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Pueblo People, Franciscan Missionaries, and the Arrival of the Refuse Wind: New Research on Disease and Demography in the Southwest U.S., 1492-1700

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 2, 2017. 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Archaeology Center; Building 500, Room 106
Workshop: 
Archaeological Histories and Futures
Meeting Description: 

Matthew Liebmann is the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University. He is the author of Revolt: An Archaeological History of Pueblo Resistance and Revitalization in 17th Century New Mexico (University of Arizona Press 2012), and co-editor of Archaeology and the Postcolonial Critique (with Uzma Rizvi, Altamira Press 2008) and Enduring Conquests: Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas (with Melissa Murphy, SAR Press 2011). Liebmann received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, and served as the Tribal Archaeologist and NAGPRA Program Director for the Pueblo of Jemez from 2003-2005.

Debates regarding the magnitude, tempo, and ecological effects of Native American population decline between 1492-1900 constitute some of the most contentious issues in American Indian history. Was depopulation rapid and catastrophic, with effects extensive enough to change even the earth’s atmosphere? Or was this decline more moderate, with numbers of Native Americans waning slowly after European colonization? The results of recent collaborative research among archaeologists, dendrochronologists, and tribal members from the Pueblo of Jemez in northern New Mexico present unanticipated results, with consequences that extend beyond the borders of the American Southwest to anthropological studies of colonialism more generally.

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