Richard Leventhal

Richard M. Leventhal, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Richard Leventhal is a Professor in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Anthropology and Curator in the American Section of the Penn Museum. He is also the former Director of the Penn Museum, President and CEO of the School of American Research in Santa Fe, Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA, and Director of the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies at SUNY-Albany. He has done extensive archaeological field research in Belize, Mexico, and other parts of Central America for over thirty years, which has resulted in several monographs and books about the ancient Maya. Dr. Leventhal lectures and writes extensively on the preservation of cultural properties and cultural sites, on the need to prevent the looting of global heritage resources, and on the acquisition policies of museums.

Brian I. Daniels

Brian I. Daniels, Ph.D.

Director of Research and Programs

Brian I. Daniels is director of research and programs for the Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, adjunct assistant professor in the University of Pennsylvania anthropology graduate group, visiting professor in the Sustainable Cultural Heritage Graduate Program at the American University of Rome, and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. His research centers around three concerns: (1) conflict, cultural loss, and human rights violations; (2) community-based approaches to cultural heritage preservation; and (3) indigenous rights and recognition. Currently, Dr. Daniels leads the National Science Foundation-supported Conflict Culture Research Network, a group of scholars at fifteen international universities and research organizations focused on the study of intentional cultural destruction. He has received the Society for American Archaeology’s Presidential Recognition Award for his efforts to protect Syrian and Iraqi cultural heritage and the Lynn Reyer Award in Tribal Community Development from the Society for the Preservation of American Indian Culture for his work with the Shasta Indian communities of northern California. He previously served as the manager of the National Endowment for the Humanities regional center initiative at San Francisco State University, where he worked on strategies for public engagement and the digital humanities.

Margaret M. Bruchac

Margaret M. Bruchac, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty

Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Consulting Scholar to American Section of the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania. In her multi-modal career as a performer, ethnographer, historian, and museum consultant, Bruchac has long been committed to critical studies of colonial histories, archives, and museums, while developing interpretations of Indigenous histories that challenge erasures and stereotypes. She has served as a consultant on northeastern Native American history for exhibitions and events at the American Philosophical Society Museum, Historic Deerfield, Old Sturbridge Village, Plimoth Plantation, and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, among other museums. She has received research awards from the American Philosophical Society, Five College Fellowship, Ford Foundation, and School for Advanced Research. Her 2018 book – Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists (University of Arizona Press) – received the inaugural Council for Museum Anthropology Book Award. Dr. Bruchac’s current research examines early collaborations among Indigenous informants and anthropological collectors that influenced the distribution and interpretation of cultural heritage in museums. She directs a restorative research project – “The Wampum Trail” – that focuses on the history, meaning, materiality, curation, repatriation, and revitalization of historical wampum objects over time

Lynn Meskell

Lynn Meskell, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty

Lynn Meskell is a Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Historic Preservation in the Weitzman School of Design. At the Penn Museum she is curator in the Middle East and Asia sections. She is currently AD White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (2019-2025). She holds Honorary Professorships at Oxford University and Liverpool University in the UK, Shiv Nadar University, India and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Previously Lynn was the Shirley and Leonard Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Over the past twenty years she has been awarded grants and fellowships including those from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, the American Academy in Rome, the School of American Research, Oxford University and Cambridge University. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Social Archaeology.

Douglas Smit

Douglas Smit, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty

Douglas Smit is an anthropological archaeologist interested in the archaeology of colonialism and capitalism, specifically the study of markets and labor within colonial projects. He is currently a Senior Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Smit received his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2018. Since 2013, he has co-directed Proyecto de Investigación Histórico Arqueológico-Santa Bárbara, a joint Peruvian-North American research program that examines the mercury mines of Santa Barbára. Using archaeology, archival research, and oral histories, Dr. Smit’s current research investigates the everyday lives of past miners, as well as engages with the contemporary indigenous community to illuminate how the legacy of the mine continues into the 21st century.