This Open Educational Resource was designed to provide a four-field introduction to anthropology for undergraduate courses. This course was created through the cumulative efforts of the Department of Anthropology at IUP as a reflection of their teaching and experiences as a collective.

As instructors of both undergraduate and graduate students alike, the professors in the Anthropology Department hope that students use this book to further their knowledge and understanding of anthropology and apply it in their everyday lives and the world around them. 

Access the course

IUP's Introduction to Anthropology: A Holistic and Applied Approach to Being Human is a 4-field text designed to provide students and instructors with a quality, peer-reviewed free resource that depicts a diversity of perspectives, approaches, and topics related to sociocultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology.

Consisting of a robust series of 20 modules, the IUP OER covers topics from the history of North American anthropology, cultural and archaeological methods, the origins of humans and our earliest ancestors, the development of agriculture, race and ancestry, sex and gender, kinship, religion, climate change, and human rights and social issues—providing faculty flexibility with topics covered in a typical 15-week semester.

Designed to help students engage more meaningfully with each topic and develop as critical thinkers, the OER includes:

  • review and assessment questions
  • discussion prompts
  • class activities
  • relevant videos
  • glossaries
  • suggested readings

allowing students to dive further into topics no matter their preferred method of learning.

We are proud to host an interactive, digital version of the OER, created through the Articulate platform, as well as individual PDFs of each module. We are also rolling out a physical version of the text, published through Amazon's KDP (stay tuned for the link).

Authored by the faculty in IUP's Department of Anthropology, this OER arose from a commitment to provide high-quality resources to all students. We combined the best aspects of our introductory course and teaching to create a robust resource that can be used in any introductory, 4-field anthropology course. Our own applied experiences are integrated into the course materials, as well as those from a range of professional anthropologists (isotopes and kinship studies, indigenous archaeology, forensic anthropology and the race problem, medical anthropology, and a linguistic anthropological analysis of food and power relationships in the prison system, among others!). The result is a resource that provides multiple lenses to tackle common introductory topics while showing students the myriad possibilities of what it looks like to be an anthropologist. Contact us for an LMS package to integrate the course into a Learning Management System.

Senior Authors

  • Andrea Palmiotto

  • Lara Homsey-Messer

  • Benjamin Ford

  • Amanda Poole

  • Abigail Adams

  • Francis Allard

  • William Chadwick

Other Contributors

  • Allysha Winburn, University of West Florida
  • Alexander Martín, Center for Comparative Archaeology, University of Pittsburgh
  • Desireé Reneé Martinez, Cogstone Resource Management
  • Jelmer Davis, University of California, Davis
  • Anastasia Hudgins, Ethnologica
  • Sandhyak Narayanan, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Rachel Horowitz, Washington State University
  • Lori Labotka, Knoxville, TN
  • Bridget Roddy, IUP
  • Ashley Nagle, IUP
  • Sonja Rossi-Williams, IUP
  • Elena Frye, IUP
  • Ty Linthicum, IUP

This OER was made possible through grants from PA GOAL and the IUP Center for Teaching Excellence.

Version 1.0,
Published 1 August 2022
Last web update 17 Oct 2023


Please cite as: 

CC BY SAPalmiotto A, Homsey-Messer L, Ford B, Poole A, Adams, A, Allard F, Chadwick W. 2022. Introduction to Anthropology:  Holistic and Applied Research on Being Human. Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Open Educational Resource (OER) available at This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. 

Contact Information

Contact Dr. Andrea Palmiotto for an LMS package to integrate the course into a Learning Management System: