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News Archive

What have we been up to? 


12/12/2019  Laura Zanotti with Presence to Influence team members Dorothy Hogg (Northwestern University) and Emily Colon (University of Maryland) joined thousands in Madrid, Spain, to conduct collaborative event ethnography at the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP25 meetings. Many thanks to the Purdue Climate Change Research Center in providing the credentials.

12/6/2019 Andrew Flachs has been awarded an Enhancing Research in the Humanities and Arts grant for the research project, “The Interactive Story Map of the Cotton Commodity Chain.” This project will combine spatial data with interactive media and first-hand accounts to illuminate the cotton commodity chain through a free, online Story Map. Congratulations, Dr. Flachs!  

12/6/19 Erik Otárola-Castillo has been awarded a Global Synergy Research Grant for Faculty for the research project, “Climate Change Effects on the Migration and Subsistence Patterns of the First South Americans.” This project is a growing collaboration between Dr. Otárola-Castillo, Dr. Amanda Veile, Dr. Francesca Fernandini (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), and municipal leadership in the province of Cañete in Lima, Peru to shed light on the initial migration patterns of the first human colonizers of the New World. Congratulations, Dr. Otárola-Castillo!

12/5/19 Valerie Miller has been awarded a Global Synergy Research Grant for Students for the research project, “Mothering with Others in Dominica: Effects of Allomaternal Support on Maternal Attention and Stress!" This biocultural project will take place in Dominica and will address the relationships and interactions between mothers' stress, attentiveness, emotional well-being, and social support. It will investigate how allomothering behaviors affect maternal well-being. Results will reveal the ways in which maternal psychology is shaped by biological and sociocultural influences. Congratulations, Valerie!

12/4/2019 Congratulations to Erik Otárola-Castillo on being awarded an Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences grant for his research project, “Were Humans Responsible for the First Mammal Mass Extinctions in North America 13,000 Years Ago?” This project applies quantitative techniques developed by Otárola-Castillo and collaborators to determine whether humans created the marks on the bones of several North American mammoth, mastodon, and other megafauna during hunting and butchery. Results will enhance our understanding of the interactions between humans and Pleistocene age megafauna.

12/4/2019 Congratulations to Andrew Flachs on being awarded an Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences grant for his research project, “Comfort Foods: Biocultural Diversity and Community Resilience in Rural Bosnia.” This project will ask how the rural Bosnian community is adapting agrarian management traditions to support foodways and montane biodiversity as it rebuilds from the 1990s war, adjusts to high unemployment, and grapples with climate change.

12/3/2019 Michele Buzon has been awarded a Global Synergy Research Grant for Faculty for the research project, “Foreign and Indigenous Contributions to the Development of Christianity in Medieval Nubia.”  This project aims to provide new data on the origins of the Christian church in Nubia and the processes of conversion in the local communities via the analysis of markers of geographic identity (strontium isotope analysis) and cultural identity (burial practices and other artifacts). Congratulations, Dr. Buzon!

11/11/2019  Holly Okonkwo studies how race, gender, and place affect the experiences of women scientists and technologists of color. Holly Okonkwo, applied anthropologist has worked with women in both the U.S. and Africa to gain a sense of their place within the science community. Read more about her observations in the CLA THINK magazine.

10/25/2019  Dada Docot, Assistant Professor of Anthropology will be presenting at UCLA, Center for Southeast Asian Studies on Friday, November. Read more here.

10/23/19  Stacy Lindshield is giving a talk entitled "Nutritional Ecology of Savanna Chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal" on October 23rd at the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers University. Her presentation is a part of the 3rd Annual Lembersky Conference on Advances in Primate Nutritional Ecology, Health, and Energetics.

10/23/2019  On October 30th, Dr. Otarola-Castillo, Dr. Amanda Veile, and the Cerro de Oro Archaeological Project (PACO) are collaborating with the Universidad Nacional de Cañete, the Provincial Municipality of Cañete, and the District Municipality of San Luis to conduct a community-training event titled “Cerro de Oro - A thousand years of Buried History”. This will be a small symposium where Cañete students will receive training results of the most recent discoveries from Cerro de Oro for interpretation to their communities.

10/22/2019  Andrew Flachs’ book , Cultivating Knowledge: Biotechnology, sustainability, and the human cost of cotton capitalism in India, illuminates the local impact of global changes: the slow, persistent dangers of pesticides, inequalities in rural life, the aspirations of people who grow fibers sent around the world, the place of ecological knowledge in modern agriculture, and even the complex threat of suicide. It all begins with a seed.
Update 1/29/2020 : Assistant professor of anthropology Andrew Flachs has received significant notice tied to his book, Cultivating Knowledge: Biotechnology, Sustainability, and the Human Cost of Cotton Capitalism in India (University of Arizona Press, 2019). The book draws on ethnographic fieldwork with farmers growing genetically modified and organic cotton in Telangana, India. Andrew investigated the human responses to global agrarian change, including the dangers of pesticides, inequalities in rural life, the aspirations of people who grow fibers sent around the world, the place of ecological knowledge in modern agriculture, and even the complex threat of suicide. His work has been recognized globally.

10/22/2019  Our new faculty member, Dr. Risa Cromer, has won a Wenner-Gren Foundation Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship to support the writing of her book, Ex Utero: Frozen Embryo Politics in the United States, next year! The Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship is awarded to anthropologists in the earlier stages of their careers to support a new generation of scholars in devoting themselves full-time to writing.This fellowship is part of the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s mission to “support the publication of significant works that promise to make a solid contribution to the field and beyond.”

10/16/2019  Dr. Erik Otarola-Castillo and Dr. Amanda Veile recently met in Cañete, Peru with the municipal leadership of the Cañete province, and Dr. Francesca Fernandini Parodi (PUCP; PI of Cerro de Oro, San Luis), to develop a collaborative archaeology and culture heritage project centered on engagement with community members, their archaeological training, and support for local archaeological education and preservation.

8/26/2019  Congratulations to Michele Buzon for winning a grant from the National Science Foundation! Michele plans to investigate the impact of climate change on the isotopic signature of available strontium during the last ~4,000 years within the Nile River Valley.

8/26/2019   Five proposals out of 25 have been selected for funding in the Education Ecosystem sector of Purdue's Integrative Data Science Initiative. Principal Investigator Nicole Kong, Libraries, School of Information Studies, and her team of investigators are one of the five winning proposals. Ian Lindsay, Associate Professor of Anthropology served as one of the Co investigators for this research. The award is called “Integrating Geospatial Information Across Disciplines” this will be used to develop a GIS graduate certificate in the coming year.

8/22/2019  Michele Buzon started working at the archaeological site Tombos in modern-day Sudan while she was still a graduate student. She and a collaborator, Stuart Tyson Smith from the University of California, Santa Barbara, have been excavating the Nubian site since 2000. Read more and watch a video featuring her work in the Nile River Valley here.

8/22/19  Evelyn Blackwood, professor Emeritus published an article in the Washington Post. This piece draws on her upcoming book, “Dreams of a New World: Bay Area Lesbian Histories” 

8/6/2019 - PhD Candidate Katie Whitmoreand Professor Michele Buzon have recently published an article in the International Journal of Paleopathology  that focuses two individuals from the archaeological site of Tombos who lived with a form of dwarfism.

7/26/2019 - We’re excited to introduce six new Concentrations in several specialty areas within the Anthropology major! See the Undergraduate Studies page for more details.

7/26/2019 - Congratulations to Alison Kirkham (MS 2018) who has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 College of Liberal Arts Master’s Non-Thesis Award for her project titled, “That’s Disgusting: Perceptions of Arthropods and the Categorization of Insects as (In)edible in the United States.” The award recognizes individuals whose work reflects distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.

Alison is currently the Head of Marketing and Research with the Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch in Denver, Colorado.This small start-up farms and processes insects for human consumption both locally and at an international level. Alison assesses customer perceptions, needs, and purchasing habits, as well as helps the farming aspect become more efficient.

