In fall 1964, professors Fred Wendorf and Ron Wetherington brought the discipline of anthropology to SMU. This year, the University celebrates the Department of Anthropology’s Golden Jubilee.
Today, the department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees focusing on four subfields: Archaeology, Cultural/Social Anthropology, Anthropological Linguistics, and Physical Anthropology.
Its graduate programs include the Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology and doctoral programs in Anthropological Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology (with concentrations in Globalization and International Development and Global Health/Medical Anthropology).
The department also offers an undergraduate major in Health and Society and four minors: Archaeology, Biomedical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology and Regional Ethnography.
Celebratory events began Sept. 4-6 with the arrival of geoarchaeologist Fekri Hassan ’71, ’73, from his native Egypt. Hassan, whose research brings an archaeological perspective to the contemporary challenges of global climate change and food security, was named the 2014 Wendorf Distinguished Scholar by the Department of Anthropology in SMU’s Dedman College.
Professor Ron Wetherington says that Hassan, an expert on cultural heritage management and the origins of Egyptian civilization, was the unanimous choice as this year’s speaker. The prestigious series is named for Wendorf, Professor Emeritus and Henderson-Morrison Chair in Anthropology. Fekri was one of Professor Wendorf’s first graduate students and participated in his Nile Valley project.
“I cherish those formative years when you all contributed to opening up the magic box of anthropology with all its dazzling colors, hues, and temptations in front of my eyes,” Hassan wrote to Wetherington upon receiving the invitation to deliver the Wendorf Lecture. “It was a life-changing experience, not just on a professional level, but on a profound human level, and I am indebted to you and those who showed a special caring for me during these early days.”
The year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of anthropology’s introduction to the University curriculum will continue through summer 2015. The SMU Department of Anthropology has put together a full schedule of activities to commemorate its 50th anniversary:
Of Note: Outstanding SMU Anthropology Faculty and Students, Past and Present