From our Department Head

Anthropology is a discipline that has the privilege to study human diversity, through time and globally.  And what that has taught us is that humans have a huge range of experiences and many ways of living, none of us or our societies having achieved perfection, but all of us sharing in the great adventure of living life to its fullest.  While being true to ourselves and our cultural values sometimes results in stepping on toes, our goal is to figure out how we can live as neighbors on one small planet, helping one another to achieve fulfillment, peace, and freedom while making those things work for everyone.

Today, when we hear about people deciding a presidential election may turn the tide away from respect, neighborliness, and acceptance, we should step forward and reassert our commitments to the values that we share.  Our University has a nondiscrimination policy that we can point to on the university website (see Nondiscrimination Policy Statement, Purdue University), and our Provost has today reiterated this commitment.

Please join me in reaching out to all those who may need the extra hand of friendship at this time and all who need to know that we at Purdue continue our commitment to a world where human rights are honored and human dignity is the common goal.  Ellen Gruenbaum, Head and Professor of Anthropology


Anthropologists can help change the world. We do this, in part, by making sure our graduates are prepared with the skills and experiences they will need for a broad spectrum of careers. In Anthropology, you will work on global problems in interdisciplinary teams. You can participate in summer field schools around the world, study abroad, and do other hands-on research. We are committed to exploring human diversity across time and space.  We invite you to join us!

Upcoming Events

Dr. Kate Clancy, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois
“Adolescent life history transitions: the role of family and friends”
Monday, March 27 | 1:30-3:00 | BRNG 1222

Brown Bag Series
Madisson Whitman, Anthropology Graduate Student
Ph.D. Proposal Presentation- Bodies of data: social marginalization and big data
Thursday, April 6 | 11:00-12:00 | BRNG B247

Anthropology Brown Bag Series
Details on the following upcoming Brown Bags will be announced soon.
April 12 - Dr. Amanuel Beyin, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville
April 26 - TBA

Brown Bag Series
Sarah Huang, Department of Anthropology & Ecological Sciences and Engineering Program
Ph.D. Proposal presentation- "If we can’t grow rice, then what?: Remaking agroecological livelihoods in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Thursday May 4, 2017 | 3.00-4.00 pm | STON 217

Latest News

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.

3/15/2017 -  Dr. Richard Blanton's research on early democratic societies in the Americas is featured in Science.

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.  

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. Click here to listen to this discussion

2/22/2017 - Purdue Anthropology Society (P.A.S.T.) recently made a video to help explain what anthropology is so it can be used in High Schools. The students did a great job, click here to view the video.

More news

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