7/11/2019 - Congratulations to Dr. H. Kory Cooper, Matthew Pike, and Garett Hunt on their recent publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science. In "Defining a ‘reasonable geographic framework’: Path Distance as native copper provenance in the Arctic, Subarctic, and Northwest Coast"

7/03/2019 - The Zanotti lab welcomes Eduardo Rafael Galvão, Maria Gabriela Fink Salgado, Pat-i Kayapó, and Laura Torrejano as visiting scholars this fall semester. A special thanks to the Honors College for inviting Pat-i to be a scholar in residence. They will be working on projects in Colombia and Brazil on socioenvironmental impacts of artisinal mining, community-led art and media initiatives, and sustainable solar in low electricity environments. We welcome them to the department!

4/17/2019 - Purdue Anthropology alumni, Dr. Sarah Schrader has just published a book based in part on her dissertation. Activity, Diet and Social Practice: Addressing Everyday Life in Human Skeletal Remains

3/21/19 – "Amanda Veile, an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University, and her team report that indigenous mothers in farming communities in Yucatán, Mexico, breastfeed for about 1.5 months longer following cesarean deliveries than they do following vaginal deliveries. Veile believes this is possible because the mothers live in an exceptionally supportive breastfeeding environment."

3/19/2019 - Congratulations to Laura Zanotti and colleagues on facilitating Purdue to receive a Sigrid Rausing Trust Foundation Grant. This work will support workshops with indigenous leaders in the Brazilian Amazon and travel to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP25 in Santiago, Chile.

2/28/2019 - Dr. Andrew Flachs studies the roots of anxiety and aspiration in Indian farmer's GM seed choices in a new paper with American Anthropologist and Purdue Today.

2/14/2019 - Congratulations to Isabelle Ortt, who has been selected as the recipient of the O Michael Watson Outstanding Senior Award! She is completing an Honors thesis on skeletal remains with Dr. Michele Buzon.

2/14/2019 – Congratulations to Baylee Bunce for becoming a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Semi-finalist. Baylee graduated with honors in our Anthropology class of 2018. 

2/12/2019 – Dr. Andrew Flachs work is featured in American Anthropologist. Planting and Performing: Anxiety, Aspiration, and “Scripts” in Telangana Cotton Farming

2/12/20109 - Dr. Amanda Veile has co-authored a new paper in the "American Journal of Human Biology," which examines rising cesarean birth rates, and their relation to childhood infectious disease, in a South American indigenous population, the Argentine Qom.
"Birth mode and infectious morbidity risks in Qom children of Argentina"

2/12/2019 - Dr. Amanda Veile authored a new paper in the "American Journal of Human Biology" with Sydney Tuller, a second-year master's degree student in Anthropology. The article examines the relationships between rising cesarean birth rates, prolonged breastfeeding practices and childhood infectious disease in indigenous Mexican subsistence farmers, the Yucatec Maya. 
"Birth mode, breastfeeding and childhood infectious morbidity in the Yucatec Maya” 

2/12/2019 - Dr. Amanda Veile authored a new article in the "Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science” with Valerie Miller, a PhD student in Anthropology. The article summarizes theoretical literature on breastfeeding practices throughout human evolutionary history.
"Duration of Breast Feeding in Ancestral Environments"



12/18/2018-The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships featured Dr. Ian Lindsay for his research using drone technology in their Dimensions of Discovery announcements. You can read about his work here.

12/5/2018- Congratulations to  Michele Buzon who was awarded a 2018-19 Exploratory Social Sciences Research Grant for her project “Pluralistic Identities in "Nubia: A Bioarchaeological Examination of Entanglements at Post-Colonial Tombos".

12/5/2018- Congratulations to Amanda Veile who was awarded a 2018-19 Global Synergy Research for Faculty grant for her research project entitled, “Urbanization, Migration and Indigenous Health in Peru”. 

12/5/2018- Purdue Today reports on Andrew Flach's research, Young hip farmers: Coming to a city near you including his research in the journal Rural Society.

11/7/18- Andrew Flachs uses tools from GIS and ethnography to map the last two decades of small and alternative agriculture across the United States in the journal Rural Sociology.

11/7/2018- New research from Andrew Flachs explains why the same Indian farmers end up making very different decisions about GM cotton, conventional rice, and heirloom vegetables seeds in the Journal of Agrarian Change.

11/05/2018 - Laura Zanotti is giving a talk entitled “Indigenous Rights in the Anthropocene” on November 7th at Colgate University, Hamilton, New York. This event is co-sponsored by the Native American Studies Program, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of History, Environmental Studies Program, and Africana & Latin American Studies Program.

10/25/2018 - On October 26, 2018, Ellen Gruenbaum presents the keynote lecture on “Tensions and Movements: Female Genital Cutting in the Global North and South, Then and Now” for the 9th FOKO Conference in Åkerberg, Höör, Sweden. FOKO is a regular conference of Nordic researchers who work on the topic of FGC, and this year it is sponsored by the Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies at Malmö University and the Forum for Africa Studies at Uppsala University. Following the conference, Gruenbaum presents a lecture at Uppsala University on “What Can Medical Anthropology Contribute to the Field of Global Reproductive Health?” for the International Maternal and Child Health program at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, in collaboration with the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare.

10/25/2018- Stacy Lindshield and her collaborators received a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Ape Conservation Fund to investigate novel pathways for mercury bioaccumulation in Senegalese chimpanzees. This transdisciplinary and applied research project aims to understand how the mercury released from gold mining moves through savanna ecosystems and potentially impacts critically-endangered chimpanzees living near mining communities. Dr. Lindshield works with colleagues from Ball State University, North Dakota State University, USDA Forest Service, Université Chiekh Anta Diop, and the University of Minnesota.

10/18/2018 - Congratulations to Dr. Laura Zanotti for receiving the Purdue University Faculty Scholar Award! This award recognizes faculty members “who are on an accelerated path for academic distinction." Dr. Zanotti was selected for her high profile work as an environmental anthropologist and interdisciplinary social scientist.

10/16/2018 - PhD student, Melissa Torquato (Otarola-Castillo) won the 2018 College of Liberal Arts Master's Thesis Award (non-thesis). Her Master’s project, titled “Why do we farm?: A comparative assessment of the foraging-farming transition”, examined the effects of climate on food security & risk management during the prehistoric foraging-farming transition in the North American Midwest.

10/15/2018 - To celebrate our 10 years as an independent department on campus, we hosted two days of enriching and thought-provoking conversation, collaboration, and connection. Since our department's beginnings in 2008, we have made great leaps to encourage deeper thinking about a variety of topics related to the human experience. To celebrate this milestone we hosted a symposium to enhance and continue these conversations, with presentations from our graduate students, thoughtful discussion surrounding the future of the discipline and the department, and a keynote by Nina Jablonski. 

10/9/2018 - Andrew Flachs recently published an article that explores how we measure the impact of Genetically Modified crops in India in the journal Science & Technology Studies. 

9/27/2018 Graduate student Sarah Huang recently presented her research titled "Amidst Rice Production: Conversations in Farmers' Food Security in An Giang Province, Vietnam" at An Giang University's The International Workshop on Water Governance, Climate Change and Food Security in Minority Communities, Vietnam.

9/27/2018 Dr. Stacy Lindshield recently chaired the special symposium “Understanding Savanna Chimpanzees” at the International Primatological Society Biannual Congress on August 20, 2018 held at the United Nations Office of Nairobi, Kenya.

9/25/2018- Congratulations to Dr. Laura Zanotti on being recently named a University Faculty Scholar. The University Faculty Scholars Program recognizes outstanding faculty members at the West Lafayette campus who are on an accelerated path for academic distinction. Eligible faculty must hold the rank of tenured associate or full professor and have been in that rank for no more than five years.

9/20/2018 Isabelle Ortt has been awarded the Office of Undergraduate Research Scholarship for 2018-19.  She will work with Dr. Michele Buzon on the demographic and paleopathological analysis of people buried in a tomb at Tombos.

7/18/2018 Dr. Laura Zanotti recently shared what tools she carries in the field in a recent issue of Anthropology News titled "What's in Your Bag, Anthropologists?"

7/12/2018 Dr. Melissa Remis' research on the variation in gorilla foraging ecology and its implications for understanding the evolution of primate diets was recently highlighted in the July issue of Scientific American titled "The Real Paleo Diet".

4/26/18   Dr. Jennifer Johnson presented at the Rachel Carson Center for the Environment and Society in München, Germany.  Dr. Johnson received a Carson Writing Fellowship and was invited to present at the Rachel Carsen Center on April 19, 2018.

4/24/2018  Amanda Veile and collaborator Karen Rosenberg organized a symposium "The Evolutionary Causes and Consequences of Rising Cesarean Birth Rates," at the 2018 American Association of Physical Anthropologists Meeting (April 14 in Austin). The symposium drew together anthropologists, biologists, and practitioners who study cesarean birth using evolutionary and biocultural theoretical approaches. The symposium will now be converted to a special issue of the American Journal of Human Biology, with Drs Veile and Rosenberg as guest editors.

3/21/2018 - Melissa Remis and Amanda Veile received grants totaling $17,000 from the Purdue University Laboratory and University Core Facility Research Equipment Program! The funds will be used to purchase equipment that will expand the research and training capacities of our Bioanthropology laboratories.

3/19/2018 - Dr. Ian Lindsay has been awarded two internal equipment grants from Purdue’s Office of the Executive Vice-President for Research and Partnerships to update and expand his use of magnetometry and drone-based aerial thermal imaging of Bronze Age sites as part of his archaeological research in Armenia.

3/19/2018 - Research led by Dr. Erik Otárola-Castillo hopes to further understand early hominids' life with the use of statistics. Read more about his research in this article from The Exponent.

3/7/2018 - Dr. Ian Lindsay is featured in the annual report publication from the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships. The article discusses his research using drone technology in order to capture data from Bronze Age sites in Armenia, archaeological evidence that Nubians and Egyptians integrated into a community, and even married, in ancient Sudan. Read about his research here.

1/16/2018 - Dr. Erik Otárola-Castillo was invited to the Department of Anthropology at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to present his work on “The Effects of Climate Change on the Diet of Great Plains Paleoindians” in their lecture series on Environmental Archaeology on January 18th at 12:30 PM.


12/4/2017 - Congratulations to Jennifer L. Johnson.  Jennifer received the 2017 Junior Scholar Award at the recently completed American Anthropological Association meetings. The Anthropology and Environment Society recognized the following article:

Johnson, Jennifer Lee. 2017. Eating and Existence on an Island in Southern Uganda. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 37(1): 2–23. 

This article examines contemporary ontological conflicts between people who make their living on an island with fish that are considered by fisheries managers to be “commercially extinct” and people who make their living managing “commercially important” fisheries for this region as a whole. It is an experiment in worlding, the work of wading between content and contexts to configure webs of relevant relations through which the politics of eating and existence play out along Uganda's southern littoral. By attending ethnographically to observable actions and concrete practices, I suggest that fish workers and fisheries managers enact multiple, relatively distinct versions of food, fish, bodies of water, and fisheries. Attending to this multiplicity is crucial for rendering plausible already existing alternatives to an overdetermined future of death, depravity, and collapse that features within scholarly, popular, and policy-oriented accounts of Lake Victoria's fisheries.

11/2/2017 - Amanda Veile and collaborator Karen Rosenberg organized a symposium "The Evolutionary Causes and Consequences of Rising Cesarean Birth Rates," which was accepted for a special session at the 2018 American Association of Physical Anthropologists Meeting (April 11-14 in August). The symposium draws together anthropologists, biologists, and practitioners who study cesarean birth using evolutionary and bio cultural theoretical approaches.

11/1/2017 – Congratulations to Michele Buzon on presenting the Research and Scholarship Distinction Distinguished Lecture on Oct. 30th. Pictured below is (left to right) Suresh Garimella, Michele Buzon, and Lu Ann Aday who has endowed Purdue’s most prestigious research award in the humanities and social sciences. Dr. Buzon received this award for her groundbreaking work on bioarchaeology. Buzon is viewed as a leader in bioarchaeology and strontium isotope analysis. She has earned an international reputation for her expertise and innovation for her research in the Nile Valley. 

   Buzon Distinguished Lecture

9/1/17: Dr. Amanda Veile’s recent research on the growth consequences of Cesarean births was featured on President Daniels’ annual address to Purdue University.

8/31/17: Dr. Amanda Veile gave an invited lecture, "Biological Causes and Consequences of Cesarean Birth" at Wabash College as part of their Biology Department Seminar Series.

8/14/2017- New Faces and Transitions in the Anthropology Department! We are very pleased to welcome our two new assistant professors, who have joined us in August 2017.  We look forward to having them on the team!

ANDREW FLACHS  Andrew Flachs 
Andrew Flachs' research spans sustainable agriculture, food studies, the anthropology of knowledge, and political ecology. He earned his PhD in cultural anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and worked with the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies at Heidelberg University before joining Purdue as part of the Advanced Methods Cluster.  His research in South India, Eastern Europe, and North America has been supported by agencies including the US Department of Education, the Volkswagen Foundation, and the National Geographic Society.  In addition to peer-reviewed scientific articles, Andrew's writing and photography has appeared in public venues including the National Geographic Magazine, Nature: Plants, and Voices for Biodiversity.  This fall, Dr. Flachs will be teaching Anthropology 10000, Introduction to Anthropology.

STACY LINDSHIELD    Stacy Lindshield
Stacy Lindshield is a biological anthropologist whose research intersects primate behavior, ecology, nutrition, and conservation. She studies savanna chimpanzees in Senegal at Mount Assirik in Niokolo-Koba National Park and at the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project. Her current projects include a habituation feasibility assessment of chimpanzees at Mount Assirik and nutritional facets of hunting, meat eating, and meat sharing behaviors. She also serves as director of research at the Monkey Bridge Project, a non-profit organization that aims to preserve and manage Costa Rican primate populations through biological corridor networks and community engagement at the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. Support for this work has been provided by the National Science Foundation, Leakey Foundation, Rufford Small Grant Foundation, and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation.  In fall semester, Dr. Lindshield is teaching Anthropology 20400, Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Human Evolution, and ANTH 23500, The Great Apes.

 At the same time, we are saying farewell to three tenured faculty members and one Visiting Assistant Professor.  Associate Professor Su’ad Abdul Khabeer—who received a fellowship for Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music this year—has accepted a faculty position at the University of Michigan in their American Cultures department.  We wish her well in her new role.  Professor Evelyn Blackwood has retired and been named Professor Emerita.  She plans to spend the first part of her retirement finishing her book on the research she has been conducting in San Francisco, California.  Professor Richard Blanton has retired and moved out west, to be nearer to his family. And finally, Dr. Shimelis Beyene Gebru has finished his term here and we wish him well in his future plans.  We will miss all of you

8/7-11/17: Dr. Amanda Veile was invited to give several lectures at three Peruvian Universities, titled Investigaciones de Salúd Indígena en México y Sudamérica: Contribuciones de la Antropología Biológica (Investigations of Indigenous Health in Mexico and South America: Contributions of Biological Anthropology). At Universidad Ricardo Palma, Lima, Perú (August 11),  Universidad Nacional Hermilio Valdizan, Huánuco, Perú (August 10), and Universidad Nacional de San Cristóbal de Huamanga, Ayachuco, Perú (August 7).

5/11/2017 - Congratulations to Michele Buzon! Dr. Buzon is the recipient of the 2017 Research and Scholarship Distinction Award for her work in bioarchaeology. This is one of the University's top three research honors. You can read more about Dr. Buzon’s groundbreaking research here.  

4/11/2017- There are many ways that faculty engage with their research—teaching about it, writing articles, giving presentations at conferences.  But there is something very special about those rare occasions when faculty publish a book.

“’The gestation period was much longer than 9 months!’ one of my friends once told me.  Ever since, I have wanted to celebrate book completions,” noted Department Head Ellen Gruenbaum.  “A book is a rare and special accomplishment in the life of a professor!”  

So the Department of Anthropology held a special reception on Monday.  Students, faculty, and guests gathered to honor seven faculty who have published books this year.  Each spoke briefly about their work.

