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anthropology is the study of the human species.

The discipline of Anthropology advances our collective understanding of who we are, where we came from, how we differ from one another, and what those differences mean. Anthropology is rooted in core values of mutual respect, equal rights, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination. As one of its early practitioners, Ruth Benedict of Columbia University, wrote, the goal of anthropology “is a world made safe for difference.”

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology prepares students with the research skills and conceptual tools they need to enter any field or profession that benefits from understanding the causes and the range of variation in human experience, activity, identity, and values. Our alumni currently work in financial services, education, law, medicine, government, social services, the arts, and in corporate settings ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small family businesses. Read more >>

addressing structural inequalities

As the study of humanity and our closest relatives in the past and present, teaching and research in the Department of Anthropology at UNC Charlotte examine these topics using rigorous methods and theoretical perspectives which can generate knowledge in the service of social equity and human dignity. Anthropological approaches are well suited for understanding diversity, relations of power, and addressing a range of contemporary problems and injustices. This work requires continuing critical reflection on the way that histories of capitalist expansion and colonization have shaped the institutions in which we conduct our work, the academic disciplines we develop, and the conceptual frameworks through which we view the world. Because systemic forms of discrimination, exploitation, and marginalization can interfere with the ability of students and faculty to conduct research, to teach, and to learn, our goals must include the effort to identify, understand, resist, and dismantle these systems.

graduate study at charlotte

Watch our informational video about our program and applications for Fall 2023.

Celebrating World Anthropology Day, February 2020

Recent News

Mississippi native Camille Richardson is working with colleagues at UNC Charlotte to recover the history of the Rosenwald Schools, institutions established in the early twentieth century to help educate rural African-American children. Along with local organizations and with graduates of the Mt. Vernon Rosenwald School in Lincoln County, NC, Richardson is engaged in both archaeological […]

Dr. Vanessa Castaneda graduated from Charlotte in 2009 with a BA in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. She continued her scholarly journey with a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies at New York University, and then a Ph.D at Tulane. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Brazil. For the past two years she has worked […]

Can genetic tests really provide us with firm insights into the kind of diet or fitness program that’s best for us? Or even into our own national ancestry? Professor Jonathan Marks urges us to be skeptical of the claims made by commercialized genetic testing. Commenting recently on the Genetic Literacy Project website, Marks has noted […]

UNC Charlotte’s Niner Times contributor E. Alexander Zimmerman writes in a recent column about the dangerous devaluation of the humanities in the contemporary university. He quotes anthropologist Dr. Jonathan Marks’s observation that “”Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. Humanities can tell you why that’s probably not a good idea. . . In […]

Dr. Dennis Ogburn was recently interviewed by Live Science about new research on the age of the prominent Inca site Machu Picchu in Peru. An authority on the site and its significance for Inca history, Ogburn explained that “As we are able to revise and improve the chronology based on radiocarbon dates, we are coming […]

Philip Blattenberger (MA 2016) has just released his second feature film, Condor’s Nest (https://www.amazon.com/Condors-Nest-Jacob-Keohane/dp/B0B8JRYC68/), a World War II thriller set in Europe and South America, but filmed largely in North Carolina. He previously wrote, produced, and directed a Vietnam-war film, Point Man, shot in Cambodia and Vietnam. Blattenberger knew Southeast Asia well, as his MA […]