With 14 full-time faculty members and 150 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? ]


Welcome our new Administrative Support Specialist, Anna Brown

Welcome our new Administrative Support Specialist, Anna Brown...

Ricki Draper ('19) featured in LiKEN story on water affordability

Ricki Draper ('19) featured in LiKEN story on water affordability  https://likenknowledge.org/2021/03/05/how-much-is-a-glass-of-water/...

Aric Thoresen ('16) on combining anthropology and teaching

After Aric Thoresen received his degree in anthropology from Appalachian State University in 2016, he travelled throughout Latin America and became TE...

Neeshell Bradley-Lewis ('19) featured for graduate work at University of Delaware

Anthropology alum, Neeshell Bradley-Lewis, featured for graduate work at University of Delaware...

Anthropology major Gaby Romero helps to set COVID safety standards for students

Honors senior Gaby Romero, president of the Multicultural Greek Council at Appalachian and chief of staff of the university’s St...

The Department welcomes new faculty for 2020-2021 academic year

The Department is pleased to announce that three new faculty have joined us for the 2020-2021 academic year. To read more about their research and tea...

Upcoming Events

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

  • Autumn Melby ('18), Archaeology

    Autumn Melby, a graduate of the Anthropology Department, took the time to share her personal experience within the field of anthropology and some of her thoughts about Appalachian State’s Anthropology Department. Autumn is from Broadway, North Carolina. She majored in anthropology with a multidisciplinary concentration and a focus in archaeology.

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