DC Collections

9 Washington DC Anthropology Organizations You Should Know About

Studying in our nation’s capital puts AU public anthropology students within reach of a number of dynamic, active organizations.

There are opportunities to connect with National Parks, to delve into the history of local schools, and to explore pre-Columbian civilizations. There are grants and fellowships to fund promising field research. There are countless smart, experienced professionals eager to share their knowledge with new anthropologists.

Check out these 9 organizations for a sample of what is at our students’ fingertips:

1. Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists

Our town is home to Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists (WAPA), the world’s largest regional association of anthropologists. WAPA is a great resource, offering opportunities for networking and learning. They host events, mail out jobs listings, and provide mentorships for their members.

2. The Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology

Beyond the wealth of dinosaur bones and studies on animal evolution, the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History boasts an active Department of Anthropology. Their collections and archives, online databases and research programs serve as resources for our students’ work—and some of our students find internships and jobs with the Smithsonian.

3. The National Park Service’s Cultural Anthropology Program

The National Park Service has an amazing Cultural Anthropology Program that works to deepen the connections between cultural communities and the places that are central to their history and culture. They team up with a network of anthropologists across the country and with partner organizations. Their program office is based in D.C.

4. The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC) is a community of people interested in the civilizations that populated the Americas before the time of Columbus. They host an annual symposium and a number of talks, discussions, and museum visits around D.C. and they also deliver a newsletter to interested parties outside the area.

5. Charles Sumner School Museum

The Charles Sumner School was among the first public school buildings opened for D.C.’s black community. The building now holds a museum housing public school archives and records and offers meeting spaces for events and gatherings.

6. The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum

Opened in 1967 as the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, the Anacostia Community Museum has a strong history in the African American museum movement. It continues to offer documentation, exhibits, and programming concerned with D.C. communities – and it hosts interns and fellows.

7. The Explorer’s Club

The Explorer’s Club is an international professional organization based in New York, with a focus on supporting multidisciplinary field research. The Explorers’ Club Washington Group is the organization’s largest local chapter and hosts talks and events, such as a recent talk by underwater anthropologist Robert Neyland. They also offer Exploration and Field Research Grants to local graduate students.

8. The Cosmos Club Foundation

The Cosmos Club is a privates social club for individuals who have distinguished themselves in the science, literature, and the arts and humanities. Their foundation offers small, highly competitive research grants for D.C. graduate students whose work promises to increase public knowledge. The Club invites the winners to present their research, and hopes that many recipients will go on to become members of the Club themselves.

9. The Institute for Policy Studies

The Institute for Policy Studies is the nation’s oldest progressive, multi-issue think tank. The organization brings together public scholars and organizers to carry out work focused on social justice issues. They offer fellowships, jobs and internships, in addition to putting on events.

 

Our program invites students to blend real-world experiences with their coursework. Find out more about the master’s degree in public anthropology.

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