Welcome to one of the largest graduate programs in socio-cultural anthropology in Canada.

As a graduate student, you will be joining a dynamic program known for innovative research and theory integrating a diverse range of specializations not found at any other university. With 19 full-time and 7 affiliated faculty members, our program has a well-established national and international reputation for critical scholarship, advanced theory, and engagement in local, national and global contemporary issues. We have a long tradition of combining scholarship with a commitment to social and economic justice.

The outstanding quality and diversity of our graduate students is one of our greatest strengths. Our students are successful in scholarship competitions and have won an impressive number of national and international awards for academic achievement. They are active participants in the political and cultural life of the campus and beyond and produce research that is engaged with contemporary issues faced by diverse communities, groups and organizations in local and international contexts.

Graduate students participate in courses, workshops, and colloquia to develop research and professional skills and advanced knowledge in anthropological theories and methodologies.  In addition, York University supports a number of Research Centreswhich draw faculty from multiple departments, including many faculty members of the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology. We encourage our students to join and participate in the activities of these Centres.

Our graduates have found employment in a range of rewarding professions. Of our graduated PhD students, 83% have gone on to take up academic positions.

In addition to academic careers, we have alumni who work in policy and research positions for NGOs, governmental institutions, and consulting and marketing agencies; in curatorial positions in museums; and as filmmakers, artists, and writers.  Our aim is to ensure that graduates of our Masters and Doctoral programs will be well placed to pursue their academic and professional career goals.

Read more about our program.

Program News

July 5, 2019

Guillaume Dandurand

Congratulations Dr. Guillaume Dandurand, winner of a 2018 Faculty of Graduate Studies Dissertation prize for his dissertation “The Techno-Politics of Food Security in New Delhi: The Re-Materialization of the Ration Card”.

Drawing on 17 months of ethnographic fieldwork among the Right to Food activists in New Delhi, Guillaume Dandurand’s research tracks how the National Food Security Act came to be passed and how it has impacted the infrastructure of food procurement for the urban poor.

Dandurand focuses on one particular document: the ration card, which is used to access subsidized food. He describes the everyday practices of accessing rationed food among the residents of two informal settlements in New Delhi. In charting the terrain of rights and provisions, the dissertation analyzes how the digitization of the card and associated bureaucratic practices have generated systematic exclusions from the public and private infrastructure of food rations.

The Thesis & Dissertation Prizes are distributed by FGS annually to celebrate exceptional Master’s and PhD theses from the previous calendar year. Recipients will be invited to the FGS Scholars Reception in November, where their work will be showcased and recognized.

June 22, 2018

Congratulations Nayrouz Abu Hatoum, 2018-19 winner of the prestigious Ibrahim Abu–Lughod Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia University. Established in 2010, the Ibrahim Abu–Lughod Award recognizes and seeks to foster innovative and groundbreaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians. The award supports a post-doctoral scholar working on a book project in any field of the humanities or social sciences. Nayrouz's research explores visual politics in Palestine and the Israeli state, and people's place making and dwelling practices in a context of colonialism and military occupations. She will use her time at Columbia to work on her book project titled "Visual Decolonization: Photography of Militarized Landscapes in Palestine."

February 15, 2018

Congratulations Maxime Polleri (PhD candidate), winner of the 2018-19 MacArthur Nuclear Security pre-doctoral fellowship at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Stanford University. The CISAC is Stanford University’s hub for researchers tackling some of the world's most pressing security and international cooperation issues. Fellows spend the academic year engaged in research and writing, participating in seminars and interacting and collaborating with leading faculty and researchers. While at Stanford, Maxime will be working on his dissertation, "Figuring Radioactive Contamination: The Politics of Expertise after Fukushima."