SAPIENS is a digital magazine about everything human, told through the stories of anthropologists.
In January 2016, we launched SAPIENS with the aim of bringing together the voices of scholars who are eager to share the findings, ideas, and perspectives of anthropology with a broad global readership. As people who study other people, anthropologists look to the past, present, and future to assemble vital observations on what it means to be human. This work matters. Yet all too often their research remains inaccessible to public audiences.
Our purpose is to amplify anthropological insights to make a difference in how people see themselves and those around them. We hope to make people more curious about—and empathetic toward—their fellow humans. We aim to provide critical understandings of how and why humans behave and believe as they do. We want to help address the inequalities, injustices, and harms humans perpetrate against one another and our planet.
Each year, millions of readers come to the free magazine to dig into the wonders and complexities of human biology, culture, history, and language. One day you might learn about Neanderthals who created art or about a tribe in Peru that invented its own sign language. Another day you might question whether humans are naturally generous or read an interview with an anthropologist working to combat anti-Black racism in Brazil. We cover humankind’s labyrinthine relationships with politics, power, food, art, animals, race, nature, sex, sports, violence, technology, morality, and much more.
The SAPIENS team invites you to be part of our community. If you’re a scholar, consider contributing a story. If you are an educator, explore SAPIENS’ teaching units. If you are an avid reader, sign up for our weekly newsletter, subscribe to our podcast, follow our channels on social media, and share our stories with your family and friends.
SAPIENS is a publication of the Wenner-Gren Foundation and published in partnership with the University of Chicago Press, while maintaining unconditional editorial independence.
Amplifying anthropological insights to build a more just and sustainable world.
Delivering trusted, compelling, and relevant anthropology stories to public audiences.
Bridget Alex is an anthropologist and writer living in Somerville, Massachusetts. She earned her Ph.D. in archaeology and human evolutionary biology from Harvard University. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and other awards, her research focused on the spread of Homo sapiens and extinction of other humans, such as Neanderthals, over the past 200,000 years. Prior to joining SAPIENS, Bridget taught anthropology and science communication at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena City College, and Harvard. Her pop-science stories have appeared in outlets such as Discover, Science, Archaeology, Atlas Obscura, and Smithsonian. Follow her on Twitter @bannelia.
Chip Colwell is the founding editor-in-chief of SAPIENS. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Indiana University and has held fellowships and grants from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and U.S. Fulbright Program. For 12 years, he was the curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and 12 books, many of which have received honors, including the National Council on Public History Book Award and the Gordon R. Willey Prize of the American Anthropological Association. His essays and op-eds have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Atlas Obscura, Aeon, and more. Follow him on Twitter @drchipcolwell.
Eshe Lewis is the project director for the SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Program. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida and has spent the past 10 years working with Afro-descendant peoples in Peru on issues of social movements, women’s issues, Black feminism, and gender violence. Eshe is based in Toronto, Canada.
Marlaina Martin earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2019. Her anthropological research and writing explore learning, creative, and community-building practices of Black women and nonbinary media makers. She has received fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, the Association for Feminist Anthropology, the Social Science Research Council, The Phillips Collection, and Rutgers University. Marlaina has been published by The Feminist Wire, OMERTAA, Current Anthropology, and PBS. Prior to joining the SAPIENS team, she held the first-ever Presidential postdoctoral fellowship in University of Maryland, College Park’s anthropology department.
Sophie Muro is the digital editor at SAPIENS. She earned her M.A. in museum studies from George Washington University in 2022. Her previous research focused on community-based curation techniques and increasing the accessibility of museum collections through the use of digital tools. Prior to working at SAPIENS, Sophie served as the social media coordinator at the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.
Negar Razavi is the public humanities postdoctoral fellow at the Kaplan Humanities Institute at Northwestern University. As a political anthropologist, her research examines the intersections of security, expertise, gender, humanitarianism, and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Her current book project looks at the role of think tanks and elite security experts in Washington, D.C., in shaping U.S. policies toward Iran and Egypt. Negar received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Emily Sekine is an editor and a writer with a Ph.D. in anthropology from The New School for Social Research. Prior to joining the team at SAPIENS, she worked with academic authors to craft journal articles and book manuscripts as the founder of Bird’s-Eye View Scholarly Editing. Her anthropological research and writing explore the relationships between people and nature, especially in the context of the seismic and volcanic landscapes of Japan. Emily’s work has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Society of Environmental Journalists, among others, and her essays have appeared in publications such as Orion magazine, the Anthropocene Curriculum, and Anthropology News.
Jason Vasser-Elong’s research focuses on identity in a postcolonial context. He is the 2022 SAPIENS poet-in-residence. He studied anthropology and later received his MFA from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where he is currently a teaching professor in English and African American studies in the Pierre Laclede Honors College and a doctoral student in the College of Education. Vasser-Elong is the author of the poetry collection Shrimp. His essay “Treading the Atlantic” was presented at the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies conference as an introduction to the keynote lecture on postcolonial memory. He also presented that essay at the American Anthropological Association’s conference “Truth and Responsibility” in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2021.
Christine Weeber is the copy editor/sub-editor and poetry editor at SAPIENS. She earned an M.A. in cultural anthropology and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from Colorado State University in 2005. From 2009–2017, she served as the editorial manager of Museum Anthropology. Prior to working at SAPIENS, she ran Stonefly Editorial Services, a freelance writing and editing business. Christine’s poetry chapbooks are In the Understory of Her Being and Sastrugi. You can also find her creative work in The Fourth River, the Kyoto Journal, the Wild Roof Journal, Solo: On Her Own Adventure, and other publications. Follow her on Mastodon @firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For general inquiries, feedback, and corrections, please contact Dr. Chip Colwell, editor-in-chief, editor•sapiens.org