Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Department of Sociology & Anthropology

The Department of Sociology & Anthropology combines the study of people and cultures and produces students who are not only aware of the history and significance of humankind but who are also cognizant of how our actions impact the world in which we live.

Majors & MinorsCourses
Department News

Congratulations to Metasebia Tessema  recipient of the 2022 James A. Sartain award!


(21187) Anth 279 01 Special Topics: Ritual, Shamanism, and Witchcraft   MW 9:00 am

This course is designed to introduce anthropological approaches to the understanding of religious ideas and practices in non-Western cultural traditions.  Various interpretive/explanatory approaches and key theoretical issues in the anthropology of religion will be explored through an examination of contemporary ethnographic studies on topics such as the ritual process, initiation rites, sacrifice, shamanism, spirit possession, and witchcraft.  The goal will be to discern what are similarities and differences in the forms and fuctions of religous expression across cultures, based on a comparative review of aspects of religious life in a representative sample of a variety of societies from around the globe.

(21954) Anth 279 02 Special Topics: Indigenous Peoples of South America   MW  12:00 noon

Focuses upon the comparative ethnography of a number of indigenous societies of South America, including contemporary cultures of both the highland Andean region and the lowland Amazonian region, as well as providing some historical background regarding the pre-Hispanic era to the time of Conquest and a look at cultural transormations of indigenous identity in the modern era.

(21956) Anth 379 01 Special Topics: Money and Survival in West Africa  MW 4:30 pm

In this class, our examination of financialization will take a global view.  We will begin with a close look at Wall Street, the regime of accumulaton, and shareholder value orientation.  We will then direct our searchlight to the often taken-for-granted financial activities in everyday lives of market vendors and commodity producers who inhabit the informal economic sector, particularly in the global south with emphasis on West Africa.  We will examine the development of the concept of financialization drawing from different fields in social sciences.

Sherley Arias-Pimentel outside of the Carole Weinstein International Center

Anthropology Major Receives National Award for Photography

Sherley Arias-Pimentel, a University of Richmond senior from Newark, New Jersey, has been awarded the Joy of Giving Something Fellowship through Imagining America. The fellowship is awarded to eight undergraduate students across the U.S. who are interested in photography and digital media as future careers and hope to make a difference in their communities.

Arias-Pimentel, a double major in anthropology and global studies, has been passionate about photography and social justice since she began taking photos in middle school.

In the fall of 2021, Arias-Pimentel traveled to Ghana to study globalization and cultural legacies and returned to campus to create an art exhibition of her photography from her time there with support from the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. She is currently showing another art exhibition in collaboration with fellow student Julia Brittain, titled “At the Intersection of Contagion and Connection: HIV/AIDS and Richmond’s LGBTQ+ Communities” in the Carole Weinstein International Center.

Upcoming Events

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Faculty Highlights

Dr. Jeffrey Hass
Hass Awarded

Jeffrey Hass, associate professor of sociology, was named a 2022 recipient of the University’s Distinguished Scholarship Award at the annual Colloquy celebration.

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Dr. Jeffrey Hass
Hass Awarded

Jeffrey Hass, associate professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, has been selected as a co-winner of the American Sociological Association Section on Peace, War and Social Conflict’s 2022 Book Award and received honorable mention for ASA Distinguished Scholarly Book Award for his book Wartime Suffering and Survival.

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Dr. Jan H. French
French Published

Jan French, associate professor of anthropology and pre-law advisor, published “Ethnography In-Sight: Spiraling through Fieldwork” and “Paint It Black or Red: Serious Play in Brazil’s Northeast” in The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.

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Dr. Rania Kassab Sweis
Sweis' Book Reviewed

Rania Kassab Sweis, associate professor of anthropology, recent book Paradoxes of Care Children and Global Medical Aid in Egypt has been reviewed in the May/June 2022 issue of Foreign Affairs.

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Dr. Rania Kassab Sweis
Sweis Invited Book Talks

Rania Kassab Sweis, associate professor of anthropology, has been invited to speak on her book, Paradoxes of Care: Children and Global Medical Aid in Egypt at two events: University of Minnesota International Relations Colloquium, Department of Political Science and the Association of Middle East Children and Youth Studies Digital Author Series.

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Dr. Matthew Oware
Oware Published

Matthew Oware, Irving May Professor of Human Relations and chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology published "Text mining and the examination of language used to report child maltreatment: How language impacts child welfare intake reports,” in the Children and Youth Services Review.

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Dr. Rania Kassab Sweis
Sweis Published

Rania Kassab Sweis, associate professor of anthropology, published Paradoxes of Care: Children and the Politics of Medical Humanitarianism in Egypt through Stanford University Press.

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Dr. Jeffrey Hass
Hass Published

Jeff Hass, associate professor of sociology, published Wartime Suffering and Survival: The Human Condition under Siege in the Blockage of Leningrad, 1941-1944 through the Oxford University Press.

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Scholarship Repository Readership

The University of Richmond's Scholarship Repository shares faculty publications with a world-wide audience. The map below shows where articles from sociology and anthropology faculty are being read around the globe.

Mailing Address:
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
302 Weinstein Hall
231 Richmond Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173

Phone: (804) 289-8067
Fax: (804) 287-1278

Department Chair: Dr. Jeffrey Hass
Administrative Coordinator: Diane Zotti