Laura Ellen Heath-Stout

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Emory U.

Grant number

Gr. 10052

Approve Date

October 2, 2020

Project Title

Heath-Stout, Laura (U of Massachusetts, Boston, MA) "Career Arcs: Identity, Oppression, and Diversity in Archaeology"

LAURA HEATH-STOUT, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship to aid research and writing on “Career Arcs: Identity, Oppression, and Diversity in Archaeology.” Archaeologists study people of all identities, yet we are relatively homogeneous. How can a nondiverse group of scholars understand the whole of human history? How do our demographics shape the knowledge that we produce? Although marginalized groups have critiqued the structural oppressions that shape archaeological practice, there are few qualitative studies demonstrating how our demographics shape our knowledge production on a disciplinary (rather than individual) scale. Identity, Oppression, and Diversity in Archaeology: Career Arcs examines precisely this question, using a corpus of approximately 100 in-depth interviews with U.S.-based academic archaeologists who hold a variety of identities. The book argues that from a student’s first dream of becoming an archaeologist through the rest of their career, intersecting systems of privilege oppression shape their experiences of education, research, and professional work. Furthermore, disciplinary cultural norms shape which archaeologists are encouraged to develop which research specializations, and which are forced to change specializations in order to avoid mistreatment. Inequities among archaeologists not only maintain our demographic homogeneity, but undermine the rigor of our research.