Though folklore and anthropology are distinct disciplines, we share an academic history
and an interest in learning about the human experience from our complimentary perspectives.
Both fields emphasize primary research conducted in the field and the lab—whether
through ethnographic fieldwork, oral history interviewing, archaeological investigations, or
osteological analyses. Both fields also engage in applied research, which means that
in addition to producing academic articles and books, we engage with communities to
produce public projects and programs and to help solve contemporary social problems.
Students in our classes are taught by experts in both fields, and our faculty and
students often collaborate on research and service projects.
The Folk Studies and Anthropology programs at WKU go back over half a century. In 2004, we joined together as a new department. In 2012, the Kentucky Folklife Program, established in 1989, joined the department. Learn more about the history of the Folk Studies and Anthropology programs.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, WKU underwent a university-wide self-evaluation of academic programs (the Comprehensive Academic Program Evaluation, or CAPE). As a result of this process, we are proud to announce that the relevance and success of our degree programs have been reaffirmed. We continue to offer all of our programs, as well as our wide range of courses. We look forward to building on our existing strengths and creating more opportunities for our students to engage in career-focused areas such as applied anthropology and museum studies. Come see us in FAC 237!