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? ]


Professor Cheryl Claassen publishes new book on belief and ritual
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 4:19pm

Professor Cheryl Claassen has published a new book with the University of Alabama Press: Beliefs and Rituals in Archaic Eastern North America: An Interpretive Guide

Professor Greg Reck publishes new book on American soccer, culture, and class
Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 12:06pm

A few years ago, Greg Reck found himself coaching two of his daughters in a Parks and Recreation soccer league with his friend, Bruce Dick. The two of them developed an interest in the cultural and social class landscape of U.S. soccer which has led to a new book, American Soccer: History, Culture, Class.

Study Abroad with the Department of Anthropology
Friday, November 7, 2014 - 12:48pm

The Department of Anthropology offers students three exciting opportunities to travel abroad: Spring (Mexico) and Summer (Ecuador and Ireland)

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Alumni spotlights

Alumnae Sarah Perry and Janelle Wienke

Sarah Perry (2014) and Janelle Wienke (2011) working for change at HandMade in America.

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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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