GVSU Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humans. The sub-fields within anthropology are Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, and Linguistics. Anthropology as a discipline teaches/promotes:

  • holism - the concept that all aspects of human behavior are interrelated and important in understanding what it means to be human,
  • cross-cultural analyses - to understand the wide range of diversity in human behavior in order to eliminate prejudice and bias,
  • human diversity  - uses a variety of methods to observe and measure the range of human behavior and culture,
  • problem solving - using Applied Anthropology to assess and solve social problems.

Anthropological perspectives provide students with unique abilities to contribute to standard job skills such as: diversity sensitivity, management, interviewing techniques, research/program design, statistical/survey techniques, teaching/training, communication.

GVSU Department of Anthropology Affirmation of Inclusion

In light of recent policy and personnel changes in the United States, the GVSU Department of Anthropology makes the following statement affirming our commitment to inclusion, diversity and justice as derived from our discipline’s core values:

We reaffirm our commitment to all students, faculty, and staff, recognizing and celebrating diversity in terms of ethnicity, nationality, disability, sex, religion, gender identity and expression, immigration status, appearance, political affiliation and veteran status.

We affirm our commitment to the larger community where we live and work and especially our community partners and the work they do protecting and preserving nature and culture, educating our population, and assisting refugees as they start new lives in West Michigan. We especially stand with those on the margins of our society, who need the most understanding, help and support.

  • Elizabeth Arnold - daughter, sister, wife, mother and associate professor of anthropology
  • Erica Begun - woman, mother, artist, ally, visiting professor of anthropology
  • Jan Brashler - daughter, sister, exchange student mother, professor of anthropology
  • Kristin Hedges - mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, assistant professor of anthropology
  • Tara Hefferan - mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, affiliate professor of anthropology
  • Wesley Jackson - husband, father, son, supervisor of the anthropology lab
  • Gwyn Madden - mother, daughter, associate professor
  • Angela Reed - mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, part-time professor of anthropology
  • Russell Rhoads - father, son, partner, citizen, associate professor
  • Mark Schwartz - associate professor
  • Chris Shaffer - son, partner, brother, friend, assistant professor of anthropology
  • Heather VanWormer - daughter, sister, aunt, friend, volunteer, traveler, associate professor of anthropology
  • Deana L. Weibel - mother, wife, daughter, associate professor and chair of anthropology
  • Michael Wroblewski - husband, father, assistant professor of anthropology
  • Barbie Young

For more information on our university’s position, and background to our discipline and its position, please follow these links:

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Page last modified November 9, 2017