This webinar series, held throughout the 2021-22 academic year, showcases current research in Caribbean archaeology that involves new data, fresh approaches, novel methods of analysis, and engagement with important contemporary issues such as impacts of climate change, migration, and community engagement and self-representation.
Organized by John Cherry and Miriam Rothenberg, the series is co-sponsored by the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Program in Early Cultures at Brown University.
All lectures were online, free, and open to the public, but registration in advance is required for each talk. Videos of past lectures will be made available on this page.
Monday, November 1, 2021
Art & Artifact: Art Historicizing Pre-Columbian Caribbean Archaeology
Lawrence Waldron (City University of New York)
The overwhelming majority of scholarly specialists studying the pre-Columbian Caribbean are archaeologists. This has generated a century’s-worth of archaeological data, which the very few art historians working in this area can explore in their search for meaning, and the interiority of ancient Antillean lives.
Monday, December 6, 2021
Archaeology at the Crossroads: Emerging Materialities of Early Colonial Encounters in the Caribbean
Diane Wallman (University of South Florida)
This presentation will discuss archaeological explorations of Indigenous-European interactions in the colonial Caribbean. Contemporary research, such as that at the site of LaSoye on the island of Dominica, interrogates the political, economic, and socioecological consequences of European settler colonialism on Indigenous communities and landscapes. This scholarship focuses on local materialities that reflect entanglement within the larger colonial structures, exploring themes of Indigenous resilience and agency in the face of encroaching European conquest.
Friday, February 4, 2022
In the Eye of the Storm: Archaeological Heritage in the Eastern Caribbean
John Crock (University of Vermont) and Jay Haviser (St. Maarten Archaeological Center)
Climate change presents a major threat to archaeological heritage in the small islands of the Eastern Caribbean. The effects of tourism-based economic development in island economies also poses a significant threat to cultural heritage. We will reflect on our experience documenting heritage resources in this perfect storm and discuss major issues and initiatives in the region including capacity building and community engagement.
Friday, March 4, 2022
Migration, Diet, and Exchange in the Caribbean Region: New Insights from Isotope Bioarchaeology
Jason Laffoon (Leiden University)
Isotope analyses are increasingly applied to the bioarchaeological record to address a wide range of research questions pertaining to human migrations, dietary patterns, and the exchange of biogenic materials and objects. This presentation will track the development and application of these methods to studies in Caribbean. It explores the potentials of isobiographies, highly detailed life history reconstructions, obtained via the combination of multiple tissue sampling and multiple isotope proxies. These are demonstrated through various cases studies focusing on the identification of migrants and their origins; assessing dietary changes and nutritional stress linked to long-distance migration, and exploring long-distance exchange networks. The presentation will also provide a critical reflection on the persistent challenges and future prospects of isotope approaches in this region.
Jason Laffoon is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeological Science, Faculty of Archaeology, at Leiden University. His main research interests focus on integrating bioarchaeological and biochemical approaches to the study of patterns of mobility/migration, diet, and exchange.
Friday, April 15, 2022
Developing an Antiracist Archaeology for the Next Generation
Alicia Odewale (University of Tulsa)
Dr. Alicia Odewale is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. She specializes in African Diaspora archaeology in the Caribbean and Southeastern United States. Since 2014 she has been researching archaeological sites related to Afro-Caribbean heritage on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Her research interests include the archaeology of enslavement and freedom in urban contexts, Caribbean archaeology, rural and urban comparative analyses, community-based archaeology, ceramic analysis, transferware studies, mapping historical trauma from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and investigations into different forms of cultural resistance. In addition to her role as faculty, she also serves as the director of the Historical Archaeology and Heritage Studies Laboratory at TU and serves as the co-creator of the Estate Little Princess Archaeological Field School in St. Croix that trains local students in archaeological methods and other STEM related skills for free.
Friday, May 6, 2022
A Negro in the Shire: A Black Woman’s Journey for Activism through Scottish Academia
Peggy Brunache (University of Glasgow)
Dr Peggy Brunache is a lecturer in the history of Atlantic slavery at the University of Glasgow and the first Director of the newly established Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies. Born in Miami to Haitian parents, she trained and worked as a historical archaeologist with a focus on plantation studies, the African diaspora and the transatlantic slave trade, working on archaeological projects in Benin, West Africa, Guadeloupe, and various sites in the United States. She is a founding member of the European Society of Black and Allied Archaeologists (ESBAA). Recently, she developed a free 4-week ongoing online course on British Slavery in the Caribbean with Futurelearn.com. She acts as culinary consultant for Perth’s Southern Fried music festival. Her media appearances include the US’s Food Network, BBCTV’s Black and British documentary series and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland ’s programmes.