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Department of Anthropology

Anthropology is the scientific study of humankind based on an understanding of societies and cultures throughout the world. Traditionally, it consists of five sub-fields: cultural anthropology, archaeology, physical (or biological) anthropology, applied anthropology, and linguistics.

With its strong liberal arts curriculum, the anthropology department’s goal is to help students pursue their interests in culture while developing into well-rounded, informed citizens with strong critical thinking abilities.

Diana Fox
Professor and Chairperson of Anthropology; Editor, Journal of International Women's Studies
Hart Hall, Room 239

Dr. Fox is a cultural anthropologist with a geographic focus on the Anglophone Caribbean, particularly Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Her research and teaching interests are many, and include: ifeminist ethnography, gender studies, women's human rights, the anthropology of human rights; transnational feminism, anthropology of development, ecological anthropology; anthropology of activism, race and ethnicity, HIV/AIDS stigma and education. She has also conducted some fieldwork in Eritrea, leading to the book "The Challenges of Women's Activism and Human Rights in Africa" edited with Somali anthropologist, Naima Hasci. (1999. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.) Her most recent book "Cultural DNA: Gender at the Root of Everyday Life in Rural Jamaica" (2010 Kingston: UWI Press) is the culmination of fieldwork she has pursued in Jamaica since 1991. Dr. Fox has also written a number of articles and delivered many papers on her work in the Caribbean. Since 2004 she has received three Fulbright Fellowships to continue research in Jamaica and Trinidad and numerous CART grants from Bridgewater State University to pursue her work. Her current research focuses on biocultural diversity and issues surrounding gender roles and water sustainability in Trinidad. Dr. Fox loves to travel to the Caribbean with students to expose them to fieldwork and the application of classroom learning to new cultural environments.


BA, Oberlin College
MA, University of Arizona
PhD, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Louise Badiane
Associate Professor of Anthropology; Coordinator, African Studies Program
Hart Hall, Room 237

Dr. Badiane is a medical anthropologist with interests in applied medical anthropology, global health, sexual and reproductive health, African ethnomedicine, African immigrants health issues in the US and Europe. Current research projects include: Ethnomedical study of female Mankagne healers in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Gambia; Applied Anthropological study to improve the health status of the villagers of Haer, Senegal; Ethnobotanical study of indigenous medicines among herbalists in Ziguinchor, Senegal; A Multi-sited critical analysis of African diasporic engagement in homeland health, US, Senegal and Ghana; Ethnographic Study of Senegalese hair-braiding in the U.S.A; Ethnographic study of rastafari youth in the city of Ziguinchor, Senegal.


MA, PhD, University of Connecticut

Curtiss Hoffman
Professor of Anthropology
Hart Hall, Room 241

On the faculty at Bridgewater since 1978, Dr. Hoffman regularly teaches introductory and upper division courses in archaeology, mythology, culture and consciousness, and survey courses in the indigenous peoples and cultures of North America and the Middle East. He also conducts an annual summer archaeological field school at pre-European sites in eastern Massachusetts. He is a long-time member of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society, and currently serves as its Membership Chair and Bulletin Editor. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and hosted their 2006 Annual Conference at Bridgewater.

Dr. Hoffman's doctoral dissertation, The Lion, the Eagle, the Man, and the Bull in Mesopotamian Glyptic, explored the paleoethnozoological symbol-systems of the ancient peoples of southern Iraq. Shortly before obtaining his PhD, he undertook a program of retraining in the archaeology of Northeastern North America, which has since become his major field of research. Dr. Hoffman has published numerous articles, site reports, and a monograph on the subject, People of the Fresh Water Lake: A Prehistory of Westborough, Massachusetts (Peter Lang, 1991). He has also published an introductory text on mythology, The Seven Story Tower: A Mythic Journey through Space and Time (Perseus, 1999) and coauthored an anthology, Weaving Dreams in the Classroom (2014).


