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? ]


Anthropology alumnus, Dr. Christopher Moore ('97), has published a new article in the journal Nature

Dr. Christopher Moore ('97) has published a new paper on the Younger Dryas climate event that took place 12,800 years ago. The paper can be found...

Dr. Dana E. Powell receives project development grant from the ACLS

Dr. Dana E. Powell has received a $5,000 Project Development Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Applicants from teachin...

Dr. Christina Verano Sornito named Fulbright Scholar for 2020

Dr. Christina Verano Sornito, assistant professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Anthropology, has been awarded a 2019–20 re...

Dr. Dana E. Powell's Spring 2018 Honors College course featured on USC/Shoah Foundation website

Dr. Dana E. Powell's Spring 2018 Honors College course, "Native American/Indigenous Studies," has been featured on the USC/Shoah Foundation's website ...

Dr. Thomas R. Whyte featured in Appalachian Today for toad research

Dr. Tom Whyte likes to dig in the dirt — and solve old mysteries while he’s at it. As a professor in Appalachian’s Department of Anthropolo...

Dr. Diane P. Mines wins Richard N. Henson Outstanding Advisor Award

Dr. Diane P. Mines was selected for the College of Arts and Sciences' Richard N. Henson Outstanding Advisor Award for 2018-2019. About the Depart...

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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

  • Evie Giaconia

    Evie Giaconia ('18), Multidisciplinary Anthropology

    Evie Giaconia, a graduate of the anthropology program, gave us the opportunity to get to know more about herself and Appalachian State’s Anthropology Department. Evie is originally from Nashville, Tennessee. 

Faculty spotlights

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.