What Makes Us Distinctive
The Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine consistently ranks in the top five departments of anthropology in terms of placing research articles in flagship disciplinary journals. The Department's faculty and graduate students receive significant awards and grants. Since 1998 the Department has received nearly continuous funding for graduate student and faculty research from the National Science Foundation and other extramural agencies. In 2006-07, the Center for a Public Anthropology ranked the UC Irvine Department of Anthropology eighth nationally.
In 2007, the Department became home to two important editorships: Professor Tom Boellstorff assumed the position of Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist. And Professor Mei Zhan became Book Review Editor of American Ethnologist.
In 2005, the Department recruited Chancellor's Professor George Marcus, one of the most influential anthropologists in the world, credited with a revolution in ethnographic method that has reached far beyond the field of anthropology and into the humanities, business, and information sciences.
Marcus's international stature lends heft to the critical mass of ethnographic researchers across the entire University of California, Irvine campus, placing the university on the cutting edge of contemporary ethnography. In 2006, the Center for Ethnography at the University of California, Irvine was formally established, under the leadership of Professor Marcus. The Center for Ethnography relates synergistically to the Department of Anthropology, although it is wholly autonomous from it. The Department and the Center combine qualitative and quantitative methods with innovative approaches to ethnography, and are making signal contributions to new forms of multi-sited and multi-method anthropological research.
Among the faculty's many recent honors are awards from the Japanese government, the American Ethnological Society, the Population Association of America, the Law and Society Association, and the Society for Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists. Our faculty have leadership roles in the American Anthropological Association and serve on the editorial boards of key journals. Faculty participate in many interdisciplinary institutes and centers at the University of California, Irvine, from the Critical Theory Institute to the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences. Department faculty also have leadership roles in a number of centers and programs, from the Center for Asian Studies to the Chicano/Latino Studies Program.