News and Announcements

  • Recent Grad Receives Christine Wilson Award

    Congratulations to Julia McLean, who has just been announced as the winner of the Christine Wilson Student Paper Award by the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. Julia graduated with honors in anthropology last year, receiving her BA.

    As a student, Julia was an active member of the Undergraduate Anthropology Society and author of a senior thesis titled 'Steppe, Seed, & Supper: An Ethnoarchaeological Approach to Plant Foodways in Kazakhstan'. This thesis, advised by Dr. Katherine Moore and Dr. Lauren Ristvet, was the basis for her award-winning paper submission. The award was presented at the 2012 AAA meeting in San Francisco.

  • Grad Students Awarded Year of Proof Grant

    Anthropology PhD students Andrea Spence-Aizenberg, Maggie Corley, and Sam Larson have received a Year of Proof grant to organize a panel discussion titled, PROOF in the Biological, Social and Behavioral Sciences: How does the peer-review process evaluate proof?  This discussion will critically examine the biases that favor certain kinds of research in the behavioral sciences, the limitations of the peer-review publication process, and how we can address these issues. The event is scheduled for November 13, 2012, from 2:00 to 4:30pm in the Penn Museum, classroom 2. RSVP's are encouraged- please RSVP to Andrea Spence-Aizenberg.

  • Robert J. Sharer, 1940-2012

    UPDATE: The Department and Penn Museum will hold a joint memorial for Dr. Sharer on Saturday, November 10th at 11:00am in Rainey Auditorium. Click here for details. 

    The Department is very sad to report that Robert J. Sharer, Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator Emeritus of the American Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, passed away on September 20 at age 72.

    Click here to read more about Dr. Sharer's life and work. An obituary was published in the Penn Almanac.

  • Bernard Wailes, 1934-2012

    UPDATE: A memorial for Dr. Bernard Wailes will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27th in the Penn Museum's Rainey Auditorium. For more information on the memorial, including details on how to RSVP, click here.

    Dr. Bernard Wailes, Associate Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Associate Curator Emeritus of European Archaeology at the Penn Museum, passed away March 30 in London, England. He would have turned 78 on April 3.

    Read more here.

  • Shedding Light on the Origins of Culture

    Research conducted by Dr. Harold Dibble which could provide insight into the earliest origins of culture among Neandertals and Homo sapiens has been featured in reports in Science and on Slate.com. The Slate article detailed the debate between archaeologists over where and when fire was first used for cooking. The Science article discussed competing theories about the origins of deliberate burial.

    Both articles examined theories based on work done by archaeologists including Dr. Dibble at the sites of La Ferrassie, Pech de l’Azé IV, and Roc de Marsal, France. Click here to read more.

  • Professor's Work at La Ferrassie Featured in Science

    The September 20th issue of Science features a report on Dr. Harold Dibble's excavations at the French prehistoric site of La Ferrassie. La Ferrassie has long attracted attention for its potential to provide insight into possible burial practices among Neandertals, which would be a strong indicator of early social bonding and ritual practice.

    Dr. Dibble and his team are applying new methods and advanced technology to answer the question of whether the remains found at the site truly seem to have been deposited deliberately, or were merely deposited by natural forces mimicking certain elements of burial. The full article can be accessed here.

  • Welcome! New year, New people, new colloquia series

    The department is excited to welcome everyone, new and old, back for the 2012-2013 academic year. We have a number of visiting scholars and post-doctoral researchers joining us this year, as well as a new crop of graduate and undergraduate students, and a new faculty appointment starting this coming January. Click here to learn more about the fresh faces we'll be seeing around the department.

    We'll also be kicking off a new colloquia series for the year starting Monday, September 17th. The theme for the series is 'Crossroads'- click here for the full schedule.

  • Professor Speaks on Pueblo Independence Day

    Dr. Robert Preucel gave a presentation at Jemez State Monument in New Mexico on August 12th celebrating Pueblo Independence Day. He was invited to speak by Marlon Magdalena, Monument Ranger and NSF-REU student at Penn in 2006.

    Pueblo Independence Day celebrations are held annually to commemorate August 10th, 1680 when the Pueblo People of New Mexico—aided by Apache and Navajo allies—launched a successful rebellion against Spanish colonization. Read more here.

  • Visiting Professor Awarded NSF Grant

    Dr. Kamari Maxine Clarke, a professor of Anthropology at Yale and visiting scholar here at Penn for the 2012-2013 academic year, has been awarded a highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for her project, “The International Criminal Court, Africa, and the Pursuit of Justice.” The grant provides support for three years of research on three continents, and Dr. Clarke will study the controversies over the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Africa. This Fall, Dr. Clarke is teaching a course here at Penn entitled In Search of Freedom: Religion and the Limits of the Law.

    To learn more about Dr. Clarke's project, click here.

  • New Exhibit Examines Race and Proof

    Academic year 2012-2013 is the Year of Proof here at Penn, and to celebrate, the Penn Museum has unveiled a new exhibit co-curated by Dr. Janet Monge, "Masking and Unmasking Race". The exhibit asks the question: Is there such a thing in humans called race? Check it out at the Penn Museum now through August 18th.

    In conjunction with the exhibit, Dr. Monge, along with Dr. Geoffrey Aguirre of Penn's Neurology Department will be giving a talk on October 4th entitled "From Skulls to Scans: How Brain Measurements Have Been Used, Misused, and Misunderstood in the Study of Racial Differences". The talk will be held at 4:30 in the Nevil Gallery. Read more here.