News and Announcements

  • Janet Monge & Students Make Discover's Top 100

    Research conducted by Adjunct Professor Janet Monge, along with former undergraduate Jason Lewis and former graduate student Mark Meyer from Penn's Anthropology Department, has been recognised in the February 2012 issue of Discover. Their groundbreaking study of the Morton Collection of skulls, housed here at Penn, uncovered evidence of bias and mismeasure on the part of Stephen Jay Gould in his controversial book The Mismeasure of Man. Their findings were ranked number 59 in Discover's list of the top 100 "experiments, discoveries, and new ideas that changed the world" in 2011.

    See Dr. Monge speak about the Morton Collection here.

  • Jackson Named Editor-in-Chief of New Oxford Online Anthro Project

    Professor John L. Jackson Jr. has been named Editor-in-Chief of Oxford University Press' new and ambitious Oxford Bibliographies project, which attempts to provide scholars, students, and other interested readers with introductions to important topics and themes from many academic fields/disciplines. Anthropology's online module was launched last month, and Oxford was able to put together a strong editorial board for the project, which included scholars from all four of American anthropology’s major sub-fields: archaeology, linguistic anthropology, physical/biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology.

    Read more here, or check out Oxford Bibliographies Online.

  • Honoring the Memory of Dr. Gregory L. Possehl

    On Saturday, March 17th, at 2:00pm, a memorial gathering will be held for Dr. Gregory L. Possehl, Curator Emeritus of the Penn Museum's Asian Section and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology here at Penn. The memorial will take place in the Penn Museum's Rainey Auditorium, and will feature reminisces by friends and colleagues.

    To RSVP, call 215-898-2680, or email

    Read more about Dr. Possehl's life and career here.

  • Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists

    On January 13th, Dr. Margaret Bruchac of the University of Connecticut gave a talk entitled 'Consorting with Savages: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists' as part of the Department's colloquium series. The entire talk can be viewed here. Dr. Bruchac, of Abenaki Indian descent, is a scholar, performer, and historical consultant who specializes in interpretations and representations of northeastern Native American Indian peoples, from the colonial era to the present. For more information about Dr. Bruchac and her work, check out her web profiles through The School for Advanced Research and The University of Connecticut, or her website, here.

  • Genetics at the Continental Crossroads

    A research team from Penn's Anthropology Department has released a study of genetic markers among populations in the Altai region at the intersection of Russia, Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan. Led by Associate Professor Theodore Schurr, they compared these markers to those found in Native American populations, searching for the kind of genetic links that indicate common ancestry. The team has published their findings in the most recent issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics. To read more, click here.

  • Anthropology Prof Jackson Named Senior Advisor for Diversity

    This past week, Provost Vincent Price announced the appointment of Dr. John L. Jackson Jr. as Senior Advisor for Diversity. Dr. Jackson will work with a variety of University leaders to "make recommendations for diversity goals and programs, develop appropriate means of assessment, and help implement Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence." Here in the Department, Dr. Jackson is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology. This semester he is teaching two courses- Urban Ethnography: Documenting City Life and Documentary, Ethnography, and Research. You can learn more about his research interests and publications here.

  • Anthropology of Africa and the African Diaspora

    Penn Anthropology welcomes our first Visiting Professor and Post-Doctoral fellow in the program in the anthropology of Africa and the African Diaspora.  Visiting Professor Dominique Somda joins us from the London School of Economics. She is teaching the graduate proseminar for Africana Studies, and in the spring will teach a course examining Africa and post-colonial development. Lyndon Gill, most recently from Princeton University, is teaching on Black Queer Studies. He will teach "Erotic Subjectivity" in the spring 2012 semester.

    Click on the pictures to read more.

  • Visiting Prof John Sanchez teaches on American Indians & the Media

    Dr. John Sanchez is formerly with The American University, in Washington, DC, where he served as the Academic Director of the American Indian Leadership program and taught American Indian Leadership and Politics. He is visiting this fall and teaching a course on how media frames American Indian cultures and the relationship between  media and public schools—the two major ways of knowing in the United  States, and how all this impacts American Indian policy, identity and  education.  Under Dr. Sanchez’ leadership President Clinton’s panel on race initiatives recognized this program as one of the five top programs in the country.

    Read more on Dr. Sanchez here.

  • Gregory Louis Possehl: 1941-2011

    Dr. Gregory L. Possehl, professor emeritus of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences and curator emeritus of the Asian collections at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, passed away on October 8 at age 70. Dr. Possehl was a leading expert on rise of the Indus civilization in India and Pakistan. His research projects include the exploration of the Ghelo and Kalubhar Valleys in the state of Gujarat and the excavations of the Sorath Harappan sites of Oriyo Timbo, Babar Kot and Rojdi. In 2003 he received the Outstanding Academic Book Award from Choice magazine for Indus Civilization; A Contemporary Perspective.

    Read more on Dr. Possehl's life and career here.

  • Associate Professor Claudia Valeggia at the White House

    On Friday, October 14, Dr. Claudia Valeggia, Associate Professor in our department attended the PECASE Award Ceremony at the White House. President Barack Obama named Dr. Valeggia, as one of 94 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. You can read more about Dr. Valeggia's research here:

    Read more about Dr. Valeggia's honor here, or see pictures from the event here.

    Read more about Dr. Valeggia's research in Penn Current, linked here.