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Painting by Paul Gaugin

Welcome to the

Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Paul Gauguin's Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? hangs in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (see the full image). The questions Gauguin addressed with his brush and visualized with dabs of paint and splashes of color are the same ones we - the students and faculty in URI's Sociology and Anthropology programs - explore in our classrooms, in our research, and in the many opportunities we offer for experiential learning.Leo Carroll

Our B.A. Sociology degree is rooted deeply in the liberal arts, offering students an opportunity to explore the connections between the sociological imagination and humanities and the other social disciplines. With an emphasis on the effects of inequality and a focus on institutional analysis and the prospects for social change, BA sociology students are well-equipped to pursue a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate and legal education.

The B.S. Sociology degree allows students to concentrate their studies on criminology and the criminal justice system. Course work stresses an empirically and theoretically based understanding of crime, criminal behavior, corrections, and the workings of the criminal justice system at local, state, and federal levels. The broad general education component of the degree makes graduates especially well-qualified to begin careers in criminal justice or to pursue additional study.

URI's B.A. Anthropology degree offers a unique combination of social science, natural science, and humanistic inquiry. Courses ranging from Native North Americans to Coastal Anthropology, and from the Human Fossil Record to Immigration and Migration create a context in which students can choose to focus their attention on archaeology, physical anthropology, or socio-cultural anthropology or sample widely from the range of offerings. Graduates are well-positioned for careers in curating, cultural preservation, teaching, and to gain graduate and professional degrees.

A quick scan of our faculty directory will give you some idea of the range of research interests and activities underway in our department. There is something to pique the curiosity of nearly everyone.

As you can see, there is a lot going on here. Think about joining us in Sociology and Anthropology.

Leo Carroll
Chair, Sociology and Anthropology

News & Announcements


Donna Hughes, Carlson Professor of Gender and Women's Studies has accepted a joint appointment as Professor of Sociology. Professor Hughes is a leading international researcher on human trafficking. She has completed research on the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Korea and also does research and writing on women's rights.


Dr. Pravin Patkar, a Fulbright Scholar from India will be in residence in Sociology and Anthropology during the 2015-16 academic year. The founder of Prerana, a center for women and children in Kamathipura - the largest red-light district in the world -- he written extensively on the topic of human trafficking. He has worked with victims of bonded labor (modern-day slavery) and prostitution and sex trafficking, and is an advocate for laws and policy that protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Dr. Patkar will be doing research and co-teaching courses with Professor Donna Hughes.


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.


Rosaria Pisa has been appointed director of the Gender and Women's Studies program. Professor Pisa has conducted in-depth fieldwork in rural and urban Mexico since 1993. Her research has evolved from studying the impact of the privatization of communal land on community life to her current focus on the gender dynamics of local and organic farming.


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



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,