I came to UCI Anthropology in July 2017 -- after following the department for many years and encouraging students to apply to its PhD program. It is an honor to now be in the department and especially in the role of department chair.

I have been impressed by UCI Anthropology for a number of reasons: vibrant faculty research with an experimental edge; collegiality among faculty; the leadership roles faculty have played in professional societies and as journal editors; notably sharp PhD students and alumni, with diverse, creatively designed dissertation projects; commitment to both undergraduate and graduate teaching, and to the mission of a public university. There is much to build on going forward!

The department has long been well known for research on migration, money, globalization and geopolitics. Science and Technology Studies has also become an intensive thread of work in the department (linked to a PhD emphasis and MA program) -- with projects focused on health and medicine, security, environmental problems, digital culture, and the sciences and engineering in different contexts. Across topical areas, there is sustained interest in postcolonial, feminist and critical race theory. New collaborations in the department are building strength in what we've called "technomethods" for ethnographic data collection, collaboration and expression -- moving visual and multimodal anthropology in new directions.

Perhaps most importantly, UCI Anthropology is constantly querying and experimenting with new ways anthropology can situate itself in and address the volatile world in which we live -- through our research and curricular innovation at all levels, through work supporting anthropology-in-practice in diverse domains, and through engagement with debates about the future of the university and role of learning and knowledge in just societies. There is much to be part of.

Kim Fortun, Chair




© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766