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.


Two Columbia Anthroplogy PhD Candidates have won the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship!

Congratulations to:

Soo-Young Kim: "A Future Continuously Present: Everyday Economics in Athens."

Aarti Sethi: "The Life of Debt in Rural India."



The Anthropology Department congratulates our fantastic

undergraduate 2016 Ella Deloria Award winners!

Carmen Ervin (GS ’17), Will Klassen (CC ’17), Camille Peterson (CC’17), Ayluonne Txai Tereszkiewicz (CC ’17), Kersti Werdal (GS ’17)

Upcoming Faculty Talks and Lectures


Elizabeth Povinelli, April 29: Guest speaker, "The Anthropocene and the Humanities: An Open Conversation." University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rosalind Morris, May 3: Invited lecture, “Terror and the Address of the Image,” Bochum University, Medien Denken Kollokuium, Institut für Medienwissenschaft, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum, Germany.

Paige West, May 4:  “Climate change study as Accumulation by Dispossession”, Stony Brook University, Department of Ecology.

Audra Simpson, May 5-7: Plenarist, “Land, Body: Indigeneity’s Radical Commitments”, Center for 21st Century Studies, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Paige West, May 19: Commencement Speaker, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Claudio Lomnitz, May 23: The Religion of the Knights Templar.  Michel Rolph Trouillot Lecture, University of Chicago.

Claudio Lomnitz, May 24: Mexico: Crisis of the Family, Crisis of the State.  Northwestern University.