Jeffery C. Wanser, M.A.

Adjunct Instructor, Coordinator of Collection Development, Library

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As an anthropologist residing in the Dept. of Sociology, my philosophy of, or approach to, teaching is related to the context in which I find myself, the nature and needs of the students who take my courses, the influences of my own professors, and my personality. In some sense, I represent anthropology to students who are not likely to go on in the field, but who have an interest or a need for anthropological concepts or methods in their own chosen fields. I stress engagement of the students with the literature of anthropology, but also actually doing anthropology or archaeology rather than just reading about it. I try to related anthropology's relevance to the students' lives, and the relationship between the widely diverse cultures they read about with American culture, its diversity, and their own experiences. As a good anthropologist, I want to make the exotic seem everyday, and the everyday seem exotic. I want to show how seeing through the anthropological lens allows for critical thinking, effective analysis of patterns of thought and behavior, and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all aspects of culture. In this sense, my teaching mirrors the holistic nature of the discipline, the importance of context for understanding others, and the unique perspectives offered through anthropology. In the classroom I use a variety of tools, ranging from class exercises to films to discussions, and include field experience as appropriate. I am careful to emphasize the ethical aspects of anthropology and its historical context as an avenue to thoughtful understanding of both the power and responsibilities inherent in studying other people.

Courses Taught

  • SOAN 202: Cultural Anthropology
  • SOAN 274: Peoples & Cultures of the Pacific Islands
  • SOAN 275: Introduction to Archaeology
  • SOAN 276: North American Indians
  • SOAN 280: Archaeology in Action
  • SOAN 301: Archaeological Origins of Civilized Societies
  • MAIS 5175: What is Tradition?


  • B.A., Anthropology, Adelphi University
  • M.A., Anthropology, SUNY-Binghamton
  • M.L.S., Library Science, University of Pittsburgh

Selected Publications

  • "Stone." Encyclopedia of American Folklife. M.E. Sharpe, 2006, p. 1183-1186. (article on the traditional uses of stone).
  • "Marble and Granite Quarrying." Encyclopedia of New England. Yale University Press, 2005. p. 856-857.
  • "Benjamin Wright." American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 1999. Vol. 24, p. 5-6. (Wright was one of the chief engineers for the Erie Canal).
  • Social Archeology: Beyond Subsistence and Dating. Co-editor. Academic Press, 1977.
  • More than 100 book reviews in publications such as Historical Archaeology, Material Culture, and Choice.
  • More than a dozen archaeology technical reports for the Public Archaeology Facility, SUNY-Binghamton, 1977-1981.
  • Editor, Hiram Historical Society Newsletter, 2001-Present.
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