The Department of Sociology & Anthropology
The Bachelor of Arts with a Sociology & Anthropology major is an integrated one, which means that coursework and field study give students opportunities for shared experiences in Sociology and Anthropology. The program stresses study, research, and practical applications based on a broad theoretical and comparative understanding of people and society.
Students can prepare for graduate study in research or teaching, professional training in applied social science (e.g., health administration, urban planning, environmental programs), law, government service, work in community development, public service administration, and non-profit agencies. The program emphasizes a cross-cultural perspective, and some courses have a Service-Learning component.
Students work with faculty mentors to complete original research for their capstone projects. All students present their research findings at a campus conference, and many also present research at academic conferences. Sociology and anthropology students’ theses have regularly been selected for publication in the campus publication The Auspex: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research
Some recent examples of student projects are:
- Bringin’ Home the Bacon: Transgender Men’s Experiences in the Workplace
- Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Edamame and Blueberries: How Kids Learn about Food Culture
- “We can’t all Go to the Same Church of Old Time Music”: Identity, Community and Authenticity within the Genre
- “If a Man Has No Boots, How Can He Pull Himself Up By His Own Bootstraps?”: Discourse, the Other, and Living Under the Homeless Label
- Women in the Woods: Exploring How Female Thru-hikers Negotiate Gender on the Appalachian Trail
- Engendering Animals in Children’s Picture Books: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Symbolism, Stereotypes, and Representation
Archaeology at Warren Wilson College
Studies in Archeology began in 1966 and has since grown into a substantial research program. Originally, graduate students from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill worked with WWC students to excavate the Warren Wilson Site. Today, the college’s archaeology students work on many different projects and the archaeology crew, comprised of between four and six undergraduates, curates collections gathered from many sites.
Beginning in 2001, the major focus of the archaeology program at WWC has been the Berry site, a 16th century Native American town at which a Spanish fort was built. The Berry site is located in Morganton, North Carolina.
The Berry Site Field School
Every summer since 2001 Warren Wilson College and Western Piedmont Community College have led a field school at the Berry site that invites anyone to join. Students can enroll for credit if they wish.
The Berry site is a large Native American town that was occupied from about A.D. 1400-1600. During the mid-16th century, Berry may have been among the largest Native towns in North America.
We have identified the Berry site as the town of Joara,which was visited by the Hernando de Soto expedition in 1540 and by the Juan Pardo expedition from 1567-68. Pardo built a fort at Joara-Fort San Juan-the earliest European settlement in the interior of what is now the United States.
In December 1566, Juan Pardo left the Spanish town of Santa Elena on the South Carolina and traveled into North Carolina in search of an overland route to Mexico. During his march, he built a string of small forts between modern day Beaufort, South Carolina, and what is now western Tennessee. Scholars have debated about the routes of Pardo and de Soto for years, but our research at the Berry site provides evidence that both of these expeditions passed through the upper Catawba Valley of North Carolina.
Spanish soldiers lived at Fort San Juan for 18 months, from January 1567 until about June 1568. During the spring of 1568, relations between the Spaniards and the native peoples of Joara ended tumultuously, and the fort was burned and destroyed.
Exploring Joara Foundation
Exploring Joara Foundation takes its name from Joara, the major Native American town in the upper Catawba Valley visited by sixteenth-century Spanish expeditions led by Hernando de Soto and Juan Pardo. Our archaeological work suggests that Joara is located at the Berry site, located north of Morganton, N.C.
The foundation is committed to promoting public archaeology in the upper Catawba and Yadkin river valleys of western North Carolina. Thier mission is to support research, education, and outreach on preservation of our past. The foundation is dedicated to finding and protecting archaeological resources, while fostering an understanding and appreciation for archaeology in the community. Warren Wilson has been involved with the foundation since 2001 and students participate in their works in the region.