Department of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology Newsletter
Welcome to the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University!
August 21, 2013
It’s been a great week to meet new students and faculty and absorb the energy that comes with the fall at Purdue!
Among the things I’ve been discussing with our new in-coming first year students and with our faculty and staff is the “Why Anthropology?” question. Maybe some of you have heard it when you tell your friends about your major and they think you’re studying bugs. Or your older siblings want to know what kind of job it will lead to. Or they read some pundit’s opinion that it ranks among the “worst majors.”
Well, we’re here to tell you to think again! A recent article posted on the Business Insider website encourages us to notice how important the skills are that we learn in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities disciplines. In life and in careers, it is valuable to have learned how to think and write, how to explain ideas and interact with people, and to be able to work in interdisciplinary and diverse teams. Your skills in adaptability, cultural understanding, ability to see various perspectives on a problem, and rigorous scientific thinking are what make you effective in whatever work you choose to do.
As an Anthropology department, we are determined to contribute our ideas and experiences to education and research that explores human diversity across time and space. We invite you to join us in that endeavor by visiting our website and developing your links to anthropology. If you are a student, explore anthropology by taking our courses or enrolling in our degree programs. If you are a parent or community member, read our newsletter and learn about our accomplishments. If you are an alum, please keep in touch and send us your news.
Our department provides bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, and our graduates are pursuing a broad spectrum of careers.
Our research—by faculty, grad students, and undergrads—covers a wide range of topics, including archaeology, bioarchaeology, and ancient societies; ethnography, world cultures, popular culture, and human diversity; human and primate biology, ecology, adaptation, and evolution; social change and project planning in health, development, technology, and the environment; and language, communication, and symbols. Our faculty members pursue research projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America, and they have an excellent record in grants, publications, and applications of their research to address real world problems.
For students who are prepared to engage in research, we offer opportunities to collaborate with faculty or to work under supervision on independent projects. Anthropology offers honors courses and opportunities to earn honors in the department. We encourage our students to take opportunities for experiential education, including summer field schools around the world, study abroad opportunities, or other hands-on research . In 2013, we introduced a study abroad program in the rain forest of Brazil, which resulted in Professor Zanotti and eight Purdue students working on community issues and learning about culture with the Kayapo People. Students can also take advantage of international opportunities across the disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts or with other colleges at Purdue. Whether you are looking for an international internship, an archaeology dig, or a creative interdisciplinary experience, we’ll help you find an opportunity to enhance your education.
Our department welcomes visitors to our campus, whether you are alumni, prospective students, or interested members of the public. You are welcome to attend our public departmental events. If you have questions or want to schedule a visit to the Anthropology Department, contact me or our staff at email@example.com
Anthropology Department Happenings
For more information about any of these news items click here.
- On November 23, 2014, our department participated at the Grad Fair at the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Over 50 people stopped by our table to ask about our program, and had a chance to chat about the many different aspects of graduate school. Many thanks to everyone who helped, Anjali Bhardwaj, Ryan Plis, Ellen Gruenbaum, and Talin Lindsay!
- Purdue anthropologist selected for 2015 Race Across USA to combine 3,000-mile run with research. Read details here.
- Congratulations to Diana Steele who received a Global Synergy Research Grant for Students from the Office of the Vice President for Research. The grant will fund dissertation work entitled, “Geographies of Difference: Examining Race and Place through Amazonian Migrants Livelihoods in Peru.”
- Dr. Evelyn Blackwood was interviewed on the topic of “Global Genders” on Public Radio International’s weekly program “To the Best of Our Knowledge,” which aired on Aug. 30, 2013. You can listen to the program here.
- Dr. Michele Buzon spoke with the National Geographic Radio Weekend Show (June 23) about the Nubian Pharaohs and her research. You can listen to it here.
- Dr. Michele Buzon’s collaborative bioarchaeological research in Tombos, Sudan has been highlighted by the National Science Foundation. Click here for more information.
- Evelyn Blackwood was recently interviewed on BBC Radio's Today Programme concerning her research on the matrilineal Minangkabau in Indonesia. The interview focused on the lives of men in a matrilineal society, and was part of a BBC mini series examining changing Western conceptions of masculinity.
- One of our recent PhD graduates, Katie Smith has accepted a new position aspostdoctoral fellow in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Houston. Katie is working in the lab of Dr. Ezemenari Obasi. Katie will be examining stress and addiction in African American populations. The study will be examining the role of addiction as a coping mechanism for stress in a population that deals with multiple daily chronic stressors, including health disparities and discrimination.
- Evelyn Latour (MS 2012) has been hired as a Market Research Strategist for an international firm, CarbonSix, doing client interfacing, field research study management, qualitative data analysis and report writeup. Her coworkers include a nice mixture of academic and business backgrounds--MAs, a couple of PhDs, and some MBAs--which is just the sort of interdisciplinary work environment she hoped for. Good luck, Evelyn!
- Dr. Bryce Carlson has authored a paper on diurnal variation in nutrient consumption appearing in this month's issue of the American Journal of Primatology. With co-authors Dr. Jessica Rothman and Dr. John Mitani, Dr. Carlson showed that wild chimpanzees at Kibale National Park, Uganda preferentially consumed 2 common dietary resources late in the day when their nutritional quality was highest. This study suggests chimpanzees may be capable of tracking changes in nutritional composition on the order of hours, not just weeks or months. For more information click here.
For more information on these news items and past news click here.