Two of the books are monographs based on intensive ethnographic research.  Laura Zanotti’s Radical Territories in the Brazilian Amazon:  The Kayapo’s Fight for Just Livelihoods (University of Arizona Press) recounts the struggles she has observed in her many years of research with the native peoples there.  Several groups of undergraduate and graduate students at Purdue have accompanied her to the community of Aukre. There they learned from their Kayapo teachers about the forest environment and cultural heritage while also collaborating on developing a media center and movie-making.  Su’ad Abdul Khabeer’s book, Muslim Cool:  Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States (New York University Press) is a fresh and innovative look at the ways multiethnic American Muslims express themselves and challenge racist norms—through ideas, dress, and social activism.

Professor Rich Blanton completed his opus magnum this year.  It’s been called “big anthropology, the likes of which we do not see every day.” How Humans Cooperate:  Confronting the Challenges of Collective Action (U Press of Colorado) moves across time and place to investigate human cooperation using anthropology’s broad understanding of biological, adaptive, and cultural dimensions of human society’s efforts to work together effectively.  His book is co-authored with Purdue alumnus Lane Fargher.  Myrdene Anderson co-edited a collection called Consensus on Peirce’s Concept of Habit (Purdue U. Press.).

Evie Blackwood worked for long years to prepare her new textbook, Cultural Anthropology: Mapping Cultures Across Space and Time (Cengage), coauthored with Janice Stockard.  Two other texts round out this year’s crop of books:  Using Anthropology in the World:  A Guide to Becoming a Professional Anthropologist is Riall Nolan’s new text for courses like the one he pioneered at Purdue.  Popular with undergrads, the course “Using Anthropology in the World” has launched many of them along the path toward applying anthropology to solving human problems and to their careers in the “real world.”  Also a part of the department’s Applied and Practicing Anthropology focus is the eighth edition of Adjunct Professor Elizabeth Briody’s book, The Cultural Dimension of Global Business (coauthored with Gary Ferraro, Routledge).

College of Liberal Arts Dean David Reingold commented that this degree of productivity for a small department is a remarkable achievement.

The students in the audience were clearly proud of their professors’ achievements.  “I really liked hearing about these important ideas!” commented graduate student Allison Kirkham.  “We should do this more often.”  Maybe.  But probably less often than every nine months!

3/28/17 -  A record number of faculty and students are participating in the Society for Applied Anthropology conference in Santa Fe, NM, 

3/28/17 - Richard Blanton’s Work on Premodern Democracies Featured in Science. It wasn't just Greece: Archaeologists find early democratic societies in the Americas. “‘Blanton and his colleagues opened up a new way of examining our data,’ says Rita Wright, an archaeologist at New York University in New York City who studies the 5000-year-old Indus civilization in today's India and Pakistan, which also shows signs of collective rule. ‘A whole new set of scholarship has emerged about complex societies.’”

3/10/17 - Dr. Su’ad Abdal Khabeer has been awarded a year-long fellowship in residence at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music.  Her proposed project, Allah and Justice: A Cultural History of Islam and Hip Hop, is a global exploration of Muslims, hip hop and social justice framed by a series of questions: What is the historical relationship between Islam and hip hop? What contributions have Muslims made to hip hop music and culture? How has hip hop become a means for Muslims to answer the Qur’an’s call “to enjoin the good and the forbid the wrong?” There are three thematic foci of the project. The first, “Genealogies of Liberation” focuses on the history of Islam in hip hop’s development and the second theme, “Hip Hop as Sacred Music,” will examine hip hop as a form of sonic religion for Muslims. The third theme, “Hip Hop, Islam and Revolution,” looks the “transglobal hiphop ummah” to explore the ways in which hip hop is being deployed in Muslim revolutionary praxis globally. In line with my commitment to public scholarship and the Institute of Sacred Music’s complementary engagement with sacred arts and public life, this project will culminate in a book-length manuscript--collection of six essays that reflect upon the thematic foci of the project and a performance ethnography. She will spend the fellowship doing research and writing to complete the project.  

  Muslim Cool by Su'ad Abdul Khabeer 

3/7/2017 - Dr. Su'ad Abdul Khabeer participated in an online forum called "Islam on Trial" that was published in the Boston Review. Dr. Khabeers response focuses on the double burden of being Black and Muslim vis-a-vis the national security state.

1/31/2017 - The work of Dr. Stacy M. Lindshield new Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology (fall 2017) on chimpanzee politics, titled “In Rare Killing, Chimpanzees Cannibalize Former Leader” is highlighted by National Geographic News.

1/29/2017 – Dr. Suad Abdul Khabeer publishes article “Trumps Muslim ban is a dangerous distraction” in Aljazeera News.

1/9/2017 - Dr. Amanda Veile and Dr. Jennifer Johnson were featured in the Fall 2016 issue of Purdue University's Think Magazine. Their research was showcased as part of an article on "Feminism's Future."

1/9/2017 - Dr. Amanda Veile received a $35,000 grant from the College of Liberal Arts (Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences) for her project "Biology and Socioecology of Birth and Early Childhood Maturational Processes: A Semi-Longitudinal Study of Yucatec Maya Subsistence Farmers." Read details here.

11/28/2016 - The Tippecanoe County Historical Association (TCHA) and Purdue’s Department of Anthropology and Department of History will host MHAC 13 October 13-15, 2017. The theme is Reconstructing, Representing, and Reenacting: Historical Archaeology and Public Education. 2017 marks both the 300th anniversary of the founding of Fort Ouiatenon, a French fur trade post in Tippecanoe County, and the 50th anniversary of the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, one of the largest annual re-enactments of the 18th century fur trade in the United States. To commemorate these anniversary milestones part of the conference will be dedicated to Fort Ouiatenon past and present, and the fur trade and historical reenactments more generally. Papers, posters, and lightning round talks on any topic related to historical archaeology in the Midwest are also welcome, but we especially encourage potential presenters to focus on the use of historical archaeology data (artifacts, museum objects, buildings, landscapes) to reconstruct, represent, or reenact history for a variety of audiences. Registration and logistical information and links will soon be available online. 

12/19/2017 - Congratulations to Hannah Hawkins on receiving an Undergrad Research Scholarship.

12/6/17 - Congratulations to Matt Pike for being awarded the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award from the National Science Foundation, Arctic Social Science Program. Matt’s faculty adviser throughout this graduate program is H. Kory Cooper, professor of anthropology and materials engineering. Click here to for more information.

12/6/2017 – Congratulations to Erik Otárola-Castillo who recently received the Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences grants from EVPRP. Erik received a grant for $47,000 for “Estimating Food Security Risk Management Behavior of early North American Foragers and Farmers.” Click here to read his article about his research also co-authored by Purdue Anthropology graduate student, Melissa Torquato and Purdue Anthropology undergraduate student, Hannah C. Hawkins.

12/6/17 - Congratulations to Stacy Lindshield who recently received the Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences grants from EVPRP. Stacy received a $38,000 grant for “Reconsidering Female Chimpanzees:  Nutritional and Political Motives to Hunt and Share Food.”

12/6/2017 – Congratulations Laura Zanotti for receiving a Global Synergy Research Grant.  Laura will receive $16,000 for “Biocultural Landscapes:  Indigenous Rights and Conservation at Belém +30.”

12/6/2017 – Congratulations to Andrew Flachs for receiving a Global Synergy Research Grant. Andrew will receive $20,500 for “Preserving Probiotics:  Biocultural Links Between the Human Gut Microbiome and Fermented Foods.” 

12/6/2017 – Anthropology has two graduate students who are recipients of the College of Liberal Arts Global Synergy Research Grant for students. They are:

  • Humera Dinar, for “Development and Marginalization in Northern Pakistan,” in the amount of $5,000, and

  • Sarah Huang, for “If we can’t grow rice, then what?  Remaking Agroecological Livelihoods in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta” for $9,200.

10/12/2017 - Congratulations to Michele Buzon for receiving Purdue’s 2017 Research and Scholarship Distinction Award. Buzon will deliver the Research and Scholarship Distinction Distinguished Lecture on Oct. 30 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The 10:30 a.m. lecture is free and open to the public. You can read more about this award here and more about Buzon's research here.

