The Department focuses on social and cultural anthropology, with a strong emphasis on understanding emergent processes and systems at a number of scales, including the local, national and transnational level. The Department fosters a critical empiricism that employs a range of ethnographic, historical, and quantitative methods to address questions of subjectivity, political economy, and social inequality. We believe that a theoretically and methodologically engaged anthropology of the contemporary must engage in research at the intersection of the local the global as well as the past and present, coming to grips with the large-scale cultural transformations and the institutions and practices of modernity.
Sixty-three (63) students total received merit-based financial support during academic year 2017-18. Thirty-two (32) students were supported as Teaching Assistants, with appointments of at least one quarter each. Fifty-four (54) held fellowship awards: 30 extramural fellowships; 19 Social Science Fees Fellowship; 2 Social Science Merit Fellowship; 2 Social Science Associate Dean's Fellowship; and 1 internal campus fellowship. Seven (7) students were supported with Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointments of at least one quarter each.
The Department is distinctive in its exclusive emphasis on sociocultural anthropology; its tightly-focused theoretical and methodological training; its wide network of interdisciplinary collaborations; and its emphasis on the study of contemporary issues and modern problems. The PhD program includes a year-long Proseminar sequence in the history of anthropological theory as well as contemporary movements in theory. The Program also emphasizes rigorous training in a range of research methods (including quantitative, qualitative, archival, hermeneutic, and visual/filmic). Faculty have active research programs on five continents and three island regions. The Department has strong research links with and/or faculty associates from the College of Medicine, the Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, the Paul Merage School of Business, and the Schools of Humanities and Social Ecology. PhD students can pursue graduate emphases in Critical Theory, Feminist Studies, Visual Studies, and other interdisciplinary programs. Faculty are actively involved in the Center for Ethnography, a campus-based interdisciplinary initiative for methodological innovation and theoretical reflection on the discipline?s core methods. Faculty are also actively involved in a number of other campus-based centers, including the Center for Asian Studies, the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, the Critical Theory Institute, the Center in Law, Society and Culture, and the Center for Research on Latinos in a Global Society. Based on a commitment to detailed ethnographic research grounded in rigorous theoretical and methodological innovation, the faculty do not merely pursue research on the traditional subjects of anthropological study, but push the boundaries of the field toward new objects and subjects of inquiry and bring anthropological analysis to bear on pressing social issues.