Department of Anthropology

238 Mather Memorial Building
Phone: 216.368.3703; Fax: 216.368.5334
Janet McGrath, Department Chair

Anthropology, with its broad comparative approach, is in a strategic position to contribute to the identification and resolution of many of the problems, both local and global, that challenge society today. The Department of Anthropology offers programs leading to both undergraduate (Bachelor of Arts) and graduate (Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy) degrees. Students graduating with a BA in anthropology usually continue for the MA or PhD degree if they are interested in working as anthropologists.  Undergraduate students can select one of four concentrations for the BA.

The Anthropology Department at Case Western Reserve University, a pioneer in the field of Medical Anthropology. The Department highlights this expertise in our graduate program which focuses on Medical Anthropology and Global Health.

Undergraduate and graduate students in Anthropology study with internationally recognized faculty who are leading  researchers ins areas such as illegal drug use, high altitude living, child well being, HIV, the culture of science, reproductive health, and other areas in the forefront of contemporary health challenges. The faculty work across the globe, conducting competitively funded research in pursuit of important research questions.

Both undergraduate and graduate students can obtain the Certificate in Global Health in conjunction with their anthropology degree.

Department Faculty

Janet McGrath, PhD
(Northwestern University)
Professor and Chair; Director of Graduate Programs; Associate Professor of International Health, School of Medicine
Biomedical anthropology; anthropology of infectious disease; international and global health; AIDS; urban health; United States, Africa

Katia M. Almeida-Tracy, PhD
(Federal University of Rio Janeiro)
Senior Instructor
Cultural and social anthropology; cultures of Latin America and Brazil; linguistic anthropology; anthropology and higher education; globalization and human development; visual anthropology, art & aesthetics; contemporary youth cultures; Amazonian ethnology

Cynthia Beall, PhD
(Pennsylvania State University)
Distinguished University Professor and Sarah Idell Pyle Professor of Anthropology; Co-Director, Center for Research on Tibet; Member, National Academy of Sciences
Biological anthropology; adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia on the Andean, Tibetan, and East African plateau, genetics of human adaptation, evolutionary human biology, evolutionary medicine

Melvyn C. Goldstein, PhD
(University of Washington)
Distinguished University Professor; John Reynolds Harkness Professor; Co-Director, Center for Research on Tibet; Professor of International Health, School of Medicine; Member, National Academy of Sciences
Sociocultural anthropology; global aging, population studies, pastoralism, modernization and nationalism, anthropology and history, Sino-Tibetan history; Tibet, China, Mongolia, Himalayas

Lawrence P. Greksa, PhD
(Pennsylvania State University)
Physical anthropology; human biology; growth and development; nutrition; demography; modernization; Polynesia; Andes; Old Order Amish

Lee D. Hoffer, PhD
(University of Colorado, Denver; Washington University School of Medicine)
Associate Professor
Cultural and medical anthropology; drug addiction; psychiatric epidemiology; ethnographic research methods; complex systems; computational modeling; economic anthropology; United States

Jim G. Shaffer, PhD
(University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Associate Professor
Archaeology; Middle East, Central Asia, Indus Valley, India

Lihong Shi, PhD
(Tulane University)
Associate Professor
Sociocultural anthropology; reproduction; gender and family relations; grief and healing; population aging and sex-ratio imbalance; China, East Asia

Adjunct Faculty

Christine Bailey, MA
Adjunct Lecturer, Physical Anthropology Collections Manager, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Forensic anthropology

Nicole M. Burt, PhD
(University of Alberta, Edmonton)
Adjunct Assistant Professor; Curator and Head of Human Health and Evolutionary Medicine, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Stable isotope biogeochemistry (diet and migration); chronic disease; human growth and development; forensics

Jennifer Furin, MD, PhD
(Harvard University; University of California)
Adjunct Assistant Professor; Lecturer, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Medical anthropology; infectious diseases; HIV; TB; community health; health policy and programming; Haiti, Peru, former Soviet Union, Resotho, Rwanda

David Kaawa-Mafigiri, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Adjunct Assistant Professor; Associate Director, Center for Social Science Research on AIDS; Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Makerere University (Uganda); Senior Research Fellow, Global Applied Research in Social, Economic, Health and Development (GARSEHD); Research Director, Equal Opportunities for Women and Children in Uganda Limited (EWOC)
Biomedical anthropology; Anthropology of infectious disease; Global health; social patterning of health; community health interventions; child abuse and neglect; health sciences and social work educational systems; East and Central Africa, Uganda

Brian G. Redmond, PhD
(Indiana University)
Adjunct Associate Professor; John Otis Hower Chair of Archaeology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Eastern North American prehistory; origins of maize agriculture and sedentism in lower Great Lakes; Paleoindian bone modification; museum archaeology

Marianne Reeves, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Richard Currie Smith, PhD
(University of Minnesota)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Cultural ecology, anthropology and sustainability, semiotic/symbolic anthropology, medical semiotics; public health ecotourism; ecoadvertising; North American Prairie, Dakota (Sioux); modern Western culture

Secondary Faculty

Alanna Cooper, PhD
(Boston University)
Abba Hillel Silver Chair of Jewish Studies, Department of Religious Studies
Jewish Studies; Central Asia; history and memory; material culture

Andrew Curtis, PhD
Professor, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Co-Director, GIS Health and Hazards Lab, CWRU School of Medicine
GIS and Health

Patricia A. Marshall, PhD
(University of Kentucky)
Professor, Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine
Empirical bioethics research; informed consent to research; ethics in genetics research; genomic research in Africa; cross-cultural studies

Marsha Michie, PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioethics

Scott W. Simpson, PhD
(Kent State University)
Professor, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine
Miocene-Pleistocene hominin evolution; dental anthropology; human anatomy; functional anatomy

James C. Spilsbury, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Associate Professor and Director, Academic Development Core, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Center for Clinical Investigation, CWRU School of Medicine
Cultural and medical anthropology; sleep, child maltreatment; United States

Visiting Faculty

Bridget Haas, PhD
(University of California, San Diego)
Visiting Assistant Professor
Cultural, medical, and psychological anthropology; refugees and asylum seekers; migration and health; culture and trauma; violence; families and youth; United States


Atwood Gaines, PhD (University of California), MPH (Berkeley)
Professor Emeritus
Milliennial medical anthropology; cultural studies of science and medicine; cultural bioethics; religion; aging and dementia; social identity and health; United States; France and the Mediterranean

Charlotte Ikels, PhD
(University of Hawaii)
Professor Emerita
Cross-cultural aging, lifecourse, death and dying; intergenerational relationships; urban life; comparative bioethics; China

Jill E. Korbin, Ph.D.
(University of California, Los Angeles)
Professor Emerita
Cultural, medical, and psychological anthropology; culture and human development; child maltreatment and child well-being; neighborhood and community; Urban U.S., Old Order Amish