Often people celebrate spring as a moment for new beginnings, but in our University it is fall when the cycle begins anew.  Here at UCSB Anthropology it gives us great pleasure to reconvene and see each other again, to share experiences of research conducted over the summer, and to welcome new students and colleagues to our community.  Hundreds of undergraduate students from all disciplines are getting a glimpse of something new by taking our Introductory courses in our three subfield specializations: sociocultural anthropology; biocultural anthropology and archaeology.  We are thrilled to share our unique perspective with them, one that blends a deep respect for difference and diversity with a theoretically-informed and data-driven effort to identify wider biological, social, cultural and historical patterns. Some of these undergraduate students will join us as majors in our department, along with many transfer students.  We welcome you all!  Ten graduate students from around California, the United States and the world are entering the first year of our MA/PhD program, and they bring their knowledge and experience to enrich our discussions.  Finally, we have the good fortune and honor that a new colleague has chosen to join our Department – Assistant Professor Nicole Thompson-González.  Dr. Thompson-González's cutting-edge research and teaching in primate biology, behavior and health builds on our shared expertise in the Department and contributes across the subfields of our discipline.  It is an exciting time of renewal in our Department, and we invite you to participate.


Solidarity with UC Graduate Students

The Anthropology Department urges the UCSB administration to pressure the University of California Office of the President to bargain with the UAW in good faith and to take the bargaining position of the UC Graduate Student Associations seriously. It is necessary to raise UC’s graduate student employee salary scale, to account for the cost of living in California, and to keep pace with the rate of inflation. We hope to both avoid the disruption caused by an extended strike, to enable UC to better compete with comparison universities around the country for the best graduate students, and thus to achieve its goals of excellence in its teaching and research missions, in which graduate students play a fundamental role. We pledge to stand in solidarity with all members of our Department and University community, including committing to non-retaliation and protecting the identities of those who are actively striking or supporting the strike, and supporting faculty who choose to reject potential administrative directives to replace the labor of the striking graduate students.


Anti-racist Anthropology

We recognize and condemn the persistent racism in the United States, perpetrated against Black Americans and other people of color. The Department of Anthropology commits to the collective effort to build a just and inclusive society in our classrooms, laboratories, field sites, and communities. To see our Action Plan, click here.

Anthropology is the study of the human experience.

What will you discover?


Researchers find evidence of chronic internecine warfare in Peru’s Nasca highlands during the Late Intermittent Period

Global group of scholars calls for more equitable collaboration with local researchers in cross-cultural social science.

Drs. Gurven and Kraft examine the decline in average body temperature among healthy adults over the past two decades