Welcome to Penn Anthropology

Anthropology became part of the Penn curriculum in 1886 when Daniel Brinton was appointed Professor of Archaeology and Linguistics in the University’s newly created graduate school. Brinton was an early proponent of anthropology’s four-field approach, bringing cultural, linguistic, biological, and archeological methods to bear on the study of human societies. The first PhD in anthropology was awarded in 1909 to the ethnologist Frank Speck, who became the chair of a formally constituted Department of Anthropology in 1913. The year 2013 marks the Department's centennial.

News and Announcements

  • 'When Experiments Travel' Awarded Honorable Mention for the 2014 Diana Forsythe Prize

    Professor Adriana Petryna's 2009 book 'When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects' has been awarded an Honorable Mention for the 2014 Diana Forsythe Prize by the Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing of the General Anthropology Division, and the Society for the Anthropology of Work.

  • Anthropology Celebrates Larysa Carr

    On Thursday, 4/30/15, the Department threw a surprise retirement party for Assistant to the Chair, Larysa Carr, who has been at Penn for 27 years and in Anthropology for 21 of those years.