College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Hafa Adai and Welcome to
the Anthropology Program at the University of Guam!

Anthropology Banner


Anthropology at the University of Guam

The Anthropology Program at the University of Guam trains students in four-field anthropology. The Program provides exposure to Sociocultural Anthropology, Anthropological Archaeology, Biological/Physical Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropology. A popular conception of anthropology is of a discipline that focuses primarily upon exotic ancient societies. Anthropology, however, investigates the social, cultural and physical dimensions of all human societies, past and present.

Given Western Micronesia's geographic, historical, political, sociocultural, human biological and community health realities, Anthropology is a particularly appealing and relevant program of study at the University of Guam. The ever-changing dynamics of Guam's contemporary multicultural society, and the rich historical, cultural, linguistic, and biological heritage of the indigenous peoples of the Marianas and Micronesia situate the University of Guam as an ideal setting for faculty and students to engage in collaborative community-based anthropological and interdisciplinary research.

The Anthropology program examines issues concerning cultural change, globalization, participant observation, regional studies, social problems, prehistory, identity and language. Faculty members are presently engaged in research in archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, cultural change, identity formation, the anthropology of performance, religion, myth and magic, language and culture, environmental anthropology, and landscape archaeology.

Anthropology is an important component of a liberal arts education, and complements a wide variety of fields in the humanities and sciences. Our graduates can forge careers in archaeology, cultural resource management, historical preservation, environmental and human impact assessment, international aid and development, demography, intercultural communication and exchange, data analysis, policymaking, analysis and research. Applied anthropologists work in government agencies, private businesses, community organizations, independent research institutes, service organizations, the media and as evaluators or independent consultants for agencies such as the United Nations and the World Bank.


Full-time Anthropology Program faculty:

Anthropology Program Coordinator
Associate Professor of Anthropology
PhD Social Anthropology
National University of Singapore


Dr. Farrer was awarded a PhD in Social Anthropology by the National University of Singapore in 2007. Dr. Farrer has taught anthropology, sociology, social psychology, and martial arts since 1992. Before moving to Guam he lectured in universities and colleges in England, Africa, and Singapore. He conducted ethnographic fieldwork for a decade in Malaysia and Singapore, and has also conducted fieldwork in Thailand, London, and Hong Kong. His research specialties include the anthropology of performance, religion, and art, visual anthropology, violence, spiritual healing, and Chinese and Malay martial arts. Dr. Farrer has published an ethnographic book entitled Shadows of the Prophet: Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism (2009) with Springer, and has recently published a volume (co-edited with John Whalen-Bridge) entitled Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World( 2011) with SUNY. In 2011 he won the University of Guam College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Research Excellence Award. Currently Dr. Farrer is editing a special issue for Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice on "War Magic and Warrior Religion: Cross-Cultural Investigations" (accepted for publication); writing an ethnographic account of Martial Arts and Violence; and compiling an edited volume on Death. On Guam he is interested in mixed martial arts and indigenous cultural revival.


Assistant Professor
PhD Anthropology
University of Madrid


David Atienza received a PhD in Anthropology from the Complutense University of Madrid in 2006.He has taught history, philosophy, anthropology and applied linguistics at different institutions and universities in Spain. Dr. Atienza's research interests are focused on Cultural Identity Processes, Speech Analysis, and Linguistic Anthropology.  His book, "Viaje e Identidad: La Genesis de la Elite Quichwa-Otavalena en Madrid", was a multilocal ethnography product of fieldwork conducted in Otavalo, Ecuador and Spain.  Dr. Atienza is an active member of Xiphias Gladius Research Group. He has contributed to La Violencia del Amor, an edited volume focused on different perspectives on human violence and has recently published the articles Death Rituals and Identity in Contemporary Guam together with AlexandreCoello de la Rosa and A Mariana Islands History Story, among others.

