News and Events

Department of Anthropology faculty and students are actively engaged in news-making research, writing, and public engagement. We are delighted to post information on such activities as they occur.


The Department of Anthropology also maintains a busy schedule of public lectures, interdisciplinary seminars, faculty-student workshops, and professional training events for our advanced graduate students. Many of these events are online these days due to the pandemic, but we anticipate a return to in-person events in the near future.


Below is a partial list of regularly occuring events as well as special events coming up this semester -- as well as links to archived events of interest from previous years.



UVA Anthropologists in the News

UVA Anthropology Department Welcomes First Cohort of Bridge Program Doctoral Fellows

The Department of Anthropology is happy to introduce its first Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows: Tia Folgheraiter and Unitha Cherry.

The Bridge to the Doctorate Program is an initiative from the Graduate School or Arts and Sciences at UVA. It was developed out of a deep commitment to diversifying UVA’s graduate programs, the professoriate and the research workforce. It seeks to support post-baccalaureate students from groups that are underrepresented in their disciplines and who have not had sufficient training and research experiences to prepare them for admission to doctoral programs.

The Program provides two full years of fellowship support for students to enroll in a combination of courses, supervised research, and UVA’s intensive graduate student professional development curriculum known as “PhD Plus.” Throughout the entirety of the Program, fellows work in close collaboration with a faculty mentor. Tia’s mentor is Dr. Kasey Jernigan and Unitha’s mentor is Dr. Sylvia Tidey.

Tia Folgheraiter is a Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow and is currently enrolled in the Anthropology master’s program at UVA. She graduated with Honors from Dartmouth College where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and majored in Native American Studies and minored in Environmental Studies. Her senior thesis, Visual Sovereignty and the Contemporary Resistance of Colonial Ecocide in the Navajo Nation, examined the concept of visual sovereignty and how contemporary Indigenous art serves as an allegory to resist environmental degradation from natural resource extraction (coal, oil, and uranium) in the Navajo Nation, with the ability to uphold and assert greater claims to political sovereignty. She has held a range of internships at the Hood Museum of Art, Smithsonian's Nation Museum of the American Indian (Washington D.C.), and Diné Policy Institute. 

Tia is Diné and grew up in the rural town of Tuba City, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. As a Bridge fellow at UVA, she continues to expand her research interests of Native American art and (mis)representation, visual sovereignty, Indigenous futurisms, tribal energy industries, and federal Indian law. She is committed to Indigenous research methodologies that empower Indigenous communities by centering Indigenous perspectives, voices, and traditional knowledge.  

Unitha ‘Che’ Cherry is a Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow at UVA. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology with a minor in Biology from the University of Richmond. Over the course of her studies, Unitha became particularly interested in biopolitics and the feminine body, especially in connection to abortion. She completed three Summer Research Fellowships; worked as a research assistant on a project that aimed to document how the state, identified through the FBI, creates and documents race through “wanted” posters; and was scheduled to give a paper on the analysis of how the state manifests itself in the feminine body during pregnancy and abortion attempts at the Spring 2020 Johns Hopkins Macksey Symposium.  

Unitha was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. This is the first time she has ever moved to a new place, although she did spend a Summer in Santiago, Chile. She is an excellent challah baker (ask her for some!) and on and off practitioner of yoga. Her goals for her time at UVA are to complete an MA Degree in Anthropology, with a specific focus on Medical Anthropology. She will also be looking at the current tension between laws that prohibit safe abortions and the social services that surround the populations especially impacted by these laws.

UVA Anthropology Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hantman receives Jane Moore Essay Award for paper on Anthropology and Social Sciences at UVA

Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hantman has received the Jane Moore Essay Award for 2018-2019 from the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society for his publication ‘Eugenicists, Sentimentalists, Activists: Social Theory at the University of Virginia, 1926–1960’ (Magazine of Albemarle Charlottesville History 76-77:71-100).  His paper explores the history of Anthropology and the social sciences at UVA with emphasis on the anti-eugenics and anti-segregation efforts of Professors Floyd Nelson House and Eric Wolf.

You can read Professor Hantman's essay here.

UVA PhD, Rose Wellman, Gives Cynthia Irwin-Williams Lecture at Eastern New Mexico University

Dr. Rose Wellman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Michigan-Dearborn, will be the guest speaker for the ENMU Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology's 2021 Cynthia Irwin-Williams Lectureship.  Dr. Wellman will speak on "Confronting Islamophobia through Ethnography".  She will begin by addressing the problem of Islamophobia as a form of anti-Muslim racism and then examine how an ethnography of everyday life and state power can lead us beyond the headlines to a better understanding of people's ordinary aspirations and lived experiences in our globalized world. 

Dr. Wellman's lecture will be presented online via Zoom at 5:00 p.m. MST on Thursday, March 4 and is free and open to the public.  The link to the online presentation is:  (Meeting ID 958 7622 3404, Passcode 516771)

For more information, call 575.562.2206, email , or visit . 

Click here for a copy of the lecture program.


