News and Events

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Stay up to date on department events, student achievements, and anthropological information!

Congratulations Graduating Students!

After the Practicum Forum presentations, the graduating Master's students got together to cut their cake! (Risa Sakai, Trish Tobbe, Lyndsey Pender, Evan Wilson, and Hamda Khan)

Graduating students cut their cake

Graduating Students Present Their Practicum Work

We had a total of five Master's candidates present their practicum work on Friday April 28th.

Hamda Khan at Practicum Forum


Hamda Khan presented her work on evaluating Church Life health care practices.



Evan Wilson at Practicum Forum

Evan Wilson presented his work on the history and oral history of environmentally focused social movements in Memphis, TN.


Lyndsey Pender at Practicum Forum 

Lyndsey Pender presented her work on senior care.


Trish Tobbe at Practicum Forum


 Trish Tobbe presented her work on historic preservation in Colorado.


UofM Undergraduate Poster Presentation at NCUR

 Anna Church at NCUR

University of Memphis Undergraduate student Anna Church presented her work about breastfeeding at the NCUR conference hosted by The University of Memphis.

Anna Church at NCUR

New Crowdfunding Campaign!

Our crowdfunding campaign to support student travel to the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) meetings opens this Monday, March 13 with an April 5 deadline. We hope to raise $5000 through the University's MomentUM site. Will you make a tax deductible gift? Any amount helps us reach our goal. To donate online go to and look for "Anthropology Graduate Students on a Professional Trail" - or find our campaign directly at:

We can also accept checks made out to the University of Memphis Foundation – be sure you specify "Anthropology Graduate Students on a Professional Trail". Mail your check to: ANTH Campaign, 316 Manning Hall, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152. 


Announcing a New Graduate Fellowship Opportunity!

ServiceMaster FellowshipWe are pleased to announce that the Department of Anthropology has teamed up with ServiceMaster to produce a new Graduate Fellowship! This position will be available for graduate students in the Fall of 2017 who are interested in business anthropology and customer experience. The Fellow will work 20 hours a week throughout the Academic Year in a research role within The Experience Team and within the ServiceMaster IT department. This Fellowship covers full tuition as well as a $10,000 stipend.

To apply: Submit your application for MA study to the Department of Anthropology plus
(1) a separate letter of intent specifying why you are interested in gaining experience in
a corporate environment like ServiceMaster, (2) a writing sample showcasing your
research capabilities, and (3) a resume

Please contact Dr. Keri Brondo at for questions.

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction to lecture at the University of Memphis

Ibram Kendi will be giving a lecture about his book Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.  Kendi's long, sharp narrative stabs through the fabric of American history, forcing its readers to confront how racist ideas have enforced racial inequalities. Yet Kendi sings notes of hope, too – only by confronting the past can we envision a better future.  This event is free and open to the public with convenient and affordable parking in the Zach Curlin Garage.Ibram Kendi Talk

When: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Location: University Center Theater, University of Memphis
Time: 5:30 PM reception; 6:00 PM lecture

Dr. Keri Brondo receives 2016 AAA's President Award

Congratulations to Dr. Keri Brondo on receiving the 2016 American Anthropological Association's President Award. Alisse Waterston described Dr. Brondo as "a gracious and powerful leader, taking on challenges with grace and intelligence and bringing people together even in the most difficult of circumstances." Dr. Brondo will receive her award at the annual meeting this November. 

Risako Sakai earns CAS Travel Grant Risa congrats

Congratulations to second year student Risa Sakai who earned the College of Arts and Sciences Travel Enrichment Award to attend the Society for Applied Anthropology meeting in March of 2017. Risa will be presenting on her practicum research on environmental conservation in the South Pacific.

New Book by Dr. Keri BrondoBrondo Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology: Contemporary, Public, and Critical Readings (Oxford University Press, 2016) helps students think anthropologically by introducing core concepts through engaging case studies. The majority of selections are contemporary pieces from public, critical, and applied anthropology. These timely readings will generate discussion among students regarding the value of an anthropological perspective in the modern world. While the selections represent a range of geographic and cultural areas, the book includes a high number of U.S.-based fieldwork examples so that students are inspired to think anthropologically "in their own backyards." Several case studies offer examples of anthropology in action, and special features throughout the text profile anthropological application through news stories ("In the News") and interviews ("Anthropology in Practice").


New Book by Dr. Chris Barton Historical Racialized Toys book cover

Historical Racialized Toys in the United States (Routledge, 2016)by Dr. Barton and co-author Kyle Somerville has just been released for publication. According to the official description, "This book explores the history of children's toys and games bearing racial stereotypes, and the role these objects played in the creation and maintenance of structures of racialism and racism in the United States, from approximately 1865 to the 1930s. This time period is one in which the creation of structures of childhood and children's socialization into race was fostered. Additionally, commodities, like toys, were didactic and disciplinary media in the creation, modification and reproduction of Victorian society."

Alum Update: Virginia McKay

Former U of M Applied Anthropology student Virginia (Ginger) McKay has been awarded her PhD in Health Promotion and Health Behavior from Oregon State University. Her dissertation focused on HIV prevention strategies and agent-based modeling techniques. Dr. McKay will soon be moving onto a post doc position at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Colleen McCartney for winning the Emerging Museum Professional of the Year award!

Colleen McCartney is M.A. Candidate in Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies as well as a Graduate Assistant at the C.H. Nash Museum. The Emerging Museum Professional of the Year award for the Tennessee Association of Museums is a new award that "recognizes exceptional promise and potential for emerging professionals in the museum field" for having "demonstrated excellence and leadership in museum activities as his/her institution, as well as for the museum profession as a whole." The award is restricted to individuals working in the field for five years or less. This new award is a particular honor given Ms. McCartney is still working towards her degree.

