Dr. Tracy Betsinger joined our department in the Fall 2008 semester as an Assistant Professor. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology and Indian Studies from University of North Dakota, her B.S. in Biology from University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, her M.A. in Anthropology from University of Tennessee, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Ohio State University. Prior to joining our department, Dr. Betsinger held a post-doctoral research position with the Global History of Health Project, the Ohio State University.
Dr. Betsinger’s research interests include bioarchaeology, paleopathology, skeletal biology, and the effects of gender, social status, and settlement patterns on health and well-being of populations. In particular, she is interested in disease, stress and deprivation, diet, and warfare and trauma. Dr. Betsinger conducts research on medieval and post-medieval populations from Poland and on prehistoric, precontact (culturally unaffiliated) populations from eastern Tennessee.
Currently, Dr. Betsinger is involved in research examining patterns of treponemal disease, oral health, and overall health in prehistoric Tennessee populations (with Dr. Maria O. Smith, Illinois State University). Additionally, she is conducting research (with Amy B. Scott, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg) on health patterns and mortuary practices in a 17th century Polish population. In particular, she has examined deviant burials, deemed “vampire” burials, from this population in order to understand the cultural context of such unusual burial practices.
Courses taught by Dr. Betsinger:
ANTH 219 Anthropology of Death