We have one of the fastest growing departments with nearly 150 majors and the largest undergraduate-only anthropology program in North Carolina and the third largest program overall (behind UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University). We offer both B.S. and B.A. degrees in several fields of anthropology. Despite the small number of faculty (10 tenure-track faculty [3 full professors, 2 associate professors, 5 assistant professors], 1 visiting assistant professor and 1 senior lecturer), the Department ranks #4 in the College of Arts & Sciences for amount of degrees produced and #4 for amount of majors per tenure line faculty. 

We maintain rigorous standards in the classroom and many of our students continue on in graduate school, postgraduate internships, and land jobs upon graduation using ideas that were sparked at Appalachian State. Our teachers aspire to provide the highest quality of education that extends beyond the classroom into the field (both domestically and internationally) through our numerous research possibilities for students. Over the years, four of our faculty have been inducted into the College of Arts & Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers. In addition to excellence in teaching, we maintain one of the highest standards of research productivity in the College. Our faculty members have been awarded 5 of the scholar of the year awards (junior and senior levels) given by the College of Arts & Sciences in the past 19 years (half of our tenure-line faculty members teaching today have won the college scholar of the year award at either the junior or senior levels). FAST FACTS ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT

The Department of Anthropology is committed to a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. The anthropological perspective provides a broad understanding of the origins as well as the meaning of physical and cultural diversity in the world - past, present, and future. As such, the program in anthropology offers the opportunity for understanding world affairs and problems within the total context of the human experience and for constructing solutions to world problems which are firmly grounded in that context. Cultural anthropologists study people and their cultural practices and beliefs both within and outside of the United States as well as the topics of identity, power, inequality, and social praxis. Archaeologists study the material culture of past peoples in order to reconstruct their cultures, traditions, and practices in order to understand both what came before and how this may help us understand the present. Biological anthropologists study primate evolution and behavioral ecology, human biological variation, biocultural adaptations, bioarchaeology, and human paleontology. Together, we strive to understand both past and present variation in human societies. [ Why study anthropology? ]


Dr. Dana E. Powell and Dr. Timothy J. Smith inducted into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 11:05am

The Department of Anthropology faculty continue to win awards for their research and teaching. On October 28, 2015, Dr. Dana E. Powell and Dr. Timothy J. Smith were inducted into the College of Arts & Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers.

Dr. Diane P. Mines part of faculty panel for "Postcolonial Humanities: Crossing Borders, Making Connections"
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 1:16pm

Dr. Diane P. Mines is part of the faculty panel, "Why Postcolonial Humanities?" for this year's Humanities Council Annual Symposium.

Dr. Gregory R. Reck gives lectures in China as part of cultural exchange program
Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 4:51pm

Dr. Gregory Reck travelled to China this past May as part of a U.S.-China exchange program. During American Cultural Week, he gave lectures on the cultural constructions of human nature and the effects of global capital on climate change at Northeastern University in Shenyan, Shanghai University, Shanghai University of Science and Technology ,and Beijing International Studies University.

Syndicate content

Alumni spotlights

Joe Candillo, Founder and Owner of Authentic Native American Arts, LLC

Joe Candillo (1998) is founder and owner of Authentic Native American Arts, LLC through which he creates and sells traditional works of hand-made Native American art that qualifies as authentic under the Indian Arts and Crafts Law (Joe is a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe).

Syndicate content

Faculty spotlights

Dr. Thomas R. Whyte, Professor of Anthropology

Tom Whyte’s recent research includes southern Appalachian prehistoric archaeology (click here for his article discussing Cherokee origins), zooarchaeology, and experimental archaeology. He is currently editing a volume on southern Appalachian archaeology that is an outgrowth of a conference held at ASU in October 2009. He and colleague Larry Kimball have been presenting papers and publishing on their collaborative research at the Middle Woodland period Biltmore Mound site in Asheville, North Carolina.

Syndicate content