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? ]

News

Dr. Gregory Reck publishes piece on Everest tragedy and climate change

Dr. Gregory Reck and his colleague from the Department of Sustainable Development, Dr. Dinesh Paudel, have published a piece on the Everest tragedy an...

Makenzie Cash is named recipient of the inaugural Callegari Scholarship

Makenzie Cash has been named the recipient of the inaugural Sally A. Callegari Memorial Scholarship for Gender Diversity in Animal Studies at Appalach...

Dr. Cameron Gokee awarded NSF grant to conduct research in Bandafassi

Dr. Cameron Gokee awarded NSF grant to conduct archaeological research in Bandafassi — a West African ‘shatter zone’Edited by Jessica Stump...

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...

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 Fellow...

Dr. Timothy J. Smith receives UNC Board of Governors Campus Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Timothy J. Smith has received one of the 2019-2020 UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Awards. This is the second of these awards for th...

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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

Student spotlights

  • Makenzie Cash, Biological Anthropology major

    Makenzie Cash is a third-year Biological Anthropology student and notably, a primatology enthusiast. However, she first came into interest with non-human primates by thinking about what it means to be a human. After encountering situations of interpersonal violence and sexual assault, Makenzie began to inquire about human experience and what defines it, primarily because of the dehumanizing effects that trauma can have. This lead to her first interest in anthropology to be forensic anthropology, so she began taking classes in Biological Anthropology.