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About Anthropology

Welcome to the Department of Anthropology

Anthropologists use social science, humanities, and natural science theories and methods in the field and in laboratories to study human experience throughout the world, past and present. Our faculty and graduate students strive to understand changes in power and inequality; health inequalities and illness; environmental and social justice; and the construction of community, meaning, and heritage. We challenge over-simplified ideas of human identity and diversity and center the narratives, histories, and material records of those who have been marginalized. Our department teaches and conducts research in cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology with projects located in North America, Mesoamerica, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Founded in 1926, the department was the first anthropology department in the southeast and among the earliest established in the United States. Today the department has 22 faculty with areas of expertise that include applied anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural heritage, development anthropology, ecological anthropology, economic anthropology, and medical anthropology. Another 17 affiliated or adjunct faculty work in a variety of programs and colleges around campus. Currently, the program has approximately 100 undergraduate majors and 50 graduate students.

The department supports our queer students and colleagues and stands against racism.

For the fall of 2024 we are excited to announce the third Bluegrass Annual Discussion on Anthropology and the Social Sciences, organized around the theme of decolonization We have also scheduled anthropology talks for most Friday afternoons at 12:00 p.m. Some of these talks are part of the department's Anthropology Colloquium, others are part of the informal Anthropology Brown Bag series. All of these events are free and open to the public.

Please explore the links above and below to learn more about the department, faculty research, and programs of study. Below you will find contact information for the department, the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology, and the Office of State Archaeology.

"Food Pathways in Ancient and Modern Times" (ANT 350) field trip to Cloudsplitter Rockshelter, Red River Gorge, Menifee County, Kentucky, Spring 2016. (Photo Credit: R. Bonzani)

Departmental Address

Department of Anthropology
211 Lafferty Hall
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0024
Phone: (859)257-2710
FAX: (859)323-1959
Department Chair: Dr. Scott R. Hutson


Museum of Anthropology Address

William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0024
Phone: (859)257-1944
FAX: (859)323-9866
Museum Interim co-Director: Lisa Guerre

Office of State Archaeology Address

Office of State Archaeology
1020A Export St.
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-9854
Phone: (859)257-1944
FAX: (859)323-9866
Primary Contacts: Dr. Philip Mink