News and Announcements

  • Ancient Pathologies, Written in Bone

    A team led by Dr. Janet Monge has found evidence of the earliest known benign bone tumor in a Neandertal rib from Croatia. Approximately 120,000 year old, the bone is significantly more ancient than prior discoveries of this kind, the oldest of which date back some 1,000-4,000 years. As Monge explains, “This tumor may provide another link between Neandertals and modern peoples...we grow the same way in our bones and teeth and share the same diseases.”  Monge and her colleagues have published their findings in PLOS ONE- their paper can be accessed here. To read the New York Times report on the study, click here

  • 2013 Anthropology Accolades

    Penn Anthropology congratulates the class of 2013! Six of our graduate students and  forty-one of our undergraduates will be awarded degrees this May. We also congratulate all of our students, past and present, who have received awards and honors this past year.

    Click for more information about the various honorees (graduate awards can be found on the graduate student website, and undergraduate awards can be found here) or click here for a full list of our 2013 graduates.

  • Undergraduate Paul Mitchell Awarded Fulbright

    Senior anthropology major Paul Mitchell has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award for 2013-2014 to conduct research in skeletal biology and paleoanthropology in Tanzania. Through the support of the Department of Anthropology, the Penn Museum, and his advisor, Dr. Janet Monge, Paul has participated in multiple research projects in Africa, including bioarchaeological research on the arrival and expansion of pastoralist economies and the origins and affiliations of the Swahili East African people.

  • Bourgois Receives Guggenheim

    Dr. Philippe Bourgois, Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine, has been awarded a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship for his ethnographic research on urban poverty, segregation, and drug use from the vantage point of an inner-city drug corner. Findings and photographs from the research will be published in a new book, tentatively titled Cornered. According to Bourgois, the book will "analyze the emergence of increasingly distressed new subjectivities among vulnerable, inner-city, immigrant populations under the specific conditions of 21st-century poverty."

    To read more about Dr Bourgois' project, click here.

  • Bad Friday in Africa Tour

    Deborah Thomas, Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies, has received funding to support BAD FRIDAY IN AFRICA:  ROOTS, RIGHTS, REPARATIONS.  With this support, Thomas, John L. Jackson, Jr., and Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn will be screening their documentary film, BAD FRIDAY:  RASTAFARI AFTER CORAL GARDENS, in South Africa, and conducting media ethnography workshops in a variety of settings.  BAD FRIDAY, which has been featured at international film festivals and screened across the country, focuses on state violence against Rastafari in Jamaica, and specifically on what is called the “Coral Gardens incident” of 1963.  Click to read more.

  • The Stories Bones Tell

    Dr. Janet Monge has had several projects featured in the news recently. The New York Times reported on Duffy's Cut, site of a mass burial of 19th-century Irish laborers, including forensic analysis conducted by Monge and Samantha Cox, who received her BA in Anthropology from Penn. Monge, as well as Cox and others, also published an article in the March issue of The Lancet describing the results of a study examining Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in ancient mummies. Monge also gave a talk April 3rd on the famous Scopes Trial-  the talk was reported on in the Philadelphia citypaper and can be viewed here.

  • New York Times Op-ed on the Violence of Greed in Africa

    Dr. Kamari Maxine Clarke, a professor of Anthropology at Yale and visiting scholar here at Penn for the 2012-2013 academic year, has published an editorial in the New York Times entitled “Treat Greed in Africa as a War Crime.” Recently, Dr. Clarke was awarded a highly competitive NSF grant for her research on the controversies over the International Criminal Court in Africa. She spoke about her work as part of the 2012-2013 Anthropology Colloquium series, and in Fall 2013 she is teaching two courses for the Department: ANTH 306/606: Law, Cultural Meaning, and Power and ANTH 597: The Anthropology of Africa.

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

  • The Advantages of Monogamy

    In a new study published in PLoS ONE, Anthropology Professor Eduardo Fernandez-Duque and former Penn post-doctoral fellow Maren Huck examine the advantages of monogamy among owl monkeys. According to their research, "individuals with only one partner during their life produced 25% more offspring per decade of tenure than those with two or more partners."

    The study, which shows how monogamy can increase the reproductive success of individuals, may provide insight into the development of human social bonds. You can read more on Penn News, NBC, or Discover, which all featured articles on the study.

  • Media Meets Scholarship

    Anthropology Professor John Jackson and a group of media-savvy students and faculty from across the university are collaborating on a new project known as CAMRA.

    CAMRA is a community of researchers dedicated to new pedagogic possibilities through the use of media. CAMRA’s day-to-day research activities and program operations are conducted by the Core Team and under the guidance of our three Directors. The Core Team, along with the Affiliated Faculty, work closely with Student Affiliates whose scholarly media projects complicate normative understandings of knowledge and knowledge production. Click here to read more.

  • Penn CHC partners with UNESCO

    The Penn Cultural Heritage Center, led by anthropology professor and museum curator Dr. Richard M. Leventhal, has partnered with the U.S Mission to UNESCO for its "Benefits of World Heritage Project." This study aims to assess the many benefits of UNESCO's World Heritage program, and the Penn Cultural Heritage Center will be taking the lead on a comparative study of world heritage sites' value to local communities and economies.

    In Fall 2013, Penn LPS is offering ANTH 639: Natural and Cultural Heritage in Global Perspective, which gives students the opportunity to be involved in this exciting project. Interested students are encouraged to contact Dr. Brian Daniels.