European Archaeology


The Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa is one of the few departments in North America with a strength in European archaeology. The faculty in this group conducts on-going fieldwork and research in Europe on a broad range of time periods—from the Paleolithic to Roman civilization—and diverse topics.

Robert Franciscus has recently worked on comparative analyses of Early Upper Paleolithic human remains from the sites of the Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal), Dolní Vestonice (Czech Republic), and the Pestera cu Oase (Romania).

Jim Enloe is currently working on changes in adaptation of late Upper Paleolithic hunters in northern France.

Katina Lillios is conducting interdisciplinary excavations at the Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age mortuary site of Bolóres (Portugal) to better understand the relationship between economic practices, sociopolitical structure, biological health, and the environment during this period.

Glenn Storey is working on issues of the ancient economy in Roman Holland and Greco-Roman Sicily, using ground penetrating radar to aid in site investigation.

Feminist Anthropology


The Feminist Anthropology Concentration offers graduate students at the University of Iowa a mechanism for achieving broad training in an area of specialization that has grown dramatically in recent years and that both enhances and draws from other theoretical approaches in Anthropology.  Any of the courses offered in Feminist Anthropology may be taken by graduate students in Anthropology (or from other departments) who wish to explore particular aspects of the field. Those who complete the full Concentration may indicate this achievement of specialized knowledge on their curricula vitae.

Coursework in Feminist Anthropology emphasizes feminist perspectives, theories, methods, and analytic techniques within the discipline of anthropology.  Such coursework improves students’ marketability in academia, both in Anthropology and in other fields, especially Women’s and Gender Studies, and also helps to prepare students for careers in applied/public anthropology.     

Feminist Anthropology was formerly offered to students within the rubric of a specialized “track” to be completed at the MA level.  Courses completed in the old system will count for the Concentration.  All students have the option of including feminist courses within their training to whatever extent is appropriate for their particular interests.

Medical Anthropology


Human experiences of sickness and suffering are universal, yet also profoundly shaped by their cultural and historical contexts. Medical anthropology seeks to understand cultural and biological diversity in sickness, health and healing. Its varied approaches include meaning-centered investigations of disrupted well-being, considerations of how biological & cultural factors interact to promote health or produce sickness, analyses of political-economic causes of health inequalities, and applied research to improve health research and services in a globalizing world.

Medical anthropology faculty at the University of Iowa work both inside and outside of the Department of Anthropology, in a campus-wide network. Key faculty hold joint degrees in anthropology and a health or social service profession (e.g., public health, nursing, social work). The Department of Anthropology cross-lists its medical anthropology courses in Department of Community and Behavioral Health within the College of Public Health, and also in the Global Health Studies Program, attracting students from a wide range of disciplines and professions who are developing future careers in health and human services.  A number of anthropology graduate students have completed joint PhD/MPH degrees.

Faculty research interests incorporate a diverse range of geographical and topical specializations.  In settings ranging from North America to Latin America, southern Africa, the Pacific, and beyond, our research examines health and healing in localized contexts from a global and comparative perspective.  Key topics include the health-related dimensions of social inequalities, the ways in which personhood and identity are implicated in both sickness and well-being, and evolutionary perspectives on infectious disease in humans.  We specifically explore health in relation to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity; and examine the cultural politics of producing medical knowledge, as well as the bioethical and moral dimensions of medical and caregiving practices.

Faculty Specializing in Medical Anthropology

Elana Buch - Associate Professor
Cynthia Chou - Professor and C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Chair of Asian Studies
Drew Kitchen - Associate Professor
Ted Powers - Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Erica Prussing - Associate Professor
Emily Wentzell - Associate Professor and Director of CLAS International Studies B.A. Program

Affiliated Medical Anthropologists at the University of Iowa

Kevin M. Kelly, College of Public Health
Maureen F. McCue, UI Center for Human Rights
Toni Tripp Reimer, College of Nursing
Heather Reisinger, Internal Medicine & Iowa City VA Health Care System
Marcy Rosenbaum, Department of Family Medicine
Samantha Solimeo, Internal Medicine & Iowa City VA Health Care System



The paleoanthropology concentration offers broad training that combines archaeology and biological anthropology, two traditional subfields of anthropology important in understanding the biocultural factors that have been critical in human evolution. The concentration combines course work in both biological and archaeological anthropology, complementing the specialized training that students from either subfield receive in their own specialization. Paleoanthropology courses emphasize integration of biological and cultural factors in the evolution of hominid species up to and including modern humans. They encompass primate and human evolutionary anatomy, technology and subsistence in Paleolithic archaeology, and modern human hunter-gatherers.