With 10 full-time faculty members and 150 majors, we are one of the largest undergraduate-only anthropology departments 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? ]


Appalachian State's Archaeological research team ventures into Linville Gorge Wilderness

Dr. Alice Wright and Dr. Cameron Gokee lead an Archaeological research team into Linville Gorge Wilderness to discover archaeological sites. ...

Inscribing the Criminial Skin

Talk: Inscribing the Criminal Skin: Underworld Aesthetics and the Flesh of Post-Liberal Futures in Honduras

Dr. Jon Carter to give guest lecture at Princeton University:  Jon Carter | Inscribing the Criminal Skin: Underworld Aesthetics and the Flesh of ...

Conference Talk: Ethnographic Evidence in the Americas

Dr. Jon Carter and Dr. Christina Sornito are presenting in the Annual Conference at the University of Florida, Center for Latin American Studies. ...

Talk: It climbs up inside of you, from the soles of the feet

Dr. Jon Carter to give guest lecture at University of Tennesee, Chattanooga and by zoom (registration link below)IT CLIMBS UP INSIDE OF YOU, FROM THE ...

Dr. Susan Keefe receives award from North Carolina Genealogical Society for Excellence

Dr. Susan Keefe receives award from North Carolina Genealogical Society for Excellence

Dr. Susan Keefe has received an award from the North Carolina Genealogical Society for Excellence for her book Junaluska: Oral Histories of a Bla...

Anthropology faculty bring Hostile Terrain 94 Exhibit to Appalachian State University

August – September 2021Sponsored by the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences Organized by the Department of AnthropologySpecial thank...

Featured Stories

  • Dr. Alice P. Wright named a "Faculty Member of Distinction" in Appalachian Magazine

    Dr. Alice P. Wright has been named a "Faculty Member of Distinction" in Appalachian Magazine. Dr. Wright is an anthropological archaeologist broadly interested in the dynamics of cross cultural encounters and the ways in which far-reaching interaction networks shape and are shaped by local social, political, economic, and ideological institutions.  

Alumni spotlights

Faculty spotlights

  • Thomas Whyte

    Dr. Thomas R. Whyte, Anthropological Archaeologist

    Dr. Tom Whyte’s research includes southern Appalachian prehistoric archaeology, zooarchaeology, and experimental archaeology. His recent research includes studies of animal remains from archaeological sites throughout the Southeast.

Student spotlights

  • Abbey Huber, Social Practice and Sustainability major

    After taking a few classes in political science and global studies, Abbey Huber did not feel that the frameworks she had encountered in these classes compelled her. During her first year, and after some exasperation, Abbey’s Honors advisor suggested that she take Native America through Ethnography with Dr. Dana Powell. Taking that class, she cites, is what drove her to change her major to Anthropology.