We are one of the fastest growing departments with nearly 200 majors. As the largest undergraduate-only anthropology program in the state of North Carolina and the third largest program overall (behind UNC and Duke University), we offer both B.S. and B.A. degrees in several fields of anthropology. Despite the small number of faculty (10 full time tenure-track faculty [4 full professors, 2 associate professors, 4 assistant professors] 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 relative to the number of tenure line faculty. 


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. [ Welcome from the Chair ] [ Why study anthropology? ]


Dr. Linda Jencson publishes new chapter on disaster and pop culture
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 2:36pm

Dr. Linda Jencson has just published a chapter, "All Those Apocalypses: Disaster Studies and Community in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel," in the edited volume Reading Joss Whedon.

Department welcomes Dr. Alice P. Wright
Monday, May 12, 2014 - 9:02am

The Department is pleased to welcome the newest tenure-track addition to the faculty, Dr. Alice P. Wright. A graduate of the University of Michigan (2014), her research focuses on pre-Columbian interactions in the Eastern United States.

Dr. Patricia Beaver presented new oral history book "Voices from the Headwaters" for Scholars Bookshop
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 8:25am

The Scholars Bookshop in the University Bookstore at Appalachian State University hosted Patricia D. Beaver and Sandra L. Ballard Wednesday, April 9, at 3:30 p.m. for a discussion and signing of their book “Voices From the Headwaters: Stories From Meat Camp, Tamarack (Pottertown) & Sutherland, North Carolina.”

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Alumni spotlights

Beth Uselton, Executive Director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign

After graduation, I moved out to Denver to serve as an Americorps volunteer in the National Civilian Community Corps.  It was the best decision I ever made and a fantastic adventure.

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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.

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