News and Announcements

  • Job Announcement: Anthropology Department and University Museum Endowed Professorship in Anthropology

    The University of Pennsylvania Department of Anthropology and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology seek to hire a leading archaeologist at the Associate or Full Professor level to fill the Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Endowed Professorship in Anthropology. We are looking for candidates with outstanding research and publication records who can bring innovative ideas, techniques, and new kinds of data to broad questions of current anthropological significance.

    This will be a dual appointment in the Department and the Museum. For the Department, the successful candidate will teach two classes per year ranging from scientific research methodology to the department’s core archaeological curriculum, including undergraduate courses and seminars on theory and her/his regional/temporal specialty. Within the Museum, he or she will hold a curatorial position, and be expected to provide leadership in discussions of collections-based research. The ideal candidate would also be able to contribute to the Museum’s new laboratory-based Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) in both teaching and research.

    Temporal focus and geographical area are open, although some preference will be given to candidates with research interests in Africa, Oceania, South Asia or the Maya World. An on-going field and/or laboratory project is essential and researchers who have made major contributions to archaeological science should emphasize this in their applications. The ability to collaborate with archaeological programs in other departments is also desirable.

  • New Department Administrator

    Larysa E. Carr's last day in the department is Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Ariel Smith will be stepping in as our new Administrative Coordinator. Ariel's duties will include assisting the Chair with departmental business as well as managing the other members of our staff. We will begin the process of hiring a new Undergraduate Coordinator shortly.

  • Anth Grad Named Newest PIK Professor

    Michael Platt, who graduated with a PhD in Biological Anthropology from Penn in 1994, has been named the James S. Riepe University Professor, a PIK appointment through the Neuroscience Department in the Perelman School of Medicine, the Psychology Department in the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Marketing Department in the Wharton School. Platt's research focuses on how the brain makes decisions, particularly examining decision-making, social cognition, and attention. Read more in the official press release here.

  • The Politics of Destruction

    With ISIS taking control of an increasing number of ancient sites in Iraq and Syria, the work of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, led by Professor Richard Leventhal, is more urgent than ever. CHC post-doctoral Fellow Katharyn Hanson spoke to CNN about the dangers posed to heritage in wartime, and how further destruction might be prevented.

  • Anth Ugrad Jose Romero Receives 2015 Yardley Prize

    Jose received the prize for his senior thesis project, "A Taste of Brown: Alimentary Anthropology Between Michoacan and Washington," advised by Professor Deborah Thomas.

    The Yardley Prize is awarded to the best thesis on political economy written by a member of the senior class in any undergraduate school at Penn. Congratulations to Jose!

  • 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. Greg Urban, Bob Schuyler and Rick Dunn all made remarks, and Marge Bruchac serenaded Larysa to the tune of 'Melissa' by the Allman brothers. The weather was lovely and Larysa's family, along with many well-wishers from anthropology and other places around Penn, were in attendance.

    Larysa's will still be with the department until August 1st of this year.

  • Righteous Dopefiend Exhibit Travels to Museum of Culture and Environment

    Professor Philippe Bourgois' exhibit will be on display at Central Washington University's Museum of Culture and Environment in Ellensburg, Washington from January 7th through March 21st, 2015. The exhibit is based on the book Righteous Dopefiend, published in 2009 after Dr. Bourgois and photographer-ethnographer Jeff Schonberg spent 12 years among a community of heroin injectors and crack smokers on the streets of San Francisco. It was formerly featured at the Penn Museum from December 5, 2009 through May 2010.

    Learn more here.

  • Students get up close and personal with ancient skeleton

    Students in ANTH 267: The Living World in Archaeological Science were recently allowed to examine a 6,500 year old skeleton from the site of Ur. The skeleton was recently re-discovered after spending decades in museum storage. Students "[took] on the challenge of laying out a long-term research project framed around this individual" and will learn about the application of such techniques as X-rays, CT scans, and isotopic analysis. Read more here.

  • Anth Ugrad Vanessa Koh Named 2015 Dean's Scholar

    Undergraduate and Anthropology Major Vanessa Koh has been named a 2015 Dean's Scholar due to her outstanding academic record and intellectual promise. As an Anthropology major, Vanessa has worked extensively with Professors Adriana Petryna and Kathy Hall. Her senior thesis, which includes an investigation of migrant labor and housing policy in Singapore, is an ambitious project in which she is working to create new understandings of migration, its legal rules, social norming, economic impossibilities, and political and social inequalities. Vanessa will be honored at The Levin Family Dean's Forum by The Levin Family Dean's Forum by SAS Dean Steven Fluharty.

  • '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. The Diana Forsythe Prize was created in 1998 to celebrate the best book or series of published articles in the spirit of Diana Forsythe's feminist anthropological research on work, science, and technology, including biomedicine.The committee praised Dr. Petryna's work for its "rich ethnographic contributions to our understanding of health capitalism" and its "original theoretical work on experimentality and ethical variability".

    The 2014 Diana Forsythe Prize and Honorable Mention will be awarded at the annual American Anthropological Association meetings in Washington DC, during the General Anthropology Division Awards Ceremony and Distinguished Lecture on Friday, December 5, 2015, at 1 pm in the Palladian Ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel.