Phillip McArthur




Phillip McArthur

Dr. Phillip McArthur | Dean, College of Arts and Humanities
Professor, Cultural Anthropology and Integrated Humanities


As an undergraduate Dr. McArthur studied Psychology and Anthropology, then completed his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Folklore Studies and Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology from Indiana University with doctoral minors in Semiotics and Performance Studies.

Research Interests:

Dr. McArthur's research emphasizes social theoretical and semiotic approaches to traditional narrative (i.e. myth, oral history), cultural performance (ritual, ceremony, festival, spectacle), history, cosmology, and local cultures within the contexts of nationalism and globalization. This includes a deepening attention to political and economic forces, and their relationship to social power and practice. With a geographical specialization in Oceania, he additionally includes comparative studies on cultures of Asia, Native America, Africa and the Classical world. He also integrates deep interests in comparative philosophy, the history of ideas, and traditional arts informed by ethnographic and historical methods.

  • Ph.D. Folklore Studies and Cultural Anthropology, Indiana University
  • M.A. Folklore Studies, Indiana University
  • B.A. Anthropology, Brigham Young University 
  • A.A.S Psychology, Ricks College


Dr. McArthur seeks to fuse anthropology, humanistic inquiry, and peacebuilding perspectives. While Oceania provides one geographical focus, he brings to bear a comparative perspective into the classroom through exposure to a range of cross-cultural materials.  The primary goal is to engage students to think about culture in critical and thought-provoking ways.  In this way students learn to develop culture sensitivity and insight to function productively within academics, the private sector, government, and the community.

Contact Information: 675-3907--Office: McKay Foyer


  • ANTH 105: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology–Honors
  • ANTH 305: Anthropology Theory
  • ANTH 322: Ethnographic Skills
  • ANTH 391: Narrative, Identity, and Culture
  • ANTH 450: Political and Economic Anthropology
  • HUM 151: The Art of Seeing and Listening: Cross-Cultural Themes
  • HUM 301: Cultures of Oceania
  • HUM 440: Studies in Texts and Contexts