With 14 full-time 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? ]

A Collective Commitment to Transformative Justice, Inclusion and Equality (.pdf) 

Department of Anthropology Statement of Solidarity 

News

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...

Dr. Thomas Whyte publishes new book on Boone's history before 1769

Dr. Thomas Whyte, Professor of Anthropology, has just published a new book on the history of Boone and Northwestern North Carolina, Boone Before Boone...

Dr. Gwendolyn Robbins Schug named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Bioarchaeology International

Dr. Gwendolyn Robbins Schug named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Bioarchaeology Internationalhttps://floridapress.blog/2020/07/09/bioarchaeology-international-...

Upcoming Events

Featured Stories

  • Dr. Gregory Reck leaves a legacy of inspired teaching

    After forty-six years, Dr. Gregory Reck is retiring from his job as a professor for Appalachian State’s Department of Anthropology.  He started his career at Appalachian in 1972. Dr. Reck came to Appalachian after teaching at the District of Columbia Teachers College and the University of Maryland. He helped form the Department of Anthropology and served as the first chair of the Department.

Alumni spotlights

Faculty spotlights

  • 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.  

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.