You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Please enable scripts and reload this page.
Turn on more accessible mode
Turn off more accessible mode
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Turn off Animations
Turn on Animations
Grant Writing Tips
Publication as a Student
Field School Process
Field School Schedule
Archaeology Field Schools
Sociocultural Anthropology Field Schools
Student Research Presentations
Subdisciplines and Research Areas
The following subfields represent some of the prominent areas of research conducted by our full-time faculty. A list of faculty that conduct research in each field is given, along with a brief description of each subfield. Links to individual faculty pages—where you can view CV's and lists of publications—can be found on our
The Department of Anthropology hosts the African Studies Minor. More information about this minor can be found
or by contacting the faculty who conduct research in Africa.
Anthropology of Religion
All of our faculty deal with issues of religion to varying extents in their research. However, the Anthropology of Religion is an important subdiscipline and the Society for the Anthropology of Religion constitutes a section of the American Anthropological Association (
). Some of the areas of religious practice researched by our faculty include:
Ancestral Practice (David Crandall, Jacob Hickman)
Christianity (John Hawkins, Jacob Hickman, Charles Nuckolls, Greg Thompson)
Islam (Cyndy Finlayson, David Johnson)
Mesoamerican Religion (John Clark, Don Forsyth, John Hawkins, Mike Searcy)
Religious Iconography (Jim Allison, John Clark, Cyndy Finlayson, Don Forsyth, David Johnson, Mike Searcy)
Shamanism (John Hawkins, Jacob Hickman)
Spirit Mediumship (David Crandall, Charles Nuckolls)
The BYU Kennedy Center offers both a
major and a minor in Asian Studies
. The following faculty conduct research in Asia and teach courses that count toward the Asian Studies programs:
Jacob Hickman, Charles Nuckolls
Medical anthropology is the study of health and healing practices and beliefs as they vary in different cultural contexts. Our department offers courses in medical anthropology and related areas of interest, and several of our faculty conduct research on these topics. These research interests range from traditional herbal remedies to shamanic healing rituals to analyzing American Psychiatry.
David Crandall, John Hawkins, Jacob Hickman, Charles Nuckolls
Mesoamerican archaeology and ethnography have historically been a concentrated area of research in our department. The
New World Archaeology Foundation (NWAF)
is an affiliate entity of the Department of Anthropology, and the NWAF maintains an on-site research center in Chiapas, Mexico. Our current faculty carry this tradition with a host of books, articles, and papers series based on the region. For 15 years, John Hawkins also directed an ethnographic field school in Guatemala that spawned
a series of volumes on this research with Oklahoma Press
John Clark, Don Forsyth, John Hawkins, Ray Matheny, Mike Searcy
Linguistic anthropologists study the linguistic dimensions of cultural experience. These go beyond the mere expression of culture through language, and include that ways that humans' thinking is shaped by linguistic processes and investigating the linguistic resources that people draw on as they engage in cultural practice.
Greg Thompson, Janis Nuckolls (Dept. of Linguistics)
Psychological Anthropology research occurs at the intersection of mind and culture. Researchers in this subfield argue that psychological processes can not be adequately understood without investigating the cultural contexts in which they develop and are expressed, and likewise that culture cannot be properly understood without a rich theory of how individuals experience and interact with 'society,' including the psychological processes that underpin these interactions. Our department offers courses in psychological anthropology, and perspectives from this subdiscipline are expressed in the range of courses taught by psychological anthropologists in our department.
Jacob Hickman, Charles Nuckolls, Greg Thompson
In addition to conducting their own research in the American southwest (this region includes the northwestern portions of Mexico, such as the Casas Grandes site), our department has offered a number of field schools in southwestern archaeological sites, including the Utah Great Basin, Wolf Village, and the Provo mounds.
Jim Allison, Joel Janetski, Mike Searcy
Near East Archaeology
Faculty in our department conduct research in Jordan and Syria, and the 2014 Archaeology Field School will also be held in Jordan.
Cyndy Finlayson, David Johnson