Research in Anthropology

The faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Western Michigan University are involved in a variety of research initiatives.

  • Drs. Jon Holtzman and Bilinda Straight's complimentary projects on gender in small arms warfare and cattle raiding in East Africa.
  • Tim Bober's research interests have  recently included Mesoamerican archaeology and the archaeology of the Fur Trade in the Great Lakes area.  Tim has concentrated his Mesoamerican interests primarily in Mexican cultures like the Aztecs and Teotihuacan.  He has also been involved in a public archaeology project entitled, The Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Project, investigating an 18th century French fort built near the Michigan and Indiana border.
  • Dr. Britt Hartenberger has focused her archaeological research on the production of stone tools and pottery in the Middle East, specifically southeastern Turkey during the Bronze and Iron Ages. In the summer of 2019, she joined the Olynthos Project in Greece to conduct flotation and collect microdebris for investigating activities in a Classical period house. She is also working on publications of the pottery and lithics from the Ziyaret Tepe Archaeological Project in Turkey.
  • Dr. Michael Nassaney has research interests that include the archaeology of eastern North America with a focus on colonialism, the fur trade, material analysis, public archaeology, and ethnohistory. He is the principal investigator of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, an interdisciplinary program in community service learning that focuses on the 18th-century site of Fort St. Joseph in Niles, Michigan.

collaborating Faculty

The following WMU faculty in other departments collaborate on anthropology and African American and African studies projects and research:

  • Ann Miles, Department of Sociology
  • Mariam Konate, Gender and Women's Studies
  • Vin Lyon-Callo, Sociology

Fort St. Joseph

Making archaeology accessible to the public is a major goal of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, which is unearthing and interpreting the community's history.

Virtual Museum

WMU students have created virtual exhibits that establish permanent and useful guides for various topics. Contact Dr. Bilinda Straight for more information.