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My research focuses on how collectives reckon with past violence. I use  archaeology, ethnography, and historiography to better understand how past violence influences present-day sociopolitical consciousness and collective imaginations of the future.

Primary Interests

Cultural heritage and collective memory; political violence and colonialism; intersections of race, indigeneity, and gender; feminist anthropologies; indigenous and diasporic (historical) archaeologies; time, temporality, materiality; collaborative research methodologies

Broad Areas of Competency

Historical Archaeology/Anthropology; Latin American History; American Indian and Indigenous Studies; Black Studies

Geographic Areas

Americas (especially Maya Lowlands, Mexico, and USA); Australia

Annual Exhibit
Team at Ex-Hacienda
3-D modelling
Tihosuco Project Team
Parroquial Records
Community Room


How does political violence materialize across timescales in settler colonial contexts? This central question of my working book manuscript, Things of War: Conflict & Heritage on Mexico's Maya Frontier, responds to what I see as a growing divide between war studies and everyday life studies in the humanities and social sciences. This divide has special influence in studies of colonialism writ large, and colonial violence in particular, because it can render indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples' experiences with and engagements in colonial projects unintelligible. In order to remedy this shortcoming, I present a framework for an archaeology of political violence, defined not as a synonym for war, but as the function of war and structural oppression. The framework I propose emerges from my involvement with a collaborative heritage initiative, the Tihosuco Heritage Preservation and Community Development Project, located in Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The project positioned me to draw on a wide range of media with which to think about the politics surrounding the history of the Maya Social War (or, Caste War of Yucatan)—a predominantly Maya anticolonial insurrection that began in the former Tihosuco Parish in 1847. By conventional accounts the war lasted until 1901, making it one of the longest (as well as most successful) indigenous insurrections to have been mounted in the Americas. My dissertation, "Materializing Political Violence: Segregation, War, and Memory in Quintana Roo, Mexico," began to contend with how political violence materializes by investigating the racial geographies of segregation, war, and memory practice in the region. Ultimately, the aim is to arrive at a more holistic approach to investigating violence—and its ramifications—in settler colonial contexts.


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