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Painting by Paul Gaugin

About Us

Sociology and Anthropology at URI is unique in a number of ways:

  • a close community of faculty with a broad spectrum of interests
  • three different degree programs each with the flexibility to meet individual interests
  • nationally and internationally known faculty who teach courses at all levels of the curriculum, from introductions to the field to senior seminars and independent study
  • exciting opportunities for experiential learning in criminal justice, archaeology, sustainable indigenous agriculture, coastal cultures and fisheries, human services, and more
  • supporting students through the provision of individual attention and personalized advising


What's Happening Now


Kris Bovy and her work with what she calls "bird bones" will receive international recognition in Winter 2011. Kris is publishing "Archaeological Evidence for a Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) Colony in the Pacific Northwest, USA" in Waterbirds, an international journal on waterbird ecology and conservation. The double-crested cormorant is, as you can see, one cool-looking bird.


Carlos Garcia-Quijano (along with Tomas A. Carlo-Joglar, and Javier Arce-Nazario) will be publishing "Human Ecology of an 'Invasion': Interactions Between Humans and Introduced Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) in a Puerto Rican Estuary" in the prestigious journal, Human Organization in Spring 2011. That's the green iguana to the left, not Carlos.


Helen Mederer

Helen Mederer, is working with two URI colleagues, Dr. Barbara Silver (Schmidt Labor Research Center) and Dr. Emilija Djurdjevic (College of Business) on a U.S. Department of Labor grant to evaluate Rhode Island's new Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program. In 2014, Rhode Island was the third state in the country to establish a state-level paid family leave program, and the results of this grant are informing other state efforts as well as federal legislation for paid family leave. The United States is one of three countries worldwide not to offer paid leave for family caregiving, and interest in and rationale for such programs is steadily increasing.


News & Announcements

URI Anthropology & History student, Morgan Breene, earns prestigious international award to continue her studies of underwater archaeological sites. For full article click here


Julie Keller Julie C. Keller has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to URI, Professor Keller was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Oberlin College.


For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award.

Associate Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!

Department contacts

Department Chair
Leo Carroll,

Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
Professor Leo Carroll,

Administrative Assistant
Theresa Nobile,