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? ]


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...

Anthropology major, Edgar Villeda, awarded Rachel Carson Council Fellowship

Edgar Villeda, a senior majoring in Anthropology (BS) - biological anthropology from Selma, has been awarded a fellowship with the Rach...

The Department welcomes Dr. Krista A. Lewis

The Department welcomes Dr. Krista A. Lewis, who joins the faculty on July 1, 2021. Dr. Lewis is coming to Appalachian State from the University of Ar...

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...

Upcoming Events

Featured Stories

Alumni spotlights

  • 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 Fellowship Program to continue her doctorate studies of sociology-cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia (UVA), where she plans to research how the Ainu of Japan are using digital media spaces to assert identity and counter dominant narratives of Japanese history. Noel, from Eden, N.C., holds a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in English with a concentration in film studies.

Faculty spotlights

  • 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.

Student spotlights

  • Connor Elliott, anthropology major, participates in REU project in Ethiopia

    Connor Elliott, anthropology major (concentration in biological anthropology), had the opportunity to conduct research in Ethiopia over the 2019-2020 winter break through an National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates program (REU) with the University of Texas at Austin.