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? ]

Programs of Study









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 International

Dr. Susan E. Keefe publishes new book on Black Appalachian oral histories

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Department of Anthropology Statement of Solidarity

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Five anthropology majors successfully defend honors theses

Five anthropology majors successfully defended honors theses this academic year to earn Departmentental Honors and/or graduate from the Honors College...

Rachel Anderson selected for the American Indian Language Development Institute

Anthropology major, Rachel Anderson, has been selected to participate in this summer's American Indian Language Development Institute at the...

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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.


  • James Rhoades with President Clinton

    James Rhoads ('03) helps with development initiatives in Haiti

    James Rhoads (2003) has been working in Haiti since he graduated from Appalachian.

Faculty spotlights

  • Dr. Timothy J. Smith named a "Faculty Member of Distinction" in Appalachian Magazine

    Dr. Timothy J. Smith has been named a "Faculty Member of Distinction" in Appalachian Magazine. His areas of research and teaching cover development, indigenous politics, and representation in Guatemala and Ecuador. Click Here

Student spotlights

  • Anthropology major, Callie Gunzenhauser, writes from Bulgaria

    Anthropology major, Callie Gunzenhauser, recently reported back on her experience studying abroad at American University in Bulgaria. Working with the skills that she is learning in anthropology, she is one of many students who are fortunate enough to study abroad as a way of augmenting their college learning and experience. For more information on studying abroad or to learn more about the Department's two study abroad summer field schools in Ecuador and Mexico, please visit the main office at Anne Belk Hall, Room 348 or speak with your advisor. 


Nominations accepted for Faculty and Staff awards

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Please consider donating to the Department by supporting one of the following funds. Your gift is appreciated and allows us to achieve even greater success with our amazing students.

Loucks Fund
Weller Fund
Keefe Fund
Claassen Fund

General Fund



The Department of Anthropology is located in Anne Belk Hall. The administrative office is located in Room 348 and all of the faculty offices, classrooms, and labs are located on the 3rd floor.

University Resources

College of Arts and Sciences
Graduate School
Financial Aid
Registrar's Office
Academic Advising
Student Handbook
International Education and Development (Study Abroad)

Past Events

For upcoming events, please see Google Calendar Block

See past events sponsored by the Department of Anthropology.

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