Published: Aug. 5, 2022
Carole headshot

The Department of Anthropology welcomes Professor Carole McGranahan as incoming chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, effective July 1.

Professor McGranahan was elected to succeed Associate Professor Jerry Jacka, who served as chair for three years from 2019-2022.

“It is an honor to take the reins from my colleague Jerry Jacka. Our faculty conduct important research around the world, and our graduate students also actively contribute to our research output,” said McGranahan.

“Anthropology stands apart as one of the only disciplines spanning the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Our research covers all aspects of human life, past and present, and is essential to understanding our world. My goal for the next three years is to support our faculty and students in communicating how our research can explain, and thus perhaps solve, contemporary problems in the USA and abroad.”

Professor McGranahan is an internationally renowned expert in Tibetan studies. She earned a PhD in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan in 2001. Her first book, Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War (2010, Duke University Press), is an ethnographic and archival analysis of the ways that the Tibetan independence effort benefited from and was silenced by Buddhist devotion, connections to the CIA, and the internal politics of a community in exile. Her work has been honored by the American Anthropological Association (2011), the Berkshire Conference of Women’s Historians (2017), and the American Ethnological Society (2021).

Her record of research and service has also been recognized at the University of Colorado. In 2015, the Graduate School honored her for her record of graduate student mentoring. She was a member of the 2017 cohort of College Scholars in the College of Arts and Sciences, and in 2009 she received the Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award. She has received prestigious research funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the American Institute for Indian Studies, and the School for American Research.

As chair, Jacka led the Department of Anthropology during the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring the department retained its national standing as #3 among anthropology graduate programs at public research universities. He oversaw the hiring of two new faculty and expansion of graduate student funding.

McGranahan looks forward to leading the Department’s continued growth, teaching excellence, and research productivity.