Dr. Keri Vacanti Brondo and her team members on receive a Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC) fellowship

The Center for Collaborative Conservation at Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University awarded Dr. Brondo and her research team a fellowship grant in support of their on-going community-based research in Honduras. Dr. Suzanne Kent from CSU and Dr. Arlene Hill from the Earth Science Dept. at the U of M are also members of the team, one of only two teams to receive CCC fellowship funding this cycle.

Ever wonder what anthropology alums do after they graduate? Click here to find out!


Perspective MA Students! Don't miss out on an excellent fellowship opportunity with the Memphis Department of Anthropology and ALSAC/St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital!

Now accepting application for Spring 2016, the business and design ethnography fellowship is a great way to receive core training in ethnographic methods and for applying one's skills in a business environment! 

Apply today! Click here to see additional application information. 

Announcing the ALSAC/St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Business and Design Ethnography Fellowship

We are please to announce a new fellowship program for prospective MA students in applied anthropology at the University of Memphis seeking to work in customer experience and business anthropology. The ALSAC/St. Jude fellow will receive full tuition reimbursement and a stipend. 

Please see the flyer for additional information, or email Dr. Keri Brondo


The U of M Department of Anthropology is proud to sponsor the 14th annual environmental justice conference, in partnership with the Sierra Club.

Keynote speakers at this year's conference include Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Sierra Club national President Aaron Mair. Parking and lunch are free, and the conference is open to all members of the Memphis community. For a full list of workshops and speakers, and to register, please visit the conference website:

Graduate Students Participate in #2015Encuentro hosted by the Student/Farmworker Alliance                                                                                                               Student/Farmworker Alliance

"80 students and young people converge in Immokalee for #2015Encuentro, 15+ actions in the works for upcoming 'Schooling Wendy's' National Week of Action"

Click Here for more information about the events and to check out the beautiful photos     

New Publication by Dr. Keri Vacanti Brondo in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism Keri Brondo

Titled: The spectacle of saving: conservation voluntourism and the new neoliberal economy on Utila, Honduras. "Drawing on ethnographic research on Utila, Honduras, this paper suggests that conservation volunteerism suffers from 'fictitious conservation', surrounded by 'spectacle'".

Click here to view the full abstract

rconnollyThe 2015 SEAC Public Outreach Grant was awarded to Dr. Robert P. Connolly

Of the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa, University of Memphis, Robert Connolly received the award for a tourism-focused project entitled "Promoting Prehistoric Sites Along the Mississippi River in the Southeast US."

American Anthropological AssociationDr. Kathryn Hicks and Dr. Keri Brondo recent contributions to Anthropology and Environment Society 

The Anthropology and Environment Society's blog, ENGAGEMENT, recent post is titled  University of Memphis and the Sierra Club Team up to Promote Education, Advocacy & Activism at Grassroots Environmental Conference has contributions by Dr. Kathryn Hicks and Dr. Keri Brondo 

anthropologizingThe dynamic blog Anthropologizing provides interviews with anthropologists outside of University settings. 

The blog houses interview transcripts of several University of Memphis Alumni, including Christin Reeder, Amy Schaftlein, Jesse Smith, Mia Madison, Susanne Salehi, Allison Hennie, Harmoney Farner and Stacey Burgin.

Recent Past News and Events sponsored by the Department of Anthropology

Partners in health engageMaster's candidates organize screening and panel discussion of "Beyond Babyland" documentary

Master's candidates and Partners in Health | Engage Memphis group members Jenessa Gebers, Taylor Arnold, Daryl Stephens, Leslie Salama, Caleb Klipowicz, and Alicia Clark partnered with students from other departments and anthropology faculty members Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman and Dr. Kathryn Hicks to organize the public event that explores the high infant mortality rates in Memphis. The panel includes anthropology faculty, alumni, and local medical professionals involved in maternal and child health. The event was held on Saturday, March 21st.

chucalissa 17th relic runChucalissa Relic Run 5k 

For the 17th consecutive year, the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa will host its Relic Run 5K on Saturday, March 7 2015! 

Interested in volunteering? Contact Nur Abdalla @

Freedom Tour 2015The Anthropology Club is participating in supporting and organizing the Freedom Tour: Standing together for Higher Wages and Justice for All. 

Event will take place February 26th, at 6:00pm in UC Ballroom.



American Anthropological Association logoNational Anthropology Day is Thursday, February 19th, 2015!

"The American Anthropological Association is celebrating anthropology and anthropologists across the world through the declaration of National Anthropology Day"


Robert ConnollyDr. Robert Connolly Co-Publishes article in Interpreting African American History and Culture

The full article is titled Making African American History Relevant Through Co-Creation and Community Service Learning 


Steve PayneMasters Candidate Steve Payne published in Jacobin Magazine

Steve's article covers the recent lockout at Kellogg's Tennessee cereal factory and the workers' response to this tactic.

Stan HylandDr. Stanley Hyland inducted into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship

Dr. Hyland was nominated and elected by his peers because of his excellence in collaboration with communities and the university, while addressing critical issues of mutual benefit.

Keri BrondoDr. Keri Brondo elected to the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association

Dr. Brondo was elected by her peers for this important service role.

Kathryn HicksDr. Kathryn Hicks promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor

See her publication in the latest issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

Taylor ArnoldTaylor Arnold completes internship with the National Farm Medicine Center

With Ivanna Pereyra of Salisbury University, he spent eight weeks in Marshfield, Wis., working on Seguridad en las Lecherias, testing culturally appropriate occupational safety and health training for immigrant dairy workers.

Micah TrappDr. Micah Trapp receives Learn and Serve Grant

Dr. Trapp will use the grant to involves students in her Food, Culture and Power course in research with the Memphis and Shelby County Food Advisory Council.