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IU South Bend

James VanderVeen

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Expert Bio

James “Jay” VanderVeen, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and director of the University Center for Excellence in Teaching at IU South Bend, teaches everything in anthropology, from ancient Mesoamerica to “Zombies in Popular Culture.” He has won teaching awards across the university and is a proponent of active learning, whether in person or online in media-rich environments.

His students have excavated in the northern Indiana region and in the Dominican Republic, both on land and beneath the sea. He has also taken students everywhere, from Mayan ruins in Mexico to underpasses in Chicago, all in the effort to learn how humans signify their beliefs.

VanderVeen completed his B.A. in anthropology at Albion College. He earned an M.A. in historical anthropology and a Ph.D. in archaeology and social context from Indiana University Bloomington.

Areas of Expertise

Archaeology, historical archaeology, historic North American class and race issues, Mesoamerican archaeology, contact periods, underwater archaeology, shipwrecks, marine research, scientific diving, prehistoric and historic Caribbean cultures, food, physical anthropology, forensic anthropology, teaching, university students, active learning, science literacy.