Franz Boas founded Columbia University's Department of Anthropology on the eve of the 20th Century making it the first PhD Program in the United States. Originally founded on the concept of the “four field approach” to the study of human culture and society, the department now focuses its undergraduate and graduate programs on Sociocultural Anthropology and Archaeology. However, the Department continues the Boasian tradition of extended ethnographic research, critical theoretical approaches to contemporary global problems, and language sensitive and historically informed analysis. Faculty research interests span the range of the domains most critical to contempory anthropology, including continental philosophy, law, political anthropology, semiotics and post- semiotics, ecology and ecocriticsm, science and technology studies, critical native studies, aesthetics, affect theory, media (including film, photography, and sound recording), and new media.

The Department congratulates its graduating PhDs—Heather Atherton, Yogesh Chandrani, Krista Hegburg, Thushara Hewage, Etsko Kasai, Yixin Li, Jun Mizukawa, Anand Taneja, and Darryl Wilkinson

The Columbia and Barnard Departments of Anthropology join countless others to express our sadness about the news that Professor George Bond, the William F. Russell Professor of Anthropology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, passed away on Sunday, May 4, 2014, after a long struggle with cancer. He was active as a researcher and teacher of anthropology to the very end, and Columbia University is fortunate in having had him as a member of its community of anthropologists since 1968.