Also on this page: Emeritus Faculty |  Retired Faculty |  Associate Members | Adjunct Professors

The Department is built around the study of development and social change; cultural, symbolic, and cognitive processes; medical anthropology, with special reference to cultural aspects of health and illness; and prehistoric archaeology, including palaeotechnology, settlement studies, and palaeoecology. Research and training are grounded in fieldwork and a concern with fundamental social and cultural theories.

Faculty members have ongoing funded research projects which may provide work/funding for graduate students. Please consult individual faculty members for further information.

Department Chair: John Galaty
Undergraduate Program Director: Philip Carl Salzman (Fall 2016 term)
Graduate Program Director: Ismael Vaccaro

Diana Allan

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Anthropology of Palestine and the Middle East; refugees and migration; visual anthropology and ethnographic film; political economy; nationalism; citizenship; anthropology of the sea; fishing; archives; oral history

Gwen Bennett

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Archaeology of China and East Asia, regional survey, landscape archaeology, complex societies, craft production, lithic analysis, identity, museums, present-day use of archaeology, the Silk Road, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Xinjiang and NE China

Colin Chapman


Research Interests: Primate behavioral ecology, evolution of social systems and group size, conservation biology, tropical forest regeneration, freshwater fish ecology, plant phenology and distributions, plant/animal interactions (seed dispersal), Africa, Uganda

Nicole Couture

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Archaeology and ethnohistory, comparative urbanism, gender and archaeology, monumental space, social life of death, material culture, Latin America, Bolivian and Peruvian Andes

John Galaty


Research Interests: Pastoralism, rangeland development, wildlife and community conservation, legal anthropology, property and land tenure, social conflict and violence, ritual and age-organization, psychological anthropology, culture and semiotics, ethnohistory; nationalism, ethnicity and identity; eastern Africa

Sandra Hyde

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Socio-cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, critical public health, anthropology of addiction, ecological activism and health outcomes in China, HIV/AIDS and sex work in China, feminist theory, gender/sexuality studies,  East Asian Studies.

Eduardo Kohn

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Anthropology of life, semiotics, human-animal relations, "nature" and ecological and environmental anthropology, self and personhood, Quichua, Amazonia, Ecuador

Katherine Lemons

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cultural anthropology, anthropology of law, rhetoric and law, anthropology of religion, feminist anthropology; kinship, gender and sexuality; Islam, South Asia

Setrag Manoukian

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Social construction of knowledge, historicity, ethnography of texts, semiotics, critical theory, technology, anthropology and history of Iran, Iran

Ronald Niezen


Research Interests: Political/legal anthropology, Indigenous peoples and human rights, the social study of new media, history of anthropology/social theory, social change in Africa, Africa, Canada

Kristin Norget

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Religion, popular culture, discourse, politics of culture, theorization of ritual and performance, globalization and religion, indigenous and social movements, material culture and aesthetics, ideological and religious syncretisms, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean

Lisa Overholtzer

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Mesoamerican archaeology; Aztec and colonial central Mexico; empire; household archaeology; materiality; chronology and temporality; social identity; postcolonial theory; Indigenous archaeology; ceramics; provenance analyses; ancient DNA.

Philip Carl Salzman


Research Interests: Nomadic and pastoral peoples, "equality" and "freedom"; environmental, economic and political aspects of social change; Iran, India, Italy

James Savelle

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Hunter-gatherers, zooarchaeology, whaling, Arctic

Colin Scott

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Environmental and ecological knowledge, indigenous cosmologies, land and sea tenure, the restructuring of rights, resource management and livelihoods; respect, reciprocity and communication among hunting, fishing and gathering peoples; James Bay Cree, Quebec, Torres Strait

Lisa Stevenson

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Medical and psychological anthropology, narrative and anthropology, violence and subjectivity, social and political theory, ethnographic film, Inuit, Canadian Arctic

Ismael Vaccaro

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Environmental anthropology, political ecology, property theory, landscape analysis, political anthropology/development, conservation policies, Southern Europe, Mexico

Allan Young


Research Interests: Comparative medical systems, anthropology of science, anthropology of psychiatry, Ethiopia


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Emeritus Faculty

Donald Attwood

Research Interests: Political economy and ecology, household enterprises, micro-demography, cooperatives, cash cropping, irrigation, globalization, famines and food supply, human development, gender inequality, family histories as indicators of social change, South Asia

Laurel Bossen

Research Interests: Gender and development in rural China, households and property rights, sex ratio imbalance, transformations in early 20th-century female labour in rural China, China, Central America

Fumiko Ikawa-Smith

Research Interests: Archaeology, the paleolithic, food and nutrition, complex hunter-gatherers, gender in prehistory, social contexts of archaeology, East Asia, Japan

Margaret Lock

Research Interests: Anthropology of postgenomics, anthropology of bioscience technologies, comparative medical systems, life cycle, gender, Japan

Jérôme Rousseau

Research Interests: Social inequality in small-scale middle-range societies, social systems, gender, kinship, age categories, hierarchy, leadership, violence, group identity, Malaysia, Borneo, Canada

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Retired Faculty

Michael Bisson

Research Interests: Archaeology, Middle Paleolithic, Iron Age, experimental archaeology, lithic topology, metallurgical and lithic technology, Central Africa, Europe

Ellen Corin

Research Interests: Psychosis and culture, asceticism in India, alternative and culturally sensitive mental health services, transcultural psychiatry, psychoanalysis and anthropology, India, Africa

Carmen Lambert

Research Interests: Social change, modernization, urbanization, social class and ethnic identity, North American native peoples

Toby Morantz

Research Interests: Ethnohistory, fur trade history, native-white relations, social change, North American native peoples, Subarctic


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Associate Members

Gretchen Bakke

Assistant Professor (non-tenure)

Ph.D University of Chicago, 2007

E. Gabriella Coleman

Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy

Joint Appointment with the Department of Art History and Communication Studies

Tobias Rees

Associate Professor

Joint Appointment with Social Studies of Medicine

Samuel Paul Louis Veissière

Visiting Professor

Visiting Professor in the Culture, Mind, and Brain program at McGill; affiliated with the following departments -  Anthropology, Cognitive Science Program and the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry.

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Adjunct Professors

Andre Costopoulos

Adjunct Professor

Research Interests: Evolution of social complexity, quantitative and computational methods in archaeology, agent-based simulation in anthropology, prehistoric exchange networks, prehistory of northern Europe, Europe

Nadia Ferrara

Senior Policy Manager

Aboriginal Affairs and Northen Development Canada
Research Interests: Aboriginal issues, health, healing, the nature of self and community northerners' government policies and legislation, Métis, First Nations, Inuit, Canada