The Department of Anthropology Fully Endorses the University’s Diversity Statement

“Boston University’s founders opened its doors to all students without regard to religion, race, or gender. Building and sustaining a vibrant community of scholars, students, and staff remains essential to our mission of contributing to, and preparing students to thrive in, an increasingly interconnected world.

We strive to create environments for learning, working, and living that are enriched by racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. We seek to cultivate an atmosphere of respect for individual differences in life experience, sexual orientation, and religious belief, and we aspire to be free of intellectual parochialism, barriers to access, and ethnocentrism.

Success in a competitive, global milieu depends upon our ongoing commitment to welcome and engage the wisdom, creativity, and aspirations of all peoples. The excellence we seek emerges from the contributions and talents of every member of the Boston University community.”

Diversity & Inclusion events: 

Diversity & Inclusion resources: 

Safety & Ethics Reporting: 

Anthropology Department Diversity & Inclusion Goals

  • To collaborate with CAS Diversity & Inclusion to develop inclusive classrooms and a welcoming academic environment
  • To transform the academic pipeline by attracting and retaining graduate students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in our discipline
  • To hire, retain and promote faculty who reflect the embodied diversity found in our classrooms and the epistemological diversity that comes from serious engagement with a complex and changing world

Department Initiatives to foster Diversity & Inclusion include multiple Emerging Scholars Events.

As noted on BU D&I’s website: “The Emerging Scholars Program, supports individuals or groups of emerging scholars from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, through various means—single-day symposia, multiple-day mini-conferences, multiple-day visits, etc. This program is meant to host scholars who are not yet formally on the job market, are in postdoctoral fellowships, or, in rare cases, are in assistant professorships.”

  • Indigenous Archaeology & Community Engaged Research in the Americas (Fall 2019 and Fall 2020)
  • Migration Matters: Ethnicity, Race, Labor, and Politics Across Borders (Spring 2021)
  • Historical Archaeology of the African Diaspora in the Americas (Spring 2021)
  • Addressing Systemic Racism in Health and Medicine (Fall 2021)
  • Race and Racism in Anthropological Genetics and Genomics (Spring 2022)

These initiatives have resulted in two departmental positions. Wade Campbell joined the Department of Anthropology as an Assistant Professor in the Spring of 2022, becoming BU’s first Native American member of the faculty.  Andreana Cunningham joined the Department of Anthropology in Fall 2023 as an Assistant Professor of Historical Archaeology of the African American Diaspora.

Department of Anthropology Anti-racism Statement

The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing violence against Black, Asian, Indigenous, and Latinx communities in the US spurred our department, like many other institutions, to become more vocal about what we have always believed.  As a department, we stand in solidarity against racial injustice, inequality, and white supremacy on our campus, in our wider communities, and in the nation.

Our discipline had an early history of supporting white supremacist views, whether by intention or through lack of imagination. But over the last 70 years, many anthropologists have led the fight against racism and ethnocentrism. As a department, we seek to embrace and advance this latter history, identifying and unpacking the ideologies and processes that have sustained systemic inequality and racism. As a faculty, we seek to teach, research, and write in ways that support the creation of strong, multiply diverse communities in our department, the university, and the wider Boston area.

We also would like to acknowledge the debt our Department—and the wider University—owe to the native communities on whose traditional lands we study and teach.  Boston University stands on the historic lands of The Wampanoag and The Massachusett People.  In our classrooms, we strive to teach and learn not only about the violent history of how we came to reside on this land, but also about the vibrant native communities who still call eastern Massachusetts home, including the Mashpee Wampanoag and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).  We also acknowledge that this statement is just the beginning of a sincere attempt to come to terms with our role in the historic and on-going domination and dispossession of indigenous peoples.

Department of Anthropology Courses that Address Issues of Race/Ethnicity/Gender/Sexuality

Most if not all of our courses address issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in different geographical and thematic contexts. The following list is a limited subset of our courses.  It is designed to help undergraduates interested in social justice issues around gender, sexuality, and racism find courses that speak to their interests.

Understanding Gender and Sexuality

  • CAS AN/WS 233 Human Variation
  • CAS AN 260 Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective
  • CAS AN/WS 263 Behavioral Biology of Women
  • CAS AN 290 Children and Culture
  • CAS AN 302 Anthropology of Gender and New Medical Technologies
  • CAS AN 318 Southeast Asia Tradition and Modernity
  • CAS AN 320 Women in the Muslim World
  • CAS AN 331 Human Origins
  • CAS AN 351 Language, Culture & Society
  • CAS AN/WS 530 Global Intimacies: Sex, Gender & Contemporary Sexualities
  • CAS AN 551 Anthropology and Human Heredity
  • CAS AN 558 Human Sex Differences

Unpacking Race and Ethnicity

  • CAS AN 210 Introduction to Medical Anthropology
  • CAS AN/WS 233 Human Variation
  • CAS AN 252 Ethnicity and Identity
  • CAS AN/BI 333 Human Population Genetics
  • CAS AN 351 Language, Culture & Society
  • CAS AN/AR 369 Indigenous Archaeology
  • CAS AN 551 Anthropology and Human Heredity
  • CAS AN 594 Racial Formations in the Global South [special topics course Spring 2023]