Cultural Anthropology today is marked by the dynamism of the times. No longer just the study of remote societies, the field explores how people produce, inhabit and make sense of all corners and aspects of today's globalized world. This department is committed to studying the politics of culture, power, and history and the complex questions of theory, method, and interpretation that this project demands. 

Recent dissertation projects include work on: everyday survival among Fukushima nuclear victims; women marathon runners in Ethiopia; coastal erosion in West Africa; Black male youth and sports in North Carolina; Palestinian astronomy projects; youth and post-humanitarianism in northern Uganda; Pan-African politics in Venezuela; repurposing food waste in Brussels; Christian evangelism in post-Tahir Egypt; sounding the city in Gulu, Uganda; war, traumatic injury and Chinese medical practitioners in South Sudan; Tunisian male youth engagements with ISIS.

Graduate Degrees

Our Ph.D. program prepares you to meld grounded field research with theoretical sophistication in doing anthropology sensitive to the challenges and complexities of making sense of human experience. You will receive a strong training in theory as well as in contemporary research methods and proposal writing.

We also offer an M.A. "on the way" option.

Program Features & Benefits

  • Focuses on a Student's Portfolio rather than written or oral exams
  • Encourages interdisciplinary outlook engagement with other departments across campus
  • Promotes close contact between faculty and graduate students
  • Emphasizes student-designed Plan of Study that enables you to develop particular interests, acquire general competence through exposure to classic paradigms and current trends within the field, and meet departmental and university requirements
  • Does not require a Master's thesis or an Anthropology undergraduate degree
  • Provides opportunity to apply to receive a Master's degree after successful completion of third year Portfolio Workshop

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For Prospective Students

For those interested in our program, learn more about our degree, our university, and our community. We'll explain the application process, financial support, and provide answers to more commonly asked questions.

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For Current Students

We've compiled several resources to assist you while working toward your doctorate – from Duke websites and links, to details regarding on-going requirements, grant information, and summer field research.

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