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Engaged Anthropology at USF

Burmese women participate in focus groups organized in Health and Ethnicity class. Photo by Natalie Hobbs

Burmese women participate in focus groups organized in Health and Ethnicity class. Photo by Natalie Hobbs

Lance Arney, Doctoral student and Executive Director, Moses House, with kids on a fieldtrip to Sweetwater Organic Farm

Lance Arney, Doctoral student and Executive Director, Moses House, with kids on a fieldtrip to Sweetwater Organic Farm

Rain Barrel project, Moses House. Photo by Ashley Meredith

Rain Barrel project, Moses House. Photo by Ashley Meredith

Common Ground Church, site of community visual project. Photo by Ashley Meredith

Common Ground Church, site of community visual project. Photo by Ashley Meredith

M.A. student Mackenzie Rapp and community partners work on HIV prevention video. Photo by Ashley Meredith

M.A. student Mackenzie Rapp and community partners work on HIV prevention video. Photo by Ashley Meredith

Community engagement has long been central to the Department’s mission of “making a difference” through applied anthropology. Engaged work has two major dimensions: First, a commitment to involve community partners actively in the development of research, teaching, and service projects, with the goal of bringing positive results to the community, and second, to bring the insights of anthropologists into the public sphere. Our goal is to facilitate inquiry, dialogue, and action about issues related to social justice, health promotion, cultural and archaeological resource protection, educational equity, and environmental quality, seen at both the local and global scales.

The department fulfills this mission in intersecting ways. First, we host organized collaborations, such as the two USF Centers of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, and the International Consortium for Forensics, Anthropology, and Human Rights. In addition, we highlight and encourage individual faculty and student research projects, and also offer opportunities to carry out engaged work in the classroom setting. Finally, we encourage active engagement by faculty and students in important social and cultural issues; our most prominent example is the nationally recognized Neuroanthropology blog.