Kurt A. Jordan
Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2002
Office: McGraw 210
Research Interests: Iroquois Archaeology and History; Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Peoples; Political Economy; Colonialism, Cultural Entanglement, and Indigenous Autonomy; Relations between Archaeologists and Indigenous Communities; Shell Bead Wampum; Red Pipestone and Red Slate
Archaeology provides a perspective on Postcolumbian indigenous lives that both supplements and challenges document-based histories. My research centers on the archaeology of Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) peoples, emphasizing the settlement patterns, housing, and political economy of seventeenth- and eighteenth- century Senecas. The empirical evidence provided by archaeology can do much to combat inaccurate narratives of Indian decline and powerlessness that pervade scholarly and popular writing about Native Americans. For example, fieldwork at the 1715-1754 Seneca Townley-Read site near Geneva, New York, recovered data indicating substantial Seneca autonomy, selectivity, innovation, and opportunism in an era usually considered to be one of cultural disintegration.
I am currently leading excavations in domestic areas at the 1688-1715 Seneca White Springs village site, also located near Geneva, New York, and the predecessor to the Townley-Read site. Excavation and surface collections, conducted in collaboration with the Seneca Nations of Indians, commenced in 2007 and are ongoing.
My teaching interests include the archaeology of North American Indians, the global historical archaeology of indigenous peoples, the representation of Native American histories and cultures, political economy in archaeology, the North American fur trade, and hands-on training courses in archaeological excavation and laboratory analysis that tap into the rich archaeological resources of the Finger Lakes region.
- Anthropology 1162: Excavating the Postcolumbian World (first-year writing seminar)
- Anthropology 2220: Field Course in Iroquois Archaeology (summer only)
- Anthropology 2235: Archaeology of North American Indians
- Anthropology 3210/6210: Historical Archaeology
- Anthropology 3248/6248: Iroquois Archaeology
- Anthropology 4209: Approaches to Archaeology
- Anthropology 4260: Field and Analytical Methods in American Indian Archaeology
- Anthropology 4270/7270: Political Economy in Archaeology
- Anthropology 4272/7272: Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Peoples
- American Indian Studies 1100: Introduction to American Indian Studies I: Indigenous North America to 1890
- The Seneca Restoration, 1715-1754: An Iroquois Local Political Economy. Gainesville: Society for Historical Archaeology and University Press of Florida.
- Incorporation and Colonization: Postcolumbian Iroquois Satellite Communities and Processes of Indigenous Autonomy. American Anthropologist 115(1), March 2013.
- Pruning Colonialism: Vantage point, Local Political Economy, and Cultural Entanglement in the Archaeology of post- 1415 Indigenous Peoples. In Neal Ferris, Rodney Harrison, and Michael Wilcox, editors: The Archaeology of Colonized and its Contribution to Global Archaeological Theory. Under contract with Oxford University press; publication expected 2013.
- Peregrine A. Gerard-Little, Michael B. Rogers, and Kurt A. Jordan. Understanding the Built Environment at the Seneca Iroquois White Springs Site using Large-scale, Multi-instrument Archaeogeophysical Surveys. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(7): 2042-2048.
- Christopher N. Matthews and Kurt A. Jordan. Secularism as Ideology: Exploring Assumptions of Cultural Equivalence in Museum Repatriation. In Reinhard Bernbeck and Randall McGuire, editors: Ideologies in Archaeology. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, pages 212-232.
- Not Just 'One Site Against the World': Seneca Iroquois Intercommunity Connections and Autonomy, 1550-1779. In Laura L. Scheiber and Mark D. Mitchell, editors: Across the Great Divide: Continuity and Change in Native North American Societies, 1400-1900. Amerind Seminar volume 4. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, pages 79-106.
- Colonies, Colonialism and Cultural Entanglement: The Archaeology of Postcolumbian Intercultural Relations. In Teresita Majewski and David Gaimster, editors: International Handbook of Historical Archaeology. New York: Springer, pages 31-49.
- Regional Diversity and Colonialism in Eighteenth-Century Iroquoia. In Laurie E. Miroff and Timothy D. Knapp, editors: Iroquoian Archaeology and Analytic Scale. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, pages 215-230.
- Seneca Settlement Pattern, Community Structure, and Housing, 1677-1779. Northeast Anthropology 67: 23-60.
- An Eighteenth Century Seneca Iroquois Short Longhouse from the Townley-Read Site, c. A.D. 1715-1754. The Bulletin: Journal of the New York State Archaeological Association 119: 49-63.
- Christopher N. Matthews, Mark P. Leone, and Kurt A. Jordan. The Political Economy of Archaeological Cultures: Marxism and American Historical Archaeology. Journal of Social Archaeology 2(1): 109-134.