Academic Header 1 - 2015

What's Happening?!

The Sociology and Anthropology Department welcomes two new faculty members.  Anna Harkey joined the faculty in the fall of 2015 and Dr. Rhiannon Leebrick joined us in the fall of 2016.

Anna Harkey is an archaeologist coming to us from her PhD program at the University of California at Berkeley.  Her research includes household archaeology, colonialism, and Andean prehistory, with a focus on vernacular architecture and ceramics. This research centers around her desire to understand how people in the past confronted the encroachment of a rapidly changing world, and how those choices played out in their daily lives. I carried out fieldwork in the Yanamarka Valley in central highland Peru, where the local Sausa population experienced colonization twice in rapid succession: first by the Incas, and then only six decades later by the Spanish. Anna is I am proficient in archaeological illustration and graphic design, and use my artwork to help make the past more accessible, emphasizing color, action, and human-centered stories, rather than the empty ruins that so often dominate popular imagination.

Anna Harkey at the Botanical Gardens

Rhiannon received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Tennessee in 2015. Her research interests include environmental gentrification, inequality, and the built environment. Two recent publications include “Rural Gentrification and Growing Regional Tourism: New Development in South Central Appalachia” in Current Perspectives in Social Theory and “Landscape as Arena and Spatial Narrative in the New River Gorge National River’s Coal Camps: A Case Study of the Elverton, WV 1914 Strike” in Southeastern Geographer. Rhiannon is passionate about teaching sociology, especially examining the intersections of racism, sexism, and classism within the United States and globally. Outside of teaching and research she enjoys hiking, traveling, reading novels, and baking. Joining her in Spartanburg will be her daughter Maebel.

Dr. Rhiannon Leebrick

 

 So You Want to Be a Sociology Major

I hope you get a chance to visit our campus if you haven’t already. My colleagues and I will be happy to talk to you about sociology should you drop by our department. Just send a quick note to let us know you are dropping in (thurmondgt@wofford.edu, ginocchioga@wofford.edu, fowlerct@wofford.edu).

Wofford’s Sociology and Anthropology Department emphasizes the contributions that both of these disciplines make to our understanding of people. Sociology is the study of society, particularly western industrial societies, while Anthropology especially examines nonwestern and nonindustrial societies, human biological and cultural evolution and cultural adaptation to different environments. A student majoring in Sociology must have at least one Anthropology course, and most take several. This gives them a broad view of the different ways people live today that is particularly useful in our globalized world.

Our sociology and anthropology majors follow a variety of career paths from sociology and anthropology professors, to business men and women, global health workers, counselors, social workers, lawyers and law enforcement agents--including one secret service and a SLED agent. Many of our students double major in sociology/anthropology and modern languages, history, biology, government, psychology and in several other departments. This fits with the nature of Wofford as a liberal arts college. At Wofford we emphasize the equal importance of the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities, strive to teach the connections between them, and understand that you need all of them to be successful in the modern world.

If you don’t know what you want to major in, don’t worry. Most freshmen students are like that, and that is a good thing. Take classes in a variety of different disciplines and discover where your passions and talents lie. We hope that among those classes you try are in our Sociology and Anthropology department.

Gerald Thurmond, Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department