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Where Are They Now?
Click to read about Anthropology MA/PhD Alumni Accomplishments and Placements

Alumni Spotlight:
Ryo Morimoto

Ryo, PhD’16, studies the macro processes at play in the lives of residents living with low-dose radiation exposure in costal Fukushima. Since June of 2014, Ryo has served as the Project Manager for the Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters Project at the Reischauer Institute.


Alumni Spotlight:
Gregory Button 

Gregory, PhD’93, is an internationally recognized disaster researcher and a former faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, as well as a former faculty member of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he was Co-Director of the Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights. His new edited volume Contextualizing Disaster, is a comprehensive investigation of the sociocultural impact of disasters.


Graduate Highlights

Graduate Student Grants, Conference Presentations, Activities and Teaching Opportunities

Anthropology Ph.D. students have over recent years received major grants to support dissertation research and writing from the following organizations:

  • Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange for one full year of dissertation write-up support
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad and Fulbright IIE Fellowships for fieldwork in China, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, and Swaziland
  • Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine grant for dissertation research in Cuba
  • Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship for fieldwork in Japan
  • National Geographic Society-Waitt Foundation Grants to conduct archaeological research on a Maya site after the Classic Period collapse and on a Central Yucatan archaeological cave project
  • National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants for fieldwork in China (two recent awards) and in Mexico
  • Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship for fieldwork in Cuba
  • Toyota Foundation grant to publish components of doctoral dissertation
  • Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant for fieldwork in Samoa and Cameroon

PhD students also recently received Fulbright-Hays awards to study advanced Zulu and Samoa abroad, and an American Institute of Bangladesh Studies fellowship to study Bengali at the South Asia Summer Language Institute.

Brandeis University Research Grants

Brandeis University offers financial support to M.A. and Ph.D. students conducting independent research in both sociocultural and archaeological anthropology. Brandeis anthropology graduate students have performed research in locations around the United States and abroad, including recently in Benin, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Samoa, South Africa, and Turkey. Brandeis University grants to support M.A. and Ph.D. research include:

  • Anthropology Departmental Research Grants: Awards have recently been made to support summer, winter-break, and longer fieldwork in: Benin, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Samoa, South Africa, Turkey, and in various regions around the United States.
  • Crown Center for Middle East Studies Travel Grant to support pre-dissertation research in Israel
  • Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowships
  • Mellon Dissertation Research Grants
  • Provost Award
  • GSAS Travel Funds
  • GSAS Master’s Research Fund

Conference Papers

Each year, Brandeis has a strong presence at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting, with papers being presented by current graduate students, faculty and other Brandeis scholars. Our archeology students also regularly present at the Society for American Anthropology annual meeting. Other conferences at which our students have recently presented papers include the annual meetings of the American Ethnological Society; Association for Asian Studies; International Conference on Anthropology and Urban Conflict; North American Conference on Media, Communication, and Culture; Society for Economic Anthropology; and the Society for Visual Anthropology.


While at Brandeis, graduate students have published articles in the following journals: American Ethnologist, Critical Public Health; Medical Anthropology Quarterly; Semiotica; Signs and Society; Semiotic Inquiry, Special Issue: Semiotics in Anthropology Today; Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development


Graduate students initiate and participate in a wide variety of professional activities, a radio show/podcast, reading groups centered about particular ethnographic and archaeological interests, and organize workshops with guest speakers.

Teaching Opportunities while at Brandeis

Many of our students have been recipients of the competitive University Prize Fellowship, in which doctoral students design and teach a course in their area of expertise. Selected course titles include:

  • Archaeology in Politics, Film and Public Culture
  • Catastrophes Across Cultures: The Anthropology of Disasters
  • Children, Parenting and Education in Cross Cultural Perspective
  • Cultural Politics of Heritage
  • Media and Violence: An Anthropological Approach
  • Multispecies Anthropology

Graduate students have also designed and taught four-credit University writing seminars and two-credit experiential learning practicums. Advanced doctoral students often teach regular undergraduate anthropology courses during the summer session. Many of our M.A. students and all of our doctoral students serve as teaching assistants for a variety of courses.