Welcome from the Head

We acknowledge Purdue University is located on the traditional homelands of the Woodland People. We honor and appreciate these indigenous caretakers which include the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Lenape (Delaware), Myaamia (Miami), and Shawnee People.

We are filled with anticipation as we approach the beginning of the Fall semester, with commitment to our students and to each other. This academic year is going to be an extraordinary one as we begin with uncertainty around increasing rates of COVID-19 across the country and heightened urgency to address racial justice and white supremacy.

Our experiences with COVID-19, disproportionately felt in Black, Native, Hispanic, and other communities of color and the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others have highlighted attention to the inequities that exist in our communities and at our University. Our BIPOC graduate students wrote a letter to the department over the summer demanding action in our department and in the University. I agree. Black Lives Matter and we have to act and find new and more effective ways to enact substantive change.

As Anthropologists we celebrate diversity yet we acknowledge the need to be reflective about the inequities that exist within our unit and in our discipline. We recognize and call out the ways in which the history of anthropology is tied up with racist and colonialist agendas. We are committed to challenging those legacies and working towards racial and social justice for today, embedding anti-racism into all of our activities.

Our Anthropologies of Tomorrow Strategic Vision Plan for the next five years includes central attention to new and continuing efforts to address the need to decolonize Anthropology and prioritize work to forward anti-racist and anti-white supremacy strategies and curriculum in our department, our classrooms and our University. We are identifying specific concrete priority actions we can take together to advance transparency in decision making, equality, and inclusion within our unit and in the broader community.

Our department will work with others within the College of Liberal Arts and broader University community to increase education about racial injustice. We will push forward the goals of the College Strategic Vision Plan to provide supports for diversity training and other equity efforts, and advocate for cluster-hires to help us further shared goals to increase and retain faculty, students, and staff from underrepresented groups.


Undergrad Callout
Please join us to learn more about an Anthropology major/minor Degree
October 22 | 4:00-5:00 | Virtual Event
Games, Costumes welcome! 

Please join us as we attend the continuing Pursuing Racial Justice Together series

Please click on the above link to choose a session and register, limited space
October 21, 2020 – October 23, 2020 | Choose your session | Virtual Event

DEMOCRACY IN BLACK: A PANEL DISCUSSION with Soledad O’Brien, Charles Blow, Tara Setmayer and Michele Norris.  Please click on the link above to register.
October 27, 2020 | 7:00 pm EDT | Virtual Event

 BRYAN TERRELL CLARK, actor and singer, recently played Washington in Hamilton
November 10, 2020 | 7:00 pm EST | Virtual Event

Virtual Lunch & Learn - Intersections between Environmental Justice & Indigenous Rights, Dr. Laura Zanotti, Professor of Anthropology.
November 11 | 12:00- 1:30 PM | Virtual Event, click on the above link to register.




10/26/2020  Dr. Kali Rubaii was recently interviewed for Voices of the Middle East and North Africa (on KPFA Radio) about her recently published article on the toxic legacy of war in Iraq. You can listen to the entire interview here.

10/23/2020  In a recent article in Frontiers in Political Science, Professor Emeritus Richard Blanton et al consider commonalities in the collapse of the Roman Empire, China's Ming Dynasty, India's Mughal Empire, and the Venetian Republic using Collective Action Theory. These governments "illustrate a moral bond between citizen and leadership that is inherent where there is joint production. Moral failure of the leadership in this social setting brings calamity because the state's lifeblood—its citizen-produced resource-base—is threatened when there is loss of confidence in the state, which brings in its wake social division, strife, flight, and a reduced motivation to comply with tax obligations." The authors were recently interviewed in Phys.Org.

10/21/2020  Recently Dr. Melissa Remis and Dr. Carolyn Jost Robinson (Ph.D. 2012) published an article in the Smithsonian Magazine about their research emphasizing the importance of thinking about the ways in which our lives are bound up with the other species around us, how large mammals have and continue to shape our environment and the need to collaborate with local communities for planning effective conservation policies that take into account local knowledge and lifeways. Click here to read more about their research.

10/16/2020  Dr. Risa Cromer recently published ‘Which Lives Matter? Pro-Life Politics during a Pandemic’ in Medical Anthropology Quarterly’s Critical Issues series focused on the upcoming election. The essay examines what pro-life has come to mean during a pandemic by tracing the racist violence of its rhetoric in American politics.

10/13/2020  Dr. Andrew Flachs is featured in CHE- Center for Culture, History, and Environment. Farmers Living and Dying by Cotton Seeds in India is an excerpt from Dr. Flach's book Cultivating Knowledge, drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with farmers growing genetically modified and organic cotton in Telangana, India.



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