anthropology, visual anthropology, linguistic anthropology and anthropology applied in tourism. The graduate program in ethnology and cultural anthropology is designed to deepen theoretical knowledge in intercultural communication, ritual, language and identity, in the relation between local, European and global cultures, in the management of cultural heritage, as well as more detailed cultural analysis of the Mediterranean. That knowledge is necessary for anthropological research in national and international development, taking into account inequality of power, resources, migrations and the creation of new identities as Croatia became independent and joined the European Union.
Our Department participates in the University Doctoral Program in Humanities offering PhD's in the field of ethnology and cultural anthropology.
Outside of the University, our Department has established partnerships with several other universities, for example Karl-Franzens University in Graz (Austria), University of Cork (Ireland), Universities of Ioannina and Thessalonica (Greece), University of Bratislava (Slovakia), University of Istanbul (Turkey) and the University of Prishtina ‘’Hasan Prishtina’’ (Kosovo). We are part of the Border Crossing Network, an association of scholars from South-Eastern universities. Our faculty has spent time visiting and doing research at universities in Ljubljana, Graz, Benares (India), Philadelphia, Cork and Ioannina. We hosted Fulbright faculty from Florida and Maine (USA), and international conferences including: Body and Awareness. The Discourse between Anthropology, Literature and the Arts; Pilgrimage and Sacred Places in Eastern Europe: Place, Politics and Religious Tourism; History as a Foreign Country: Historical Imagery in the South-Eastern Europe and Displaced Tibet.
Our students have also been involved in international conferences. Our Department hosted a large student Border Crossing conference in 2010, and the students and faculty are also participating in that conference elsewhere every year. The Network organizes a Summer School in Konitsa (Greece) where our students participate and the faculty teach. Field work is both a part of the program curriculum and extra-curricular elective activity when it takes place far from Zadar (Bosnia, Austria, India). The results are presented at students’ and faculty symposia which may also result in the publication of student ethnographies. For example, a symposium on interreligious dialogue based on field work in Sarajevo and India. Students participate in other cultural associations and events: Via Egnatia travel, ethnographic film workshops, dance and music performances (for example djembe drums and Indian Kathak dance) and discussions forums.