BA, Brandeis University, 1967, Mediterranean Studies
PhD, Yale University, 1974, Near Eastern Languages and Literatures

Ellen Ingmanson
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Hart Hall, Room 238

As a biological anthropologist, Dr. Ingmanson's primary research focuses on questions regarding the evolution of intelligence and the nature and origins of cultural behavior. A particular emphasis of her work is the contribution of primate studies to understanding human behavioral patterns and what it means to be human. Much of her research has been with the apes, including chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and gibbons. She has conducted observations of object manipulation, tool use, communication, social skills, behavioral variation, ecology, and nonhuman culture. Dr. Ingmanson addresses a wide range of issues in her courses that often cross traditional boundaries between natural and social science perspectives.


BA, University of Colorado
MA, PhD, University of Oregon

Simone Poliandri
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Hart Hall, Room 240

Dr. Poliandri is a cultural anthropologist specializing in Native American Studies. He holds a PhD from Brown University and he is an elected member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.  He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the Mi'kmaw people of the Canadian Maritimes since 2000, working on issues of traditionalism, contemporary identity dynamics and, most recently, Aboriginal nationhood and nation-building. His book First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life: The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2011. His second book is an edited collection on the recent developments of Native American nationalism and nation-building to be published in the SUNY Press "Tribal Worlds" series. Dr. Poliandri has publications in academic journals and edited volumes on several topics, including social science research methods, Mi'knaw residential school experiences in the 20th century, contemporary Aboriginal maritime harvesting, and Native American ethnohistory. He is an editorial board member for the series "Ethnographie Americane" published at the University of Rome "La Sapienza," Italy. He is also an active member of several scholarly associations and participates regularly in academic conferences. He teaches introductory and upper level cultural anthropology, Native American cultures, and research methods courses. He plays acoustic guitar and soccer and goes sailing for recreation.  Dr. Poliandri lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.


PhD, Brown University

Emeriti Faculty
Sandra Faiman-Silva
Professor Emerita of Anthropology
Hart Hall, Room 226

Dr. Faiman-Silva has taught at Bridgewater since 1985. As a cultural anthropology generalist, her favorite courses include Anthropology of Women, Gender, Folklore, Native North America and Latin America, and the Anthropology of Education. Her book Choctaws at the Crossroads: The Political Economy of Class and Culture in the Oklahoma Timber Region (U Nebraska 1997) was named in 1997 as a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award by the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Her most recent book, "The Courage to Connect: Sexuality, Citizenship, and Community in Provincetown" (U Illinois 2004), analyzes the relationship between gays and straights in that resort community. Dr. Faiman-Silva has published articles on Indian gaming, youth and culture, and her Provincetown research in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, and The Gay and Lesbian Review. She received Bridgewater State University's Jordan D. Fiore Prize in World Justice in 1997 and the Class of 1950 Distinguished Faculty Research Award in 2003 for this research. Dr. Faiman-Silva is a campus and community activist and serves as Grievance Officer and Secretary of the Bridgewater State University -Massachusetts State College Association (MSCA) Chapter, an NEA affiliate. She lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where she is active in the town's "No Place for Hate" campaign and in other peace and justice causes.


BA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
MA, University of Minnesota
PhD, Boston University

Patricia Dyer
Administrative Assistant I
Hart Hall, Room 226
Diana Fox
Administrative Assistant
Patricia Dyer

The department offers a BA in cultural anthropology or general anthropology, or a BS in public archaeology. Students may also combine a major in anthropology with an education major. Our faculty members are deeply engaged in research activities and welcome student-faculty collaborations. Students may also participate in internships, field work and/or laboratory work, depending on their chosen major.

Anthropology majors at Bridgewater gain the knowledge and skills they need to understand and work with people in other cultural settings, often in health care, social services or public welfare agencies, or as teachers, museum curators, environmentalists, or in private industry.

For more information on programs see our Catalog.

Department of Anthropology
Hart Hall
Room 226

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