Welcome to the Department of Anthropology!

Anthropology is the integrative study of human beings at all times and in all places. Within this broad field of study, three programs of foundational training form the focus of our department: Archaeology; Human Biology, Ecology, and Evolution; and Sociocultural Anthropology and Ethnography.

We cross cut these specializations with five concentrations to integrate anthropology’s diverse expertise. Our current concentrations focus on: Health, Medicine, and Humanity; Heritage and Unwritten Histories; Global Engagement; Race, Place, and Power; and Food, Environment, and Sustainability.


Department of Anthropology Statement Concerning UNC’s Confederate Monument

Anthropology is a discipline of engagement with social issues that matter. As such, anthropologists are acutely aware of inequality and the way that systems of power marshal words, symbols, and even silences to marginalize and oppress. That’s precisely what has happened for generations on UNC’s campus, where a monument to the Confederacy—and thus a monument to the oppression of African Americans and their earlier exclusion from these halls of higher education—commanded a central place. Standing just outside of Alumni Hall—home to the Department of Anthropology—this towering statue stands as a declaration of white supremacy. For some, it fosters an atmosphere of fear that goes against the University’s emphasis on inclusivity.  A rhetoric that celebrates diversity will always ring hollow when accompanied by a standing embodiment of oppression.

Anthropology is a discipline grounded in careful observation and conversation. As anthropologists, we hear the testimonies of offense and experienced marginalization that pervade our campus and community. We recognize the power of symbols to intimidate, to silence the oppressed, and to empower those who would use fear as a weapon of privilege. Unfortunately, the Confederate monument resonates powerfully in this negative way. There is no place on a university campus for a memorial that uncritically references the institution of slavery.  The university’s commitment to inclusivity demands that we act to insure the safety of all, particularly the brave persons whose daily presence at the monument gives voice to our collective conscience and the need to contextualize the meaning of this Confederate statue. 

A commitment to acknowledging our shared humanity is a foundational tenet of Anthropology. From this tenet, it follows that a monument to divisiveness and racial exclusivity should have no home in McCorkle Place.



Department News


Professor Charles Price hosted as Guest Speaker at DePaul University

February 13, 2018 Anthropology professor Dr. Charles Price was invited to DePaul University by the Center for Religion Culture and Community to give a talk about his work regarding Ethnogenesis and Jamaica’s Rastafari.    

Department Fellowships and Grants

February 12, 2018 Geoffrey Hughes has been selected as one of 24 Dean’s Graduate Fellows for 2018-19. Geoff will receive a one-year $4,000 top-up and a $1,000 summer stipend for his dissertation research. Congratulations to Geoff and thanks to Anna … Continued

Anthropology Professor Florence Babb June Book Release

February 9, 2018 Florence Babb’s book based on her longtime research in Peru, Women’s Place in the Andes: Engaging Decolonial Feminist Anthropology, is in page proofs and will come out in June with University of California Press:  https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520298170  

Professor Dale Hutchinson Receives Choice book Award

January 31, 2018 Professor Dale Hutchinson’s latest book, Disease and Discrimination: Poverty and Pestilence in Colonial Atlantic America, has received a 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award. According to Choice, books that receive this award are selected for their excellence in … Continued

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