Rosemary A. Joyce

Rosemary A. Joyce

Fellow: Awarded 2010
Field of Study: Anthropology and Cultural Studies

Competition: US & Canada

University of California, Berkeley

Rosemary A. Joyce is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences and Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. A former curator at Harvard University and museum director at Berkeley, she is a contributor to contemporary debates about archaeological ethics and politics, and is widely known for her work on the archaeology of gender, sexuality, and embodiment, based on visual culture of precolumbian Central America. Ms. Joyce has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Honduras since 1977. Her excavations at Puerto Escondido, Honduras, produced evidence for settled village life almost 1,000 years earlier than previously documented in the region, with early evidence for the use of cacao (chocolate). Her subsequent excavations at Los Naranjos, Honduras, a site with monumental sculpture and architecture contemporary with Puerto Escondido, are illuminating early plant use at that important site, and have led to publications on the way visual images in early settlements were entangled with daily life. Most recently, she has pursued fieldwork at the site of an eighteenth-century Spanish colonial fort, San Fernando de Omoa, in conjunction with work on archival documents related to the development of the racially complex society of the Caribbean coast. During her Guggenheim period, Ms. Joyce will be working on a book on archaeological perspectives on relationships between historical accounts of the reproduction of social life and the material world that is shaped by human action and in turn shapes human understandings and intentions.

Ms. Joyce received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Archaeology from Cornell University (1978) and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1985). She is the author of six books: Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives (Thames and Hudson, 2008); Embodied Lives: Figuring Ancient Egypt and the Classic Maya (with Lynn Meskell; Routledge, 2003); The Languages of Archaeology (Blackwell, 2002); Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica (University of Texas Press, 2001); Encounters with the Americas (with Susan A. M. Shumaker; Peabody Museum Press 1995); and Cerro Palenque: Power and Identity on the Maya Periphery (University of Texas Press, 1991). She is also the co-editor of Mesoamerican Archaeology: Theory and Practice (with Julia Hendon; Blackwell 2004), Beyond Kinship: Social and Material Reproduction in House Societies (with Susan D. Gillespie; University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), Social Patterns in Pre-Classic Mesoamerica (with David C. Grove; Dumbarton Oaks 1999), and Women in Prehistory: North American and Mesoamerica (with Cheryl Claassen; University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997). Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Foundation for Ancient Mesoamerican Studies, and the Heinz Foundation. Previously she has been a Fellow in residence at Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute, the UC Humanities Research Institute, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. In 2003 she was the Distinguished Lecturer of the Archeology Division of the American Anthropological Association.




Profile photograph by Russell Sheptak.

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