News and Events


MAY 2021

Special congratulations to the Department’s May graduates! We wish you all the best as you embark on your next adventure!

MARCH 2021

Congratulations to Associate Professor Dr. Leila Rodriguez, who has been awarded the 2021 Ethics in Action Award for her concerted efforts to draw attention to the marginalization of non-western anthropologies / anthropologists in anthropology in North America and western Europe through her teaching, service, and research.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Dr. Brooke Crowley and her colleagues, who have been awarded an NSF grant for their project, “Collaborative research: integrative ecological perspectives on Extinction processes – a multiproxy case study of Hispaniolan subfossil and extant rodents.” We look forward to following this interesting new research!

Dr. Leila Rodriguez has been elected Assistant Director of The Cincinnati Project

Anthropology students and faculty are excited for future opportunities to participate in community-engaged research right here in Cincinnati!

Dr. Kenneth B. Tankersley’s research on zeolite water purification at Tikal, Guatemala has been recognized as one of the top 100 articles in Nature Reports for 2020. He was also invited in February to share this research at the prestigious Fermilab in Chicago.


Dr. Stephanie Sadre-Orafai has won an Editorial Assistance Award from The Graduate School at UC to afford a student the opportunity to work with her to further her successful transformation of AAA’s Visual Anthropology Review. Check out the transformation at:


CONGRATULATIONS to the Department’s December graduates! We wish you all the best as you move onto new opportunities!


CONGRATULATIONS to all summer graduates! 


Congratulations to our dear colleague, Distinguished Research Professor and Charles Phelps Taft Professor Dr. Vernon L. Scaborough on the occasion of his retirement from UC after thirty years! We will miss Vern dearly in the department, and wish him the best in Santa Fe!

UC archaeologist Kenneth Barnett Tankersley will serve as curator of the new Mariemont Native American Cultural Center.

UC cultural anthropologist Leila Rodriguez took part in UC’s outreach efforts to offer online Spanish-language courses for students in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. 

UC archaeologist Alan Sullivan is challenging the idea that prehistoric people in the Southwest subsisted on maize. Instead, his research suggests they set ground fires to promote wild foods.

Department Highlights

Catch up with the UC Department of Anthropology! Read our 2016-17 UC Anthro Department Highlights for news about faculty, department events, and our recent alumni


Displacements: Viewing Party + Book Sprint

Thursday, April 19, 9am-5pm + Friday, April 20, 10am-2pm

Ethno Lab, 440 Braunstein Hall, University of Cincinnati

The UC Department of Anthropology will stream the Society for Cultural Anthropology's biennial meeting and make a limited edition 32-page zine on the conference theme, in collaboration with Critical Visions + Special Collections Press.

See presentations from 46 countries, respond in real time, and make work based on the feed or your own research and experiences.

Bring fieldnotes, photographs, and other materials you want to use. We will print and bind 50 copies of the zine and post the PDF online to share! Everyone is welcome!

Register for the SCA meeting here:

Follow along with us on Twitter @BearcatAnthro and use #displace18

Social Innovation, Social Justice: Rethinking Design Anthropology Flyer

Social Innovation, Social Justice: Rethinking Design Anthropology

University of Cincinnati, March 29-30, 2018

A two-day symposium featuring lectures and workshops that explore how design, anthropology, engineering, and other social science and arts-based disciplines can be brought together to promote social innovation and social justice.

  • Elizabeth Chin- ArtCenter College of Design
  • April De Simone- Designing the WE
  • Danya Glabau- Implosion Labs
  • Todd Nicewonger- Virginia Tech
  • Lara Penin- Parsons School of Design
  • Ashlyn Sparrow- Resilient Games Studio

Free and open to the public

Register here:

Supported by the Office of the Provost, Center for the Enchancement of Teaching and Learning, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, Department of Anthropology, Environmental Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.


UC Department of Anthropology Colloquium on Power and Taft Research Center presents

Empire, Envrionment, and Disease: An Indian Ocean Case Study

Kris Seetah

March 8|4PM

Taft Research Center

Between 1855-59, the island of Mauritius, with landmass of only 2040 km2 produced 10% of the world's sugar: a staggering testimony to the power of imperial influence on ecology. The transformations that this intensification in cane procution resulted in were far reaching. One facet that remains poorly understood is the context of disease, despite a well-developed historic narrative. This paper presents details of a series of malaria epidemics that plagued the island from the 1850s onwards, concentrating on the imperial response to malaria and the contribution of archaeology to a clearer understanding of the historic context of vector borne disease.

The Power of the Collective Flyer

UC Department of Anthropology Colloquium on Power and Taft Research Center presents

The Power of the Collective in Sensory Storytelling

Fiona McDonald

February 22|4PM

Taft Research Center

Collaboration practices and collective actions are powerful because they can fail, they can grow something new, and sometimes they can dismantle perceived barriers. This presentation thinks through collaborative interdiscipilnary methods that focuses on sensory ethnographic work. By looking beyond visual analysis of our material world, Dr. McDonald presents how studies in sound can enhance new knowledge about our shared experiences of water ethics. This presentation addresses the importance of collaborative tactics in applied research methods, and the central role media plays in knowledge dissemination around environmental issues in the futures of visual anthropology in our material world.

With additional support provided by the Elise Seller Zauer Fund for the Fine Arts and the Agnes Croll Blackburn Visiting Artist Lecture Series

JT Roane Poster_1986 Move Bombing Text_Type Variations

Department of Anthropology Colloquium on Power & Taft Research Center presents

I Am Afraid for My Life and My Home: The 1985 MOVE bombing in Joseph Beam's queer transformation

J.T. Roane

January 25|4PM

Taft Research Center

Through the process of renegotiating patriarchy and heteronormativity within the bonds of his own family, Joseph Beam came to a wider condemnation of the normalizing forces of society that sought to regulate and even dissolve people considered dangerous to racist social order. Thus, while he was not an adherent of the doctrines of the Philadelphia organization MOVE and its leader John Africa, Beam's writing in the aftermath of the Philadelphia Police Department's 1985 bombing of the group drew critical parallels between MOVE's state sanctioned annihilation and the dangers he faced as a Black queer subject. In making that cognitive stretch, first in his letters and then in public writing, Beam indicted the normalizing functions of the city bureaucracy including the police for the devastation, at a moment when most mainstream journalists and writers in Philadelphia sided with the city to blame MOVE for their own deaths as well as for the destruction of an entire black neighborhood.


Department of Anthropology Colloquium on Power and Taft Research Center presents

Vanilla for the Ancestors: Land, Power, and Place in Madagascar

Sarah Osterhoudt

November 16|4 PM

Taft Research Center

In Madagascar, agricultural landscapes bring together the past and the present, the political and the personal, and the material and the symbolic. Osterhoudt will discuss the role of local land taboos in negotiating between political, cultural, and historical spheres. She uses a case study of a small stretch of agroforestry land, where community members are debating who should-and who should-not follow ancestral taboos while farming. Overall, she considers how debates over agricultural taboos simultaneously emerge as debates over broader social issues, including those of ownership, history, power, and belonging.

The Empty Lands of the Assyrian Empire Flyer

Department of Anthropology Colloquium on Power & Taft Research Center presents

The Empty Lands of the Assyrian Empire: An Archaeology of Terra Nullius

Melissa Rosenzweig

October 19|4 PM

Taft Research Center

How did polities in the past use the environment for political advantage? This talk examines how Assyrian imperialists (ca. 900-600 BCE) used the perception of empty lands to legitimate their expansion into foreign territories of northern Iraq, southeastern Anatolia, and northwestern Syria (i.e. Upper Mesopotamia). This is a study that combines textual, archaeological, and environmental data in order to address an ancient issue or contemporary concern - the politics of environmental discourse and practice.

Electric Burns Flyer

Electric Burns: Attending the Banal Microphysics of Police Power

Kevin Karpiak

September 28|4 PM

Taft Research Center

The French "banlieue" riots of 2005 were the largest sustained political protest that country had seen since May 1968. Analyses quickly fell upon a key metaphor, "Paris is Burning," that affixed combustive images of fire and darkness to social expectations that relied upon or grouped together indices or powerlesseness. I take issues with such imaginings. Contrary to such metaphors, which couch within them both a narrow theory of power, and tropes of a particular type of movement, I argue that the events themselves resolved around the use of electric implements and their use. Electricity, too, can burn, even if it does so in a different manner.

Presented by the Department of Anthropology Colloquium on Power and the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center