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; in 2019, the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, founded in 1995, came on board. Learn more about the history of the Folk Studies and Anthropology programs. Come see us in FAC 237!