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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Anthropology

Faculty and Students

Department of Anthropology

News and Events


The faculty and students in the Department of Anthropology are always doing interesting work.  Check out their latest activities!

For upcoming anthropology events visit the AHSS Calendar.


Dr. Sarah NelsonThe department of anthropology is pleased to announce a new endowment that will support graduate and undergraduate research, with an emphasis on master's student thesis research. The generous gift is made by Sarah M. Nelson, former DU faculty member (1974-2007) and professor emerita in the department of anthropology.

Sarah received her PhD from the University of Michigan in 1973 and began her full time career as an assistant professor of anthropology with DU in 1974, being promoted to full professor in 1985. She was chair of the department for 12 years, as well as the director of Women's and Asian Studies and Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research. Since becoming a professor emerita in 2007, Sarah has played an active and important role in the department, continuing to do research on the archaeology of East Asia, advising students and writing many articles and books.


Dr. Bonnie Clark was interviewed in a podcast for the "The Archaeology Show," hosted by DU alumni April Kamp-Whittaker to discuss her work with at Amache, a Japanese-American Internment Camp that operated during WWII, and descendant populations. 

Dr. James LaVita's Dance and Theater Company, 3rd Law Dance and Theater, was awarded the 2016 Living Legends of Dance in Colorado award. Since 2004, this award honors outstanding contribution to dance.

Dr. Bonnie Clark has written a blog about ethics called, "The Missing Ethics of Heritage", posted on the website for the American Anthropological Association.

Professor Lawrence Conyers was featured July 2015, in the AHSS expressions e-newsletter. The article,  "Professor Maps Ancient Burial Sites Using Radar Technology" was written by Naomi McMillen. 

The department of anthropology was recognized at History Colorado's annual historic preservation awards ceremony on February 6, 2013.  The Stephen H. Hard Award recognizing outstanding achievement in archaeology and historic preservation throughout Colorado.  The award was given to Professor Dean Saitta and other department faculty and staff for their work at the Ludlow Tent Colony in Southern Colorado.  You can learn more about Ludlow and Saitta's work on his DU Portfolio page. 

Dr. Bonnie J. Clark, professor of anthropology, has worked at Amache, the site of a World War II Japanese American internment camp since 2005. The work brings students, former internees and the nearby community of Granada together.  Their latest work is highlighted in the spring DU Magazine.

Dr. Clark was also interviewed about the department's research project at Amache, the site of a World War II Japanese American internment camp for the program Colorado Matters


Michele Koons, Ph.D., a 2006 anthropology graduate and currently the Curator of Archaeology at Denver Museum of Nature and Science, wrote an article about her work studying the Moche civilization in Peru.  The article in on page 12 of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science online magazine

Susan Gillis, who received her master's degree in anthropology in 1982, has written books on the history of Fort Lauderdale. The author says she, "strongly believes that sharing history is key to building community, and the more people know, the more they take an interest and get involved and become good citizens." You can learn more about her books and research in this DU Today article. 

Willi Lempert who received his master's degree in cultural anthropology from DU in 2010 and is currently studying for his PhD in the Anthropology Department at CU Boulder, has just secured two extremely prestigious grants for his research, the Fulbright and the Wenner-Gren.  Willi will be commencing his fieldwork on Indigenous media in Australia in July 2014. "Broadcasting Indigeneity: The Social life of Aboriginal Media. My dissertation research seeks to understand the recent rise of two national Aboriginal television networks through an 18-month ethnographic study of two parallel cohabiting indigenous media organizations in the town of Broome and the remote Aboriginal community of Yungngora in Northwestern Australia. By following the social lives of their media through collaboration on production teams, I seek to reveal the tensions and paradoxes of contemporary Aboriginality embedded within the daily practices of diverse video projects." 


Undergraduate and graduate students participate in archaeology field school, a four-week intensive program held every two years at Amache, a World War II Japanese American internment camp in Eastern Colorado. Read about the student experience in the DU Magazine

Find more AHSS events here!