The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Anthropology of Europe

UMass Amherst is a leader in the Anthropology of Europe and one of the few departments in the country to have a core of faculty across the subfields working in both Eastern and Western Europe and the Mediterranean.  Graduate students benefit from faculty mentoring, grant writing workshops and methods courses, lectures with visiting Europeanist scholars, and have access to Department funding to do exploratory research during the summer. See our archive on the 50 years of Europeanist Anthropology EFS Program Archives Page

Basque Cultural Studies
Fall 2022 course ANTHRO 595B/SPAN 595B  Basque Cultural Studies (information in link provided)

Europe Lab

The Europe Lab offers events designed in the spirit of Area Studies 2.0. The lab furthers an inclusive spirit of area studies as being about place-based knowledge and transregional connections. The Europe Lab offers workshops that appeal to students that transcend regional boundaries, whether related to visioning the future of area studies, mastering bibliographic reference software such as Zotero, working in archives, or learning participatory ethnographic methods such as digital storytelling.

Annual Distinguished Lecture in the Anthropology of Europe

Established in 1996, this annual event brings leading scholars to campus for a public lecture and interactive seminar.  Invited speakers have included Michael Herzfeld, David Kertzer, Jacqueline Nassey Brown, Cris Shore, Susana Narotsky, and Lilith Mahmood.  Past lectures

William A. Douglass Chair in Basque Cultural Studies

In 2016, the Etxepare Institute of the Basque Ministry of Culture awarded the Department a Chair in Basque Cultural Studies.  Named after anthropologist William Douglass, who pioneered both European and Basque studies, the Chair will make possible seminars and lectures on Basque culture and expands the Department's international reputation in the Anthropology of Europe.

Invited speakers have included: William Douglass, Joseba Zulaika, Sharon Roseman, Susan Carol Rogers, Caroline Brettel, Juan José Ibarretxe, Maialen Lujanbio, and Miren Artexte


The Anthropology of Europe traces its roots to 1969–70, a critical moment in the history of anthropology when the discipline was turning from studying non-Western “exotics” to focusing on Europe’s so-called people without history. UMass Amherst was at the forefront with a unique European Fieldstudies program that offered students an opportunity to conduct semester-long field-based research.  From 2010-2017, the program was funded through two training grants from the National Science Foundation (Krista Harper PI, Jackie Urla, Co-PI) under the overarching theme  Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces, or CHESS.  Funding the students who want to do research in Europe now comes through our summer pre-dissertation fellowship program (link).  For more about our history and past Distinguished Lectures, please visit EFS program’s archive page in the UMass Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. 


Faculty Research Profiles
Graduate Student Research 
Annual Distinguished Lecture in the Anthropology of Europe