McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Anthropology

Department of Anthropology

Research and Scholarship

Research

Anthropological Research at UC

Our departmental faculty and students are at the cutting edge of research in anthropology and here on campus at UC. In addition to the traditional subdisciplinary research foci that ground our theoretical and methodological training, our department is unique in that it centers the strengths of three traditional subfields around core research themes and problems: Bioevolutionary Approaches to Health, Ecosystem Dynamics, and Forms of Social Inequality. Below you will find information on these themes, facilities, faculty, and their curent projects. As you will notice many of our faculty, regardless of subdiscipline, work across these themes and often with faculty from outside our own discipline. Click here for more information on individual faculty's most recent research activities or click here for our faculty pages. If you are interested in studying Anthropology at UC, feel free to contact a faculty member or our respective curriculum directors. 

Bioevolutionary Approaches to Health

The research concentration is premised on the view that modern human health is contingent on the heritable past. Research in this area engages state-of-the-art laboratory methods in genomics alongside qualitative, cognitive, and ethnographic field research methods to understand the determinants and meanings of disease and wellness in complex biological and social contexts. Thematically, our research focuses on the emergence of the human lineage, its diversification across varied and dynamic environments, as well as the epidemiology, social ecology, and lived experiences of disease and affliction. Given the interdisciplinary relevance of this research, our faculty actively collaborate with internationally renowned faculty in the College of Medicine, College of Engineering and Applied Science, and other faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Research Themes

Human evolutionary ecology; human genotypic and phenotypic variation; clinical anthropology; molecular anthropology and population genetics

Facilities

Center for Genome Information;  Molecular & Computational Human-variation Analysis Laboratory

Key Faculty and Projects

  • Dr. Jacobson
  • Dr. Koster
  • Dr. Norton

Ecosystem Dynamics

This research concentration focuses on the investigation of ancient and contemporary human interactions with the environment and their impacts, particularly as they affect the sustainability of societies and ecosystems. By drawing on the robust interdisciplinary framework created by the combination of environmental archaeology, geoarchaeology, ethnoecology, stable isotope biogeochemistry, geospatial informatics, and political ecology, research in this area explores how societies and ecosystems are mutually transformed. These approaches enable the study of how humans manipulate landscapes, react to climate change, and respond to shifting political economies as they adapt to the anthropogenic worlds they create and inhabit. Faculty research in this concentration colloborate with a range of scholars on campus, such as in DAAP, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Environmental Studies faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Research Themes 

Anthropogenic paleoecology; complex societies; conservation/community ecology; environmental/economic archaeology; origins, dispersals, and impacts of agriculture; foraging theory; niche theory and common-pool resource theory; political ecology; sustainability and adaptation

Facilities

Mediterranean Ecosystem Dynamics and Archaeology Laboratory; Court Archaeological Research Facility; Mesoamerican Archaeology Laboratory; Ohio Valley Archaeology Laboratory; Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory; Southwest Archaeology Laboratory; Ethnography Lab

Key Faculty and Projects:

  • Dr. Allen
  • Dr. Crowley
  • Dr. Koster
  • Dr. Murphy
  • Dr. Scarborough
  • Dr. Sullivan
  • Dr. Tankersley

Forms of Social Inequality

Faculty research in this concentration examines how global processes not only impact cultural forms and practices but also intensify and create new social stratifications. Drawing on archaeological, historical, ethnographic, demographic, and cross-cultural perspectives, faculty research in this area investigates how societies adapt to and manage change, including how the intensification of social differences complicates access to resources, creates new markets, concentrates power, and accelerates ethnic, racial, and class disparities. Faculty in this area of concentration are highly interdisciplinary, working with scholars from DAAP, College of Medicine, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and are actively engaged in bringing anthropological knowledge and expertise into public and applied settings.  

Research Themes

Anthropology of expertise; applied anthropology; critical approaches to identity, race, and ethnicity; demography; economic anthropology; ethnographic fieldwork; ethnohistoric/historic studies; international migration; globalization and development; governance; material culture studies; medical, interpretive, and psychological anthropology; visual anthropology

Facilities

Ethnography Lab; Mediterranea Ecosyste Dynamics and Archaeology Laboratory

Key Faculty and Projects

  • Dr. Allen
  • Dr. Jackson
  • Dr. Jacobson
  • Dr. Murphy
  • Dr. Rodriguez
  • Dr. Sadre-Orafai
  • Dr. Scarborough