The posts I've written so far have addressed things usually unaddressed in anthropology departments. Indo-European studies, Afrocentrism, and Indian history have their place in anthropology departments, but it seems to me the wrong one. Instead of studying the subjects themselves (say, the linguistic situation of ancient Egypt), anthropologists study the non-academics who take an interest in them. Instead of trying to find out as much as possible about pre-Christian Celtic religion, for instance, anthropologists today will research Celtic revivalism in Texas. There are some excellent academics who take an interest in both - Ronald Hutton is one of those, and he has published on both Druidic religion and neo-pagans today who believe they are following the original. Hutton takes a suitably sceptical approach to both things.
It's hard to see the point of studying the modern movements as a major part of the discipline - as more normal than studying the ancient things. It can't be motivated by money or funding, because most of these books are densely written and often based on a lot of continental twaddle, making them impenetrable for many people. The Celtic revivalists (or whoever else) will not find the books interesting, because they're not interested in their movement, as such; they're interested in apeing, as far as possible, the "true" religion of the ancient Celts. That they usually fail in this task is not necessarily an indication of their lack of interest.
The motive of the academics seems to be the usual relativism, taking the uninspired and clearly incorrect view that the revivalists are, in some way, just as "correct" as the academics seriously studying the problems. Unseat the "Western" view from its place of priority, that's the chief aim of this species of anthropology, and never mind that the notion of a "Western" view is itself a moronical strawman.
Here's the thing: there's a lot for anthropologists to study. I've mentioned before how much there is to learn in order to be able to forge reasonable answers to anthropological questions, and it's a simple fact that courses do not teach these skills. It's been known by archaeologists and ethnologists for decades that historical linguistics is a vital link in the chains of argument about prehistory or preliterate groups. It is both an enormously productive and incredibly sophisticated tool for finding out things otherwise lost to us, like the social organisation of preliterate people before the rise of ethnography.
It takes time to learn and requires some dedication to grapple with the techniques. But it has allowed us to take an astounding, mind-broadening peek into the prehistory of many of earth's populations, from the western Pacific to Nevada and the Yellow River, and it's something of immense value - a major scientific achievement all on its own. It is, in effect, one of the things that allow anthropologists to show that those people white racists used to believe had "no history" do, in fact, have a great deal of it.
I am interested (and eccentric) enough to have studied a lot about historical linguistics on my own, albeit ever-so-slightly haphazardly, but as David Anthony notes in the first and second chapters of his The Horse, The Wheel, and Language, neither archaeologists nor social anthropologists are trained to use or understand historical linguistics. Neither are linguists, nor most social anthropologists, trained in the interpretation of archaeological data, or even in how to understand the arguments made by archaeologists. There is simply no course you can take, whether at undergraduate or graduate level, that will enable you to understand pre-industrial peoples using the tools of all three disciplines, and this is bizarre in an age when most of the top scholars in wrestling with these issues use tools from all three of them all the time.
I would like there to be a department or a discipline that provides a course integrating the tools and techniques of all of the relevant disciplines. I don't care whether it's called anthropology or archaeolinguanthroponomy or spleg. What matters is the content and direction of the course, not the name, or the history, of it. It would just be wonderful if linguistics and archaeological interpretation could become second nature to anthropologists of all flavours.