Department of Anthropology


The mission of the Anthropology Department at SUNY Potsdam is to provide students with knowledge of the five fields of anthropology and to give them practical experience in communities so that they can approach the world professionally and anthropologically.


Patricia Whelehan PictureThe department said goodbye to Dr. Patricia Whelehan, who retired this August after 35 years in the department. Dr. Whelehan, an alumna of SUNY Potsdam, brought to our department a deep commitment to her students and her work. A noted researcher of human sexuality, Dr. Whelehan taught a variety of courses in cultural and medical anthropology, including the Anthropology of AIDS, the Seminar in Women’s Sexuality, and Cross-Cultural Approaches to Mental Health. She was also a prolific scholar, with numerous publications in the area of medical anthropology, including Human Sexuality: Biological, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives (2009; co-authored with Ann Bolin), The Anthropology of AIDS: A Global Perspective (2009; co-authored with T. Budd), and An Anthropological Perspective on Prostitution: The World’s Oldest Profession (2001). At SUNY Potsdam, she was instrumental in founding PAEG and was its faculty advisor, and she also served as the campus HIV/AIDS Education Coordinator. We will a miss her greatly.