Aviva Cormier

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Aviva Cormier

Aviva A. Cormier is a bioarchaeologist, examining human culture, behavior, and society through human skeletal remains and their archaeological or historical contexts. In particular, she focuses on individuals with physical differences—those whose bodies do not conform to our notions of a normal body or to the normal of the society being studied. Particular attention is paid to the lived experiences of these individuals, how they might have navigated their physical and social environments, and how they might have self-identified or been identified by their community. By studying how these individuals might have navigated the social construction of disability in their socio-cultural context, we can learn more about the intersections between individual experiences, disability, and culture today.

Aviva received her MA and PhD in Archaeology from Boston University and recently published her research in the International Journal of Paleopathology, illuminating the life course experiences of those affected by Rare Disease in the past and the community that interacted with them. She is a bioarchaeologist with the Phaleron Bioarchaeology Project in Greece and with the Holmul Archaeological Project in Guatemala.

BA, Brandeis University; MA, PhD, Boston University
At Vassar since 2021



Box 701

Research and Academic Interests

Anthropology of Disability

Departments and Programs


ANTH 130 Archaeology: Lessons From the Past
ANTH 220 Topics in Biological Anthropology