9/6/2017 - Congratulations to Purdue University Anthropology doctoral candidate, Liz Hall, who received a grant from the National Science Foundation for support of the project entitled "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Zoonotic Risks at the Human-Primate Interface: Behavior, Nutritional Status, and Immune Function.” Her project is under the direction of Professor Melissa J. Remis.

Liz is conducting fieldwork with local communities in the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve in the Central African Republic and collecting data on diet, nutritional status, and behavior of indigenous and migrant men and women with different subsistence patterns and practices that may put them at varying risk for zoonotic diseases. She is collecting a variety of anthropometric and ethnographic data, and her research will include laboratory analyses of biomarkers of health and inflammation.

8/28/2017 - Congratulations to anthropology doctoral candidate Matthew Pike (mentor: Kory Cooper) on being awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award for $18,893 from the National Science Foundation, Arctic Social Science Program. His project is on “Northern Innovation:  Modeling Copper Technologies.”  Matt will be using this funding to travel to several northern Indigenous communities in early November 2017, specifically Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk in Nunavut, Canada.  There he will be presenting his dissertation research on Innovation in Prehistoric Indigenous Copper Technologies to local descendant Inuit communities.  He will also conduct copper-working workshops where participants can experience the process of replicating copper tools from the archaeological record, seek feedback from the community on ways to provide digital access to the database of copper archaeological artifacts that forms the core of my dissertation research, and document any personal collections of copper artifacts that have been collected in the community.

3/21/2017 - Congratulations to Lily Anderson (ANTH Senior)! She was offered a “full ride” to pursue her MD/PhD in Anthropology at Michigan State University: a Distinguished (5-year) Graduate School Fellowship AND a Spectrum (5-year) Fellowship from MSU’s College of Human Medicine to investigate Amish women’s reproductive health issues.

3/20/2017 - Purdue Anthropology Graduate student Melissa G. Torquato receives National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award. Melissa is 1 of 11 Purdue students, and 1 of 16 in Biological Anthropology to receive this year's award.

3/10/2017 - Dr. Su’ad Abdal Khabeer has been awarded a year-long fellowship in residence at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music. Read here for more information about her project, Allah and Justice: A Cultural History of Islam and Hip Hop

3/9/2017 - Congratulations to Assistant Professor Zoe Nyssa on her Library Scholars grant.


  • 10/21/2016 - Ph.D. candidate Savannah Schulze (Remis) is currently conducting fieldwork in Uganda thanks to a Wenner-Gren Foundation Grant for her dissertation project. Keep up with her field updates on her research blog.
  • 10/13/2016 - Prof. Amanda Veile's published research on the epidemiologic link between cesarean birth and childhood obesity is highlighted by Purdue News.
  • 10/06/2016 - Purdue features Big Ideas around campus, including Prof. Sherylyn Briller's on how to educate people to more rapidly gain the wisdom typically accumulated over the course of a lifetime.
  • 9/27/2016 - Prof. Sherylyn Briller and Ph.D. candidate Elizabeth Wirtz are featured in Anthropology News for developing a course where technology students learn to apply anthropological principles to develop design solutions.   
  • 9/21/2016 - Prof. Ian Lindsay receives $221,173 from the National Science Foundation for two years of fieldwork research, and is featured by CLA news.
  • 9/22/2016 - Prof. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer participated in an invited online forum entitled Religion, secularism, and Black Lives Matter.  
  • 9/22/2016 - “Walking the Ballroom” (with a nod to Marlon Bailey, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit). Photo taken in class on September 22 as Dr. Blackwoods ANTH/WGSS 482, Sexual Diversity in Global Perspectives class experienced first hand walking the runway. Students showed up dressed for the experience!    
  • 9/19/2016 - Prof. Amanda Veile gave a public lecture at the University of Notre Dame about her research entitled "Birth in Transition: Implications for Indigenous Health and Demography".
  • Associate Professor, Su’ad Abdul Khabeer was among a small group of scholars who study Islam and Muslims, they were asked to write a short response to Donald Trump’s “Muslim Ban”. Please read here for the response. Dr. Khabeer is the second response after the journalist introduction.
  • On April 28 the Anthropology Department celebrated the end of the 2015-2016 academic school year with our annual Awards Banquet.  The department is proud of the many accomplishments from our Faculty, Grad Students, and Undergraduates. Click here to see a copy of our Award Program to see a list of just some of the many awards and honors from our department.
  • Congratulations to Jonathan Micon. Jonathan received the Outstanding Graduating Senior award in Anthropology and CLA Honors Graduate.   


  • Congratulations to Katie Whitmore for winning the opportunity to participate in the Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop.
  • In spring 2016, Dr. Laura Zanotti (Anthropology) and Dr. Kimberly Marion Suiseeya (Political Science) received a Center for the Environment sustainable communities seed grant for the project entitled, “From presence to influence: examining the politics of indigenous representation in global environmental governance.”
  • Dr. Laura Zanotti recently was awarded a Service-Learning Faculty Grant from the Center of Instructional Excellence at Purdue. She will be a Junior Fellow from April 2016 – April 2017.
  • Congratulations to Sarah Huang, who received a Graduate Student Incentive Award from the Purdue Climate Change Research Center.  Sarah was also accepted into the US Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Foood Security that will take place at Purdue in June.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Veile, who has received the Purdue Anthropology Department's Excellence in Teaching Award!
  • Dr. Amanda Veile and co-investigator Karen Kramer recently received a $25,000 grant from the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. The grant will fund the purchase of laboratory and field equipment for their ongoing study of maternal-child health and immuno-nutrition in Yucatec Maya subsistence farmers.
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. student Katie Whitmore who has been selected as a 2016 Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Fellow!
  • Congratulations to our graduate student Savannah Schulze. She has been awarded a Global Synergy Research Grant for Students by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts for her dissertation research project entitled, Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringi beringi) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda: interrelationships with Batwa and other local communities.
  • Congratulations to our recent Ph.D. graduate, Dr. Ryan Plis, for receiving the College of Liberal Arts' Distinguished Dissertation Award for his dissertation, "Families in Transition: Gender Non-Conformists and their Kin Networks in the Mid-Southern U.S.” This is the highest award given to dissertations in the College!


  • Dr. Melissa Remis was featured in Purdue News discussing a recent feature article and cover in American Journal of Human Biology. Click here to read the research article by Carolyn Jost Robinson and Melissa Remis about how Older women in the Central African Republic forager communities suffer most from food shortage. Or click here for the Purdue News article and link to the research article.
  • Dr. Kory Cooper is featured in this Purdue News article discussing his artifacts’ metallurgical analysis showing Old World metals were traded on the Alaska coast several hundred years before contact with Europeans.
  • Dr. Michele Buzon shows new bioarchaeological evidence that Nubians and Egyptians integrated into a community, and even married, in ancient Sudan. Read about her research here.
  • Amanda VeileErik Otárola-Castillo recently published their research titled Sibling Competition & Growth Tradeoffs. Biological vs. Statistical Significance, Kramer KL, Veile A, Otárola-Castillo E (2016) Sibling Competition & Growth Tradeoffs. Biological vs. Statistical Significance. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150126. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150126
  • Professor Abdul Khabeer spoke in a discussion on American Muslims recently on Aljazeera English.  You can watch the video here.


