Letter from the Chair

Author: Agustín Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes

The 2015-2016 academic year has been a terrific and tumultuous year for the Department of Anthropology.

We continue to push boundaries, publish extensively, and shape the discipline of anthropology. A substantial number of books, articles, blogs, external grants, and media events attest to the impact of the departmental faculty—and our efforts are growing by leaps and bounds.

Our students, grad and undergrad, are creative and innovative, challenging us, the University, and themselves to make a difference at local and global levels. Their scholarly efforts are being recognized via the most prestigious national fellowships, with one Fulbright Award winner and two National Science Foundation graduate fellowships awarded and two honorable mentions for our Ph.D. students and one NSF for a graduating senior so far in 2016.

Our departmental culture of integration and engagement is setting the stage for what anthropology can—and should—do, and we are increasingly garnering national and international respect for our endeavors. As always, we faculty and students owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our administrative staff, Michelle Thornton and Eileen Barany, for ensuring that life in the department is all that it can be.

In spite of all the exuberance and excitement, 2016 also marks a few sad points of departure. A world-renowned anthropologist and longtime faculty member, Professor Carolyn Nordstrom, has announced her retirement. And two of our stellar junior faculty, Jada Benn Torres and Gabriel Torres are, unfortunately, leaving Notre Dame for Vanderbilt University. The departure of our amazing colleagues will be grievously felt in the department for years to come.

At the same time, we look forward to at least two, if not more, new hires in the coming year with excitement and enthusiasm. The anthropological community at ND is strong and vibrant, and while we look forward to an exciting 2016-2017, it gives me great pleasure to reflect on the past year and to see some of the amazing things we have done collected here in this newsletter.

Agustín Fuentes

Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology

University of Notre Dame