John Kenneth Millhauser
Grant TypeHunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationNorth Carolina State U.
Grant numberGr. 10059
Approve DateOctober 2, 2020
Project TitleMillhauser, John (North Carolina State U.) "The other Mesoamerica: The archaeology of poverty and precarity in central Mexico under Aztec rule"
JOHN MILLHAUSER, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2020 to aid research on ‘The Other Mesoamerica: The Archaeology of Poverty and Precarity in Central Mexico under Aztec Rule.’ How can we eradicate poverty without understanding its origins, dynamics, and variations? Poverty, Power, and Prehistory will argue that a historical perspective based on cross-cultural comparisons can help and archaeology can play a significant role in understanding the dynamics of poverty in the past. The book will present a deep history of poverty in pre-capitalist and non-Western societies: one that highlights non-monetary and non-wage-based contributions of household and community members in strategies to make do and buffer risk, accounts for variability, and underscores socially embedded constraints on the poor’stigma, structural violence, and uneven development. The manuscript will integrate new archaeological and ethnohistoric evidence with novel interpretations of existing data sets to understand the meaning and reality of poverty in Aztec culture and provide a generalizable framework for cross-cultural and historic comparison. Poverty, Power, and Prehistory will establish the validity of an archaeology of poverty, outside of the West and before capitalism, in support of the archaeologists, historians, and other scholars who use knowledge of the past to improve the present. With the support of the fellowship, a sample chapter and book prospectus were drafted, circulated for comment, and submitted to an academic press for review.