Team up with faculty on groundbreaking anthropological research.

The Department of Anthropology was founded in 1935 as part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alaska. The first undergraduate degrees in Anthropology were given in 1959, the first MA degrees in 1968 and the first PhD degrees in 1988. We are the only anthropology program in the United States that maintains a holistic approach to circumpolar studies, providing instruction and research in all aspects of anthropology.


News and Events
  • Mar31

    ANTHROPOLOGY COLLOQUIUM: Residential Mobility, Place of Origin, Causes and Identity in the Northern Maya Lowlands in Prehistoric Times

      3:00 p.m.


    Dr. Andrea Cucina

    Professor of Anthropology

    Facultad de Cienias Antropológicas

    Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, MEXICO

    This presentation focuses on residential mobility, through isotope analyses, in Prehispanic Maya populations in the Northern Maya lowlands during Classic and Postclassic times. Results from nine human collections indicate that, on average, nearly 20% of people may be considered non-local. Though potential places of origins are variable, most were born within the Northern or Central Lowlands; only a few originated from outside of the Lowlands. Migration to the coast largely occurred from inland places, for few coastal dwellers appear to have moved to inland centers. The fact that non-locals were almost equally distributed by sex, and included infants and children indicate that residential mobility was not only related to trading activities, but that a much wider range of reasons served as push factors. Indeed, mortuary contexts suggest non-locals may have been considered community members rather than “outsiders.”

    Funded by CONACYT grant 2017A1-S-10037.



  • Mar24

    Anthropology Colloquium - Çatalhöyük: The Bioarchaeology of an Early Farming Society in Transition

    Larson 1Larson

    Dr. Clark Spencer Larsen;
    Distinguished University Professor;
    Department of Anthropology;
    The Ohio State University;

    The bioarchaeological record of human remains viewed in the context of ecology, subsistence, and living circumstances provides a fundamental resource for interpreting the impact of plant and animal domestication in the late Pleistocene and early/middle Holocene. For Western Asia, Çatalhöyük (7400-600 cal BC) in central Anatolia, presents a comprehensive, contextualized setting for interpreting living conditions in this highly dynamic period of human history.

    Employing demography, biogeochemistry, biomechanics, growth and development, and palaeopathology, this talk focuses on addressing the question:

    What were the implications of farming and agricultural intensification, increasing sedentism, and population growth for health and lifestyle in this early farming community?

    Watch the Replay Here

  • Mar20

    The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and Linguistics Department Present: Mothering through trauma in the protection from abuse interview

      Bunnell 313 or by Zoom

    Please join the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and Linguistics Departments at UAF in welcoming Dr. Shonna Trinch of the Department of Anthropology, CUNY, John Jay College

    Dr. Trinch will present: Mothering through trauma in the protection from abuse interview

    Family violence perpetrated by one intimate-partner against another that involves children becomes an overarching relationship where the rationale and tacit understandings of family- and legal-interviewing break down. Yet, culture’s over-reliance of these categorization and conversation devices to make relationships jive with their socially meaningful referents (i.e., mother, father, child as well as interviewer/interviewee) causes institutional actors to confuse women’s actual agency of moral stance-taking with a broken agency that makes them appear either uncooperative or damaged. The site for this analysis is the legal interview where women seek court orders, known as protection from abuse orders. Using the interviews of five women, I will show data suggesting that when women’s narratives are not replete with the preferred answers paralegals seek to do their work of documenting physical violence, interactional trouble arises. But rather than suggesting the women are deficient in their answers, the data suggest interviewers are missing or refusing to ratify the ways in which women contest and challenge the moral order of family and legal interviewing to make a claim for their own logic or mothering. I will discuss the consequences for women in abusive relationships when institutional actors and lay people alike cannot recognize women’s responses to violence as strategic moves to keep themselves and their children from harm.

    Please contact Dr. Robin Shoaps ( for the Zoom link.