  • Dr. Abdul Khabeer was recently awarded CLA’s Enhancing Research in the Humanities and Arts (ERHA) grant for her digital humanities project, Sapelo Square: An Online Resources on African American Islam. Sapelo Square is the first online platform dedicated to the comprehensive documentation and analysis of the African American Muslim experience. Sapelo Square, which is managed by Dr. Abdul Khabeer and her academic and non-academic collaborators, features original research and perspectives and also curates content from online and offline texts and audiovisual materials. The EHRA grant will be used to help Sapelo Square better incorporate the best digital humanities practices and innovative technologies into its work. Dr. Abdul Khabeer's long-term objective is for Sapelo Square to be a multifaceted interactive platform that creates new knowledge on a critical yet understudied segment of American society as well as new directions for humanities scholarship on critical issues of race, religion and national belonging.
  • Ellen Gruenbaum chaired a session at the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition Symposium in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, in October.
  • The Exponent, Purdue University's student-run newspaper conducted an interview with Anthropology faculty Amanda Veile and Erik Otárola-Castillo. The Exponent was interested in our faculty's opinion on the trendy "Paleo" diet. Click on the following link to read the article "Paleo or tasty treat: Does it matter'
  • Anthropology graduate student, Matthew Pike recently traveled to Michigan State to take part in a National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities funded Institute on Digital Archaeology Method and Practice. Matthew was fortunate to be one of 20 selected out of almost 200 applicants from across the archeological spectrum (academic, CRM, graduate students, tenured faculty, museum professionals, etc.)
  • We are pleased to welcome Erik Otárola-Castillo to our department. Erik has recently co-authored and published an article "When mothers need others: Why does it take a village to raise a child." It has almost become cliché to say ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ Why do human mothers, unlike most among mammals, rely on help to raise children? To answer this question, a new study co-authored by Karen Kramer and Erik Otárola-Castillo published in the Journal of Human Evolution, and highlighted by the Harvard Gazette and other popular media news sources, uses mathematical and numerical modeling to explore mother-offspring characteristics throughout the human evolutionary trajectory. The work shows that during many of the early changes in our evolutionary past, a mother and her children can cooperate as a group to provide sufficient support each other—later in time, however, as more modern human characteristics developed (e.g., earlier weaning, shorter birth intervals, longer juvenile dependence) mothers began to need cooperation from other adults and the community at large."
  • The Anthropology Department is hosting a visiting undergraduate research student this summer and in the fall term. Karen Lorena Romero Leal, who is joining us as part of Purdue’s UREP-C program, comes to us from Columbia with an interest in Amazonian indigenous peoples, testimonial literature, and oral histories. Karen will be working with Dr. Laura Zanotti and Dr. Sherri Briller.
  • An illustrated profile of Prof. Laura Zanotti’s environmental anthropology research and field school in the Amazon rainforest is featured in the latest issue of CLA's THiNK Magazine.
  • Congratulations to Professors Laura Zanotti and Kory Cooper who have been promoted to Associate Professor!
  • Ellen Gruenbaum presented a lecture on her research to about 40 UN staff at the United Nations Development Program in Khartoum, Sudan, on Feb. 25th. Her topic was "Generation of Change: FGM/C and Abandonment Efforts in Sudan.”
  • Ellen Gruenbaum gave a series of lectures to Public Health Master’s students at the Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman, Sudan.


  • Ingrid Ramon Parra and Laura Zanotti have received a 2015-16 Purdue Research Foundation Research Grant for "Menire making Movies: A Participatory Video Project with Kayapo Women in the Brazilian Amazon".
  • Matthew Pike and Kory Cooper have received a 2015-16 Purdue Research Foundation Grant for "Prehistoric Copper Technology in the Arctic and Subarctic: A Geospatial Analysis of Hunter-Gatherer Innovation".
  • Congratulations to Elizabeth Hall who has just been notified that she has received a 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship to support her doctoral studies. Liz is currently completing her MS in our program which is serving as a pilot for her developing Ph.D. research on Zoonotic Pathogens: Disease Transmission among Apes and Humans in Mosaic Habitats in West and Central Africa.
  • Prof. Richard Blanton, Lane Farger (Purdue Research Affiliate), and Verenice Heredia Espinoza have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to support their project "The Relationship Between Household Organization And Governance.” The aim of their research is to uncover changes in household formation and economies in a newly-forming republican system of governance in the Postclassic Period of Tlaxcala, a site in the Central Highlands of Mexico.
  • Dr. Abdul Khabeer is co-PI on the “Muslims in the Midwest: An Oral History Project” that was recently awarded a grant as part of the Global Midwest Initiative by the Humanities Without Walls consortium. The project will establish and build a digital archive that documents the varied experiences of American Muslims in the Midwest through testimonies across generational, gender, geographical, socio-economic, and ethnic differences. Dr. Abdul Khabeer’s contribution will focus on African American Muslims in the Midwest. The Senior Project Advisor is Mohammed Khalil (Michigan State and other co-PI’s are Junaid Rana (Illinois), Nadine Naber (Illinois-Chicago)and Asma Afsaruddin (Indiana).


  • You can read about the research of several of our Anthropologists who were featured in the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships Annual Report. Dr. Briller (p. 9), Dr. Buzon (p. 12), Beth Gravalos (p. 30), Dr. Remis (p.33).
  • Read a recent publication by one of our graduate students, Jonas Ecke Continuity and Discontinuity: Cultural Change in a Refugee Camp in Ghana. PentecoStudies: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Research on the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 14(1)
  • Congratulations to Dr. Riall Nolan for his recent book publication: Internationalizing the Academy: Lessons of Leadership in Higher Education, Edited by Gilbert W. Merkx and Riall W. Nolan
  • Graduate students Betsy Wirtz and Jonas Ecke were invited to speak at the Purdue UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) Charity Banquet on Friday night. They discussed issues relating to refugee children.
  • Read one of Dr. Richard Blanton's recent articles, “Theories of Ethnicity and the Dynamics of Ethnic Change in Multiethnic Societies” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112: no. 30: 9175-9181.
  • Erik Otárola-Castillo and Ian Lindsay participated in Cumberland Elementary School’s annual Math Night, where they created a geocaching game to get kids excited about developing map reading skills.



