Riall Nolan

  • Professor of Anthropology
  • Dr. Nolan received his DPhil in Social Anthropology from Sussex University in the UK in 1975. He joined Purdue University in 2003.

Department Information

Anthropology // Faculty

Office Information

  • Office: STON 219
  • Office Phone: (765) 496-2014
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • E-mail: rwnolan@purdue.edu
  • Specialization

  • International development, cross-cultural adaptation, and applied anthropology.

  • Dr. Nolan worked overseas for nearly twenty years in the field of international development, and has experience as a development project designer, manager, and evaluator. He has lived and worked in Senegal, Tunisia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka. His experience with development includes grass-roots community projects with the Peace Corps, project design and management with USAID, and policy analysis with the World Bank. He has also participated in numerous consulting assignments for both bilateral agencies and NGOs.

    Prior to coming to Purdue, Dr. Nolan directed international programs at the University of Cincinnati. He has also held administrative and teaching positions at Golden Gate University, the University of Pittsburgh, the School for International Training, Georgia State University, and the University of Papua New Guinea.

    His first book, Bassari Migrations (1986, Westview Press), was an analysis of social and economic change in a rural West African community. Communicating and Adapting Across Cultures (1999, Bergin & Garvey) was a detailed examination of the process of cross-cultural adjustment on long-term work assignments. Development Anthropology (2001, Westview Press) was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine in 2002. His most recent book, Anthropology in Practice (2002, Lynn Rienner Publishers) is a guide for anthropology graduates who intend to work outside the academy.

    Dr. Nolan is active in several national organizations. He is the past chair of NAFSA’s task force on International Education Leadership, and a past board member of the Association of International Education Administrators. He is a member of the board of the Society for Applied Anthropology, and a member of the editorial board for the UK journal, Anthropology in Action.

    Honors and Awards:

    Fulbright Scholar, 1968-70

    Foreign Area Fellow, 1970-72

    Ford-Rockefeller Fellow, 1977-78

    GSPIA Teaching Award (University of Pittsburgh), 1994-95

    Simon Award for Internationalization (to Purdue University), NAFSA, 2006

    Timothy J. Rutenber Award for service to international education, AIEA, 2011

    Purdue Anthropology Department Teaching Award 2012

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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