We are very pleased to share that Postdoctoral Fellow, Marc Kissel, recently took up a position in the anthropology department at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Marc received his B.A from New York University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests involve the evolution of modern humans and the processes by which hominins became human, the evolutionary arc of human warfare, and Neanderthal behavior. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing from 2014–17 and was a valuable member of the research teams of two projects: The Evolution of Wisdom and Human Distinctiveness, both funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
At Appalachian State University, Marc is teaching two courses this semester, one on human evolution and the other on the intersection of gender, race, and class. He is excited to work with new students and to be part of such a vibrant department. He recently presented his postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Dean's Lecture Series in the Humanities and is currently in the final stages of writing up two publications based on this research. Recent publications include, “A database of archeological evidence of representational behavior” co-authored with Agustín Fuentes (Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Endowed Chair in Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame) and published in Evolutionary Anthropology and a book manuscript due in February 2018, co-authored with Nam Kim entitled Emergent Warfare in our Evolutionary Past. This book explores the origins of human violence and concludes that, while important, seeing violence as the thing that drove our evolution is problematic. Warfare only became possible when we started behaving like humans. It was our ability to cooperate and see meaning around us in unprecedented ways that allowed warfare to emerge. This manuscript also draws on research Marc completed while at the University of Notre Dame.
To read a selection of Marc’s work completed at the CTSHF, read his blogs on the Origins. Natures. Futures. Blog on ‘The Evolutionary Arc of Human Warfare’ and ‘Did Early Humans have a Sense of Humor?’ and follow him on Twitter (@MarcKissel).