  • Dr. Ian Lindsay won the Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award for 2014.  He was honored for his work in utilizing student-centered hands-on teaching and technology.  He teaches archaeology, technology and culture, and the large lecture Intro to General Anthropology course.
  • Katelyn Reavis presented her research with Dr. Michele Buzon at the American Association of Physical Anthropology in Calgary, Alberta Canada, April 2014.
  • Melissa Remis and Carolyn Jost Robinson published an article in 2014 on ethnoprimatology and multispecies approaches, with coauthors Nick Malone, Alison Wade, Agustin Fuentes, and Erin Riley.  The article is titled, “Ethnoprimatology: Critical interdisciplinary and multispecies approaches in anthropology.”  Critique of Anthropology 341(1):8-29.
  • Professor Melissa Remis’s research was featured in Purdue News on May 20, 2014.  The research studied the effects of integrated conservation and development in the Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Reserve, including the first look at the impact on people's health. Click here to read the article.
  • Dr. Evelyn Blackwood was interviewed by The Daily Beast about her research among the Minangkabau in West Sumatra, Indonesia.  You can find the full article here.
  •  On July 31, 2014, Dr. Elizabeth Rowe presents her talk on “The Evolution of Menstruation” to the “Science on Tap” series at the Lafayette Brewing Company, on 
  • Congratulations to Ian Lindsay for receiving an Enhancing Research in the Humanities and the Arts Grant from the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships for his research project entitled, "Investigating Territorial Commitments and Long-Term Political Process within Bronze and Iron Age Fortified Landscapes in Armenia."
  • Congratulations to Sarah Caldwell for receiving a Global Synergy Grant for Students from the office of the President for her research project entitled, "In the Wake of War: Population Health in Ottoman-Occupied Croatia,14th-17th Centuries." Congratulations to Ingrid Ramon Parra who also received this award for her research project entitled "Menire Making Movies: A Participatory Video Project with Kayapo Women in the Brazilian Amazon."
  • Dr. Audrey Ricke was the invited speaker for the Lafayette's Daybreak Rotary Club on thursday, September 11th.  Her presentation was entitled "Supporting the Community: German Identity and Traditions in Brazil."
  • The research of professors Kory Cooper and Michele Buzon are featured in the Sept/Oct issue of Purdue Alumnus Magazine. 
  • Dr. Ellen Gruenbaum is spending part of her sabbatical on a fellowship for a 4-week Writing Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center at the Villa Serbelloni, located in Bellagio on Lake Como. She’ll be working on a project entitled, “Generation of Change: New leaders and initiatives on female genital modifications in Africa and beyond.”
  • Assistant Professors Kory Cooper and Laura Zanotti are part of an 8 member team of interdisciplinary scholars recently awarded a $57,000 Mellon Grand Challenge Exploratory Award to investigate e-waste. One result of rapid innovation in the electronics industry is that electronic devices now often have very short use-lives. Electronic devices are consumed and discarded in increasing numbers and most of these devices contain metals or plastics that are harmful to human health. This project will investigate public understanding of this phenomenon and engage the local community in finding solutions.
  • We are pleased to announce that we have 2 new Faculty joining the Department of Anthropology and 3 Visiting Assistant Professors this year!
  • Dr. Sherylyn Briller, has been appointed Associate Professor of sociocultural anthropology/applied and practicing. She holds degrees from Carleton College (BA), and Case Western Reserve University (MA and PhD). She most recently has been teaching Anthropology at Wayne State University (Detroit) where she also served in the Institute of Gerontology and the Interdisciplinary Center to Advance Palliative Care Excellence. This fall she will be teaching our course Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives (Anth 340). She will be taking a lead role in the development of our Master’s degree track in Applied and Practicing Anthropology.
  • Dr. LaShandra Sullivan will be joining us as assistant professor of sociocultural anthropology a year from now, in fall 2015. She studied Philosophy at Howard (BA), International Relations at Yale (MA), and Anthropology at the University of Chicago (MA, PhD). Her doctoral research was on labor, agribusiness, and land protest camps in Brazil, and she previously did research and also worked as an economic attaché for the State Department in West Africa. She will expand our department’s curriculum on Latin America, rural-urban anthropology, development, diversity and globalization.
  • Audrey Ricke-Visiting Assistant Professor, Fall 2014-Spring 2015
  • Dr. Ricke is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on transnational German identity in Brazil and the United States. She has done research on German folk dances, festivals, and gardens in southern Brazil and the role that the aesthetics at these tourism activities play in navigating race, class, and transnational identity.
  • Elizabeth Rowe—Visiting Assistant Professor, Fall 2014-Spring 2015
  • Dr. Rowe is a biological anthropologist whose research focuses on gene-environment interactions in the menstrual cycle and other aspects of women’s reproductive physiology. She is also interested in the consequences of persistent social inequalities on women’s reproductive biology.
  • Dr. Ama Boakyewa-Visiting Assistant Professor, Fall 2014
  • Dr. Boakyewa is a cultural anthropologist who focuses on alternative religious/cultural practice and identity formations. She also has a background in African studies. She has done research in Ghana on ethnic and religious pluralism and identity at the Akonnedi Shrine.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Michele Buzon who was recently appointed to a five-year term as a University Faculty Scholar.
  • Melissa Remis has studied the effects of integrated conservation and development in the Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Reserve, this includes the first look at the impact on people's health. You will find continued reading on her research at this link to the article featured in Purdue News.
  • Congratulations to Associate Professor Michele Buzon on her award from the National Science Foundation for her project entitled, “Collaborative Research: Impact and Accommodation Through Cultural Contact” She will use the funds ($135,272) to support her bioarchaeological research investigating the impact of Egypt’s New Kingdom Empire (c. 1500-1050 BC) on the Kerma culture in Nubia through an examination of identity and health before and after the conquest and colonization of the area (with UCSB collaborator Stuart Tyson Smith). This research is also being supported by Purdue Office of the Vice President for Research Bridge Funding Program ($48,045).
  • Assistant Professor Kory Cooper’s collaborative archaeological research and teaching with the School of Materials Engineering was highlighted in the April 8th, 2014 installment of “Purdue Profiles.” In this piece Cooper talks about the course “Archaeology and Materials Science”, which he co-teaches with MSE faculty. Click here for a link to this article.
  • Katelyn Reavis presented her research with Dr. Michele Buzon at the American Association of Physical Anthropology in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
  • Congratulations to our grad student Aiden Powell on winning the Berenice Carroll Social Justice Award this year! As second-year graduate student in Anthropology, he was recognized for his work in "Advocating for Transgender-Inclusive Health Insurance at Purdue University." Aiden is currently working on his master's thesis on the provision of health services to transgender students and plans to work in applied anthropology in the coming years.
  • Melissa Remis and Carolyn Jost Robinson just published an article on Ethnoprimatology and Multispecies approaches with coauthors Nick Malone, Alison Wade, Agustin Fuentes, Erin Riley, Melissa Remis and Carolyn Jost Robinson. 2014. “Ethnoprimatology: Critical interdisciplinary and multi species approaches in anthropology. Critique of Anthropology 341(1):8-29.
  • Kevin Vaughn was in Japan during February to participate in two international symposia in Osaka and Yamagata.
  • Dr. Ian Lindsay recently won the Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award 2014.
  • In November, Dr. Ian Lindsay was awarded two grants from Purdue's Office of the Vice President for Research in support of his archaeological work in Armenia:
  • • Transdisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Research Grant ($8778): "Using Purdue’s MSE Electron Microscopy Facility to Study Pottery Technology and Social Organization among Bronze Age Fortress Settlements in Armenia."
  • • Non-laboratory Research Infrastructure and Equipment Program Grant, Tier 2 ($17,861): "Funding Request for Archaeological Survey and Remote Sensing Equipment."
  • 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.
  • 2013

  • 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.  
  •  Dr. Michele Buzon’s collaborative bioarchaeological research in Tombos, Sudan has been highlighted by the National Science Foundation.
  •  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 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.


  • The Anthropology Department is pleased to invite students to submit papers for the 2013 Brazil Abroad scholarship competition.   Check out the flyer and find out more information about the program here.
  • Franco Lai has won the 2013 Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion Graduate Student Award for Research Excellence! Her award-winning paper is titled "Sexualities in Transnational Migrant Circuits: Female same-sex relations among female domestic migrant workers in Hong Kong."  For further information about the award click here.
  • Professor Evelyn Blackwood was awarded a Title IX service award as a pioneer, advocate, and mentor in the area of gender equity. Congratulations Dr. Blackwood!  Click here for Purdue Today's feature of Dr. Blackwood's accomplishments.
  • Are you planning on applying to the Anthropology Graduate Program for Fall 2013?  Please join us for a visitation day on Monday, October 22 to learn about graduate study at Purdue!  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Talin Lindsay at”
  • Jennifer Studebaker (M.S. May 2012) has started a new position as Office Coordinator at the Society for Ethnomusicology at Indiana University.  She reports that she really likes the position and will be learning a lot about non-profit organization management.  Congratulations, Jennifer!
  • A publication based on MS research by PhD student, Sarah Schrader, is now available online in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology: “Activity patterns in New Kingdom Nubia: An examination of entheseal remodeling and osteoarthritis at Tombos”
  • Doctoral student Ryan Plis and Dr. Evelyn Blackwood received the Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion 2012 award for the best paper in the category of Faculty research.  The paper is entitled: Trans Technologies and Identities in the United States.  It will be published in Technologies of Sexuality and Sexual Health, Lenore Manderson, editor, Routledge, 2012.
  • The Spring issue of THiNK magazine features the work of several anthropology faculty members and students.  We invite you to check out the news here.
  • Dr. Evelyn Blackwood and Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer presented papers at the Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion's Spring Symposium on March 29, 2012.   Papers presented focused on cultural marginalization (Abdul Khabeer) and Trans Embodiment (Blackwood).
  • Doctoral student Elizabeth Wirtz was recently awarded a Purdue Research Foundation Grant for her dissertation work "Measuring the Impact of Physical and Structural Violence on Somali Refugee Women's Perceptions of Fertility and Motherhood in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya”


  • Ian Lindsay presented a talk at the 2011 Chicago Humanities Festival entitled "Can you Dig It?: Technology in the Archaeological Record."  Read more...
  • Andrew Buckser has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for 2011-2012. 
  • The American Anthropological Association’s Association for Queer Anthropology is very pleased to announce that Evelyn Blackwood has been awarded the 2011 Ruth Benedict Book Prize in the category “Outstanding Monograph” for Falling into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2010). 
  • Join us at the Anthropology Fall Open Houseon Friday, November 11 to learn about graduate study at Purdue!  The event will begin at 10:00am in Stone Hall Room B2 and will include a chance to learn about our MS and PhD graduate degree programs, funding options and faculty research projects. 
  • Wiping Away the Tears Symposium: The Battle of Tippecanoe in History and Memory. Free and open to the public. November 3 - 5, 2011  Purdue University.
  • Dr. Evelyn Blackwood was interviewed by The Daily Beast about her research among the Minangkabau in West Sumatra, Indonesia. 
  • Dr. Cooper was awarded a $512,950 grant from the National Science Foundation's Arctic Social Sciences Program for a 3-year program of research titled "Prehistoric Native Copper Technology in Northwest North America: Innovation, Diffusion, and Heritage."
  • Dr. Laura Zanotti returned from Brazilian Amazon, where she co-taught a study abroad course on indigenous peoples and conservation.   


