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Recent News

Ruth Behar's new novel reviewed in the Miami Herald

Ruth Behar's new novel, "Lucky Broken Girl" (Penguin), is reviewed in the Miami Herald

Exhibit based on Jason De León's work reviewed in New York Times

“State of Exception/Estado de Excepción,” the exhibition created at the Institute for Humanities, is now on display at the Parsons School of Design.

The Anthropology Department is made up of Four Subfields:   

What does it mean to be human?  Where have we come from?  How do we live and communicate?

What forces have shaped human physiology and social life?  


  • Understanding how we produce goods and power, make kinship and gender, decide what is right and wrong, build and destroy environments -- all in such a variety of ways;

  • Studying language and other forms of communication, such as new media, technology, and the arts;

  • Through archaeological excavations, examining big picture changes in society, culture, and biology over time -- from the deep human past to the fraught realities of lives unfolding today;

  • Investigating the evolution of human and non-human primates through study of adaptation, genetics, behavior, and ecology -- confronting the contours and limits of human uniqueness.


The 2017 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan presents:


The Winter 2017 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures: “A Socialist Peace?  Explaining the Absence of War in an African Country”

This series of four public lectures by Professor Mike McGovern, based on his book manuscript A Socialist Peace? Explaining the Absence of War in an African Country, examines the context and questions of civil conflict, and specifically the avoidance thereof, in the West African nation of Guinea. 

1/20/2017 3:00 p.m. "Understanding and Explaining the Absence of War" in the Rackham Assembly Hall - 4th Floor Rackham Bldg

2/17/2017 3:00 p.m. "Resentment: The Seeds of Violence Sown" in the Rackham Assembly Hall - 4th Floor Rackham Bldg

3/10/2017 3:00 p.m. "Nuvanuita:  Ethnic Cleansing Planned Then Averted" in the Rackham Assembly Hall - 4th Floor Rackham Bldg

3/31/2017 3:00 p.m. "The Afterlife of a Socialist Habitus" in the Michigan Union, Pendleton Room

Mike McGovern is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. A political anthropologist who works in West Africa and Southeast Asia, he uses a variety of sources from kinship idioms to the aesthetics of state-sponsored folklore to try to understand postcolonial states within the arc of longer historical trajectories.