Dr. Rose Wellman is an anthropologist who specializes in Iran and the Middle East. Between 2007 and 2010, she conducted 15 months of ethnographic research in the Islamic Republic, including 10 months in a small town outside of Shiraz.  The result is her forthcoming book, Feeding Iran: Shi'i Families and the Making of an Islamic Republic. She is also the co-editor with Dr. Todne Thomas and Dr. Asiya Malik of New Directions of Spiritual Kinship: Sacred Ties across the Abrahamic Religions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

Dr. Wellman received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2014, held a postdoctoral research position at Princeton University's Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies between 2014 and 2017, and is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


UVA PhD, David Flood, Publishes Essay in Sapiens

UVa Anthropology PhD David Flood's essay on the scape-goating of anarchism and “antifa” in right-wing media in the wake of the January 6th violence in Washington DC appeared in SAPIENS (22 February 2021):
Anarchists have been an easy scapegoat for violent events in recent months. But anarchism, as a political philosophy, is fundamentally about collective deliberation and responsibility.

UVA Doctoral Student, Nazli Azergun, Interviews Anthropologist/Author Jessa Lingel

Begun by Craig Newmark as an e-mail to some friends about cool events happening around San Francisco, craigslist is now the leading classifieds service on the planet. It is also a throwback to the early internet. The website has barely seen an upgrade since it launched in 1996. There are no banner ads. The company doesn’t profit off your data. An Internet for the People explores how people use craigslist to buy and sell, find work, and find love—and reveals why craigslist is becoming a lonely outpost in an increasingly corporatized web.
Drawing on interviews with craigslist insiders and ordinary users, Jessa Lingel looks at the site’s history and values, showing how it has mostly stayed the same while the web around it has become more commercial and far less open. She examines craigslist’s legal history, describing the company’s courtroom battles over issues of freedom of expression and data privacy, and explains the importance of locality in the social relationships fostered by the site. More than an online garage sale, job board, or dating site, craigslist holds vital lessons for the rest of the web. It is a website that values user privacy over profits, ease of use over slick design, and an ethos of the early web that might just hold the key to a more open, transparent, and democratic internet.

Read the full interview.


Regular Events

The Department of Anthropology maintains a busy schedule of public lectures, interdisciplinary seminars, faculty-student workshops, and professional treaining events for our advanced graduate students. Below is a partial list of regularly occuring events as well as special events coming up this semester.

Anthropology Department Speaker Series & Colloquium

Archaeology Brown Bag

Archaeology Brown Bag Workshops provide an informal, interdisciplinary venue for presentations of work in progress by faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars, and discussion of developments in recent archaeological literature.

Workshops convene four to five times per semester, on Fridays from 4:00-5:15 in the Brooks Hall Conference Room (2nd floor) unless otherwise noted.  

Want to volunteer a talk or discussion topic? Email Adria LaViolette or Fraser Neiman.

For the archive of past Brown Bag Workshops, click HERE.

Linguistic Anthropology Seminar

Multimodal Interaction Lab

Special Events

Anthropology Graduation Ceremony -- Spring 2021

Department of Anthropology Spring 2021 Graduation CeremonyCongratulations to our 2021 Graduating Class!!!

Click here to view the recording of our virtual graduation ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of undergraduates completing their Anthropology major, graduate students receiving their MA Degree in Anthropology, and the zoom-hooding of students completing their doctorate in Anthropology.

University of Virginia's Department of Anthropology to Host International Conference

The Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA) will hold its SALSA XIII Biennial Conference virtually from June 21-June 25 and June 28-July 2, 2021, with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, as the host institution.
UVa Anthropology professor George Mentore will serve as Conference Organizer.


For more information see the Conference Website or the homepage of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America.

Speaker Series: New Ethnographies of the Middle East and North Africa

This Spring the Department of Anthropology is co-sponsoring (with the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures) a series of virtual talks by authors of recent ethnographic monographs of the Middle East and North Africa. Organized by MESALC Global Studies Professor Tessa Farmer, these talks are scheduled for five Tuesdays (and one Thursday!) this Spring, beginning March 16th. All talks are virtual, scheduled for 2:00-3:15pm, and open to the public. Zoom links will be provided. The following speakers and topics are scheduled:

Tuesday, March 16

  • Gökçe Günel, "Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi"

Tuesday, March 23

  • Maria Frederika Malmström, "The Streets Are Talking to Me: Affective Fragments in Sisi's Egypt"

Tuesday, March 30

  • Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, "Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine"

Thursday, April 1

  • Zainab Saleh, "Return to Ruin: Iraqi Narratives of Exile and Nostalgia"

Tuesday, April 20

  • Joanne Randa Nucho, "Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon: Infrastructures, Public Services, and Power"

Tuesday, April 27

  • Abdelmajid Hannoum, "Living Tangier: Migration, Race, and Illegality in a Moroccan City"

Graduate Student Third Year Symposium

Each year the Department of Anthropology invites its third-year graduate students to present their proposed dissertation research project ideas to the faculty and Charlottesville community. This year's symposium will take place on Friday, February 26th, from 1:00-3:00pm, via zoom, and will feature the following speakers:

Richard Deang

Pandemic Utopias: Queer Friendships and Shared Futures in Manila and San Francisco

Jennifer Saunders

Persistent Materialities and Negotiated Histories:
Activating the Past at St. Emma Military Academy and St. Francis de Sales in Powhatan, Virginia

Miao Jiang

Englishes in a globalized Tibet (the plural is intentional)

Eniola Afolayan

Temporalizing Power: The Co-Construction of Religious Communities in A Nigerian Heritage Site