More information on


Associated Faculty

Full-time faculty in other Programs, who teach cross-listed Anthropology courses:

Todd Ames, Assistant Professor (Sociology and Micronesian Studies)
PhD, Simon Fraser University

Evelyn Flores, Associate Professor (English)
PhD, English
University of Michigan

Anne Hattori, Professor (History and Micronesian Studies)
PhD, History
University of Hawaii

Kirk Johnson, Professor (Sociology)
PhD, Sociology
McGill University

Rich Olmo, Instructor (Geography)
MA, Geology, Brooklyn College
MA, Anthropology, University of New Mexico
ABD, Human Geography, Wollongong University

John Peterson, Associate Professor (Anthropology and Micronesian Studies)
Assistant Vice-President, Office of Graduate Studies, Sponsored Research and Programs
PhD Anthropology, University of Texas-Austin

Gerhard J. Schwab, Professor (Social Work)

Sarah A. Smith, Instructor (Women and Gender Studies)                                                                             

Master of Public Health, University of Florida (2009)
ABD, Applied Anthropology, University of South Florida (Candidacy 2011)

Sarah Smith is a doctoral candidate in medical anthropology at the University of South Florida, and received a Masters of Public Health with a focus on Women’s Health in 2009. Sarah has research experience working with interdisciplinary teams studying a variety of topics, including the sexual experiences of young people, sexual health literacy, human trafficking in Florida, and various studies related to HPV and cervical cancer, including those that focus on health care providers. Sarah’s current research focuses on the sexual and reproductive health experiences of Chuukese migrant women in Guam. Her research aims to explore how personal experiences, socio-cultural dynamics, and structural policies impact Chuukese women’s sexual and reproductive health and health care seeking, and how provider perceptions and behaviors also impact their health care experiences. This project is multi-sited, taking place in the clinic and the community, in Chuuk and Guam.



Rebecca Stephenson, Professor Emerita of Anthropology
Rebecca A. Stephenson, PhD, was awarded Professor Emerita in Anthropology at the University of Guam in 2008. She was a full-time Faculty Member in Anthropology at UOG for 30 years, from 1977 until retirement. Her MA and PhD in Anthropology were awarded from the University of Oregon in 1971 and 1976, respectively. She was the Co-Director of the Balinese Macaque Project from 1999-2002 and team-taught a capstone course at UOG in Bali Field Studies from 2004-2007. More recently, Dr. Stephenson co-directed a philanthropic project in the Cook Islands under the auspices of Abercrombie & Kent, Inc. She served as a panelist of the National Geographic Society’s online Destination Survey, and received the Distinguished Alumna Award from her alma mater, Hamline University, in 2007. She is currently a Board Member of the Guam Preservation Trust, the Historic Preservation Review Board, and the Guam Council of Women’s Clubs.


Hiro Kurashina, Director Emeritus of Micronesian Area Research Center (1991-2003)
Dr. HiroKurashina is the Emeritus Director of MARC. Dr. Kurashina earned his PhD, MA and BA in Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, with an emphasis in Old World Archaeology. Upon graduation, he became a lifetime member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa of California. On Guam, Dr. HiroKurashina received a grant from the National Geographic Society to direct an Archaeological Research and Student Training Project at Tarague Beach from 1980 to 1984. During the past three decades, Dr. Kurashina carried out field research in the Marianas, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Indonesia.  For the last three summers, Dr. Kurashina joined archaeologists from MARC, UOG (Dr. John Peterson and Dr. Mike Carson) and UH at Manoa (Dr. James Bayman) to conduct an Archaeology Field School at Ritidian on the northwestern coast of Guam. 


Degree Program Requirements


For further information on the Anthropology Program contact:

Dr. Douglas S. Farrer
Anthropology Program Coordinator

College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
University of Guam
UOG Station
Mangilao, Guam 96923


Tel: (671) 735-2812
Fax: (671) 734-7930
Or contact the Division of Humanities Secretary, Jeff Umayam:
Telephone: (671) 735-2800