With 18 faculty members and nearly 200 majors, we are the largest undergraduate-only anthropology department in the United States. 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. Gwen Robbins Schug is contributor to new article on archaeology and the anthropocene

Dr. Gwen Robbins Schug is a contributor and co-author of a new article on humans and the anthropocene published in Science. You may read the original ...

Dr. Gregory Reck publishes piece on Everest tragedy and climate change

Dr. Gregory Reck and his colleague from the Department of Sustainable Development, Dr. Dinesh Paudel, have published a piece on the Everest tragedy an...

Makenzie Cash is named recipient of the inaugural Callegari Scholarship

Makenzie Cash has been named the recipient of the inaugural Sally A. Callegari Memorial Scholarship for Gender Diversity in Animal Studies at Appalach...

Dr. Cameron Gokee awarded NSF grant to conduct research in Bandafassi

Dr. Cameron Gokee awarded NSF grant to conduct archaeological research in Bandafassi — a West African ‘shatter zone’Edited by Jessica Stump...

Dr. Susan Lappan featured in UNC System release on Fulbright awards

Dr. Susan Lappan spent much of last year in Malaysia. In the mornings, the gibbons—small Asian apes hidden in the treetops—would serenade her with...

Caroline Noel ('13) wins NSF Fellowship for study at the University of Virginia

Appalachian State University alumnae, Caroline Noel ’13 has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow...

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Featured Stories

  • Dr. Susan Lappan featured in UNC System release on Fulbright awards

    Dr. Susan Lappan spent much of last year in Malaysia. In the mornings, the gibbons—small Asian apes hidden in the treetops—would serenade her with song. In haunting 20-minute opuses, high-pitched, rhythmic calls oscillate between plaintive wails and joyful chortles.

    As a 2017-18 faculty Fulbright, Dr. Lappan has long since returned home. But her story underscores how the two legs of a roundtrip ticket to the host country do not bookend the Fulbright experience. Its impact lingers.  [read full story here]

Alumni spotlights

  • Timothy Shober ('15), Master of Public Administration student

    Since graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in anthropology in 2015, I have applied the skills that I learned as a student to a number of different environments. In the year following graduation, I interpreted for Hispanic patients at the Community Care Clinic in Boone. At the clinic, I interacted with members of the Boone community who had backgrounds completely different from my own.

Faculty spotlights

Student spotlights

  • Lauren Stander, Archaeology major

    When Lauren Stander took an Introduction to Archaeology class during her first year at Appalachian, she immediately decided to become an archaeology student. As a child, she found herself interested in what people throughout human existence have left behind, and how they lived. However, while Lauren had become somewhat exposed to archaeology as a discipline throughout her life, she was new to archaeology in the broader context of cultural anthropology. During her second year, Lauren took another anthropology class, Meso-American Cultures, which particularly struck her.