Hakimah Abdul-Fattahis a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a visual artist and researcher with a professional background in museums and arts organizations. She is interested broadly in the moments in which material objects are put to work in national projects of repair, specifically with respect to how they might address the historical injustices of new world slavery and colonization. Hakimah holds a BA in Anthropology and French from Bates College and a MA in Museum Anthropology from Columbia University.
Tayeba Batool is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology and interested in questions of cultural heritage, identity-making and community-led development, particularly in urban settings. Her previous research looked at conservation efforts in the Walled City of Lahore, Pakistan, and how ownership, heritage and development narratives are mediated in the historic urban fabric by community and state. She has also worked on issues of economic growth, environment and gender-inclusive policy making in Pakistan. Her broader interests include museums, cultural memory, urban heritage, post-colonial theory and decolonization efforts.
Chelsea M. Cohen entered the University of Pennsylvania as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology after graduating with a BA in Anthropology from DePaul University and an MS in Maritime Archaeology and Conservation from Texas A&M. Her archaeological research focuses on the relationship between early contact period land management and British colonial maritime culture. Trained as both a terrestrial and maritime archaeologist, she uses a combination of terrestrial and underwater methods to connect the land and sea, emphasizing diachronic shifts in maritime cultural identities and contemporary approaches to colonial maritime heritage. She is currently involved in projects in Virginia and Southern India.
Francisco is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania. His work delves into the colonial history of anthropological and archaeological thought as it is located in the study of Maya peoples and the social, political and academic construction of Maya Heritage. By taking a post-colonial ