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Department of Anthropology

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell Univeristy Department of Anthropology

Department of Anthropology

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Welcome to Cornell Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology at Cornell offers courses of Undergraduate and Graduate studies in Sociocultural and Biological Anthropology and Archaeology.

Sociocultural anthropology considers the social and cultural circumstances of all cultures, from dominant societies to marginalized groups. Archaeology recovers and interprets material traces of past societies and provides historical perspective on recent cultures. Biological anthropology clarifies aspects of the physical diversity of the human species, explores the human fossil record, and studies closely related primate species in comparison to humans.


Staff & Contacts

Latest News

Message from Department Chair Adam T. Smith

Terence Turner, Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Cornell and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, passed away on November 7.  Terry was a truly eminent anthropologist and one of the most insightful thinkers of his generation.  Known best for his ethnographic and activist work with the Kayapo communities of central Brazil, Terry’s contributions to anthropology were breathtaking in their scope and inspiring in the new vistas that they opened for critical analysis.  His work addressed topics from social organization and kinship, to myth, ritual, and history, from the construction of personhood to the ontology and epistemology of representation, from political organization and mobilization, to values, and inter-ethnicrelations.  Few anthropologists have had more impact on more domains of our discipline than Terry Turner.

This December, Instituto Raoni, a Kayapo community organization with which Terry worked, is to be awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of their outstanding efforts to fight deforestation of the Amazon and its impact on indigenous communities in the rainforest. Their efforts in this fight are one of Terry’s most powerful legacies. 

Our thoughts are with his family, friends,colleagues, and collaborators in Ithaca, Brazil and around the globe.


Faculty Books

Gleach - Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia

Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia
Frederic W. Gleach

Frederic W. Gleach offers the most balanced and complete accounting of the early years of the Jamestown colony to date. When English colonists established their first permanent settlement at Jamestown in 1607, they confronted a powerful and growing Native chiefdom consisting of over thirty tribes under one paramount chief, Powhatan. For the next half-century, a portion of the Middle Atlantic coastal plain became a charged and often violent meeting ground between two very different worlds.