  • Dr. Brian Kelly has been studying the emerging methamphetamine epidemic in China. His project is focused on how the rise of methamphetamine is influencing China's HIV epidemic. Dr. Kelly has studied drug abuse and the HIV/AIDS epidemic for over a decade. 
  • Dr. Kory Cooper was awarded a $5,000 Purdue Library Scholars Grant to travel to British Columbia and the Northwest Territories to continue his investigation of prehistoric native copper technology and its relationship to prestige and social complexity in the Arctic and Northwest Coast. While on teaching release in fall 2010 he traveled to the Royal British Columbia Museum, the BC Heritage Branch, the University of British Columbia, and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre to collect data on the archaeological distribution of native copper artifacts. Prof Cooper's research provides a new perspective on technological innovation and prestige among diverse types of Hunter-Gatherer societies. 
  • PhD student, Sarah Schrader, is currently doing fieldwork on Dr. Michele Buzon's NSF-funded archaeological research project in Tombos, Sudan. This season, Sarah and the team have been busy excavating Egyptian-style pyramid tombs and Nubian-style tumulus tombs that date to the Napatan Period (~700-300 BC). Exciting finds include infants buried in baskets, many intact figurines and a horse burial. 
  • Giorgi Bedianashvili received a prestigious Carnegie Research Fellowship to work in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University from September 2010 to this January. Giorgi is employed by the Tbilisi Archaeological Museum in the Republic of Georgia, so this was a great opportunity for our graduate students to get to know an international scholar. Bedianashvili pursued his project entitled "Sociopolitical Complexity and Change in Late Bronze Age Central Caucasus 1500-1000 BCE" under the guidance of Dr. Ian Lindsay. 
  • Department Head Ellen Gruenbaum lectured on Alan Paton's classic novel focusing on struggles with racism and injustice in mid-20th century South Africa. Her talk, which infused history, culture, and personal reflection into the literary commentary, was part of the annual Books and Coffee series. She spoke in the South Ballroom to an audience of about 75 community and university participants.
  • Dr. Michele Buzon is giving a "Back to Class" presentation entitled, "Window to the Past: Nile Valley's Civilizations Share Valuable Lessons" for the 2011 Purdue Mollenkopf Weekend, Naples, Florida.
  • Graduating Anthropology Senior, Britney Yount, has been admitted to the Teach For America program. She will begin teaching in South Dakota in early 2011. 
  • Students in Anthropology's new Community Engagement course, Anth 404, taught by Professor Evelyn Blackwood, recently participated in the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration hosted by the Purdue Latino Cultural Center at the local YWCA. They created and displayed a beautiful altar in memory of their deceased loved ones.(10/29/10) 
  • Dr. Melissa Remis and colleague Jean Bosco Kpanou had a paper published in the Africa Journal of Ecology titled,"Primate and ungulate abundance in response to multi-use zoning and human extractive activities in a Central African Reserve."online early
  • Doctoral candidate Brandi Wren presented her research on the behavior and gastrointestinal pareasites of vervet monkeys (Cholorcebus [Ceropithecus] aethiops) at the meeting of the International Primatological Society in Kyoto, Japan, September 2010.
  • Carolyn Jost Robinson and Dr. Melissa Remis presented their poster, "Interdisciplinary approaches for the development of sustainable hunting practices in a central African forest," at the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Symposium at Purdue University, October 27, 2010.
  •  Jessica Shafer (BA 02, Anthropology), Boatswain Mate 1st Class Petty Officer, US Coast Guard, was named one of the Purdue Alumni Association's 40 under 40. 
  •  Dr. Ellen Gruenbaum and Dr. Laura Zanotti visited Moi University, Eldoret Kenya this June. Dr. Gruenbaum and Dr. Zanotti were hosted by Dr. Susan Chebet and explored different participatory community projects in the area.
  •  Sarah Schrader has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Master's Thesis Award. Her thesis is titled, "A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Activity Patterns in New Kingdom Nubia" and utilizes a bioarchaeological approach to examine activity patterns at the Nubian site of Tombos. Human skeletal remains from the New Kingdom (1,550-1,069 BC) are analyzed for indications of osteoarthritis, vertebral degeneration and entheseal remodeling. Low levels of these activity patterns reflect an imperial community that was not participating in a mechanically strenuous lifestyle. These date suggest Tombos served as a colonial administrative center as the Egyptian Empire successfully consolidated Nubia into the imperial regime of the New Kingdom. Sarah Schrader is supervised by Dr. Michele Buzon.
  • Dr. Sharon Williams is working with the World Health Organization to understand how people age throughout the world. Dr. Williams is traveling to South Africa, Australia and India to work with labs, train laboratory personnel and collaborate with other scholars associated with the WHO Study of Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE).
  • Sarah Schrader has been awarded a PRF Research Assistantship (2010-2011) for the project, "Archaeology of the Everyday: A Bioarchaeological Approach to Activity Patterns and Diet of Ancient Nubians" supervised by Dr. Michele Buzon.
  • Dr. Evelyn Blackwood has recently been promoted to Professor of Anthropology, effective August, 2010.
  • Dr. Michele Buzon has been promoted to Associate Professor of Anthropology, effective August, 2010.
  • Dr. Michele Buzon recently appeared in the program 'Nasca Lines: The Buried Secrets' on the National Geographic Channel discussing the skeletal and isotopic analysis of a decapitated individual.
  • Evelyn Blackwood was the featured speaker at Bucknell University for their Social Science Colloquium "The Anatomy of Gender: Science, Sex and Culture in the 21st Century," March 29, 2010. Her talk was entitled "Global sexualities, or are there really lesbians and gays everywhere?"
  • Dr. Kory Cooper was awarded $5,000 from the Purdue University Library Scholars Grant Program to support museum and archival research for his project "Indigenous Copper Metallurgy in Northwestern North America: Innovation in Hunter-gatherer Technology."


  • Dr. Ian Lindsay and colleagues were awarded a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation for a project "Collaborative Research: The Fortress and the Grassroots: Archaeological Investigations of Early Complex Societies on the Tsaghkahovit Plain, Armenia", beginning April 2010.
  • Dr. Kevin Vaughn recently appeared on the program 'Solving History with Olly Steeds' on the Discovery Channel. In the linked clip, Dr. Vaughn walks on a Nasca (Nazca) Line, or geoglyph, in southern Peru with host Olly Steeds as they discuss the function of the geoglyphs in antiquity.
  • Melissa Remis has published a new article in the journal Conservation Biology. Co-authored with Rebecca Hardin (University of Michigan), it is titled "Transvalued Species in an African Forest " (Conservation Biology 23(6): 1588-1596, 2009). For more information about her recent research and an abstract of the article, click here
  • ANTH Senior Hannah Bergeman Attended Copenhagen for U.N. Climate Change Summit December 2009. 
  • Evelyn Blackwood was a featured expert on National Geographic Channel's Taboo series. She appeared in the episode entitled "The Third Sex," which first aired in November 2008.
  • Purdue Anthropology alumna, Kimberly Huber's (BA, '76), co-authored book, "The Museum Educator's Manual: Educators Share Successful Techniques" was recently published by AltaMira Press.
  • Indiana Archaeology Month: Archaeologist Dr. Kory Cooper was interviewed about his research into the prehistoric use of copper in northwestern North America.
  • Dr. Brian C Kelly was awarded a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for his project entitled "Prescription Drug Abuse in Youth Subcultures: Contexts & Risks", August 2009.
  • Dr. Michele Buzon was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for her project entitled "A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Identity Development during Napatan State Formation", July 2009.
  • Dr. Kevin Vaughn was awarded a grant from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration for his project entitled "Ancient mining and metallurgy on the south coast of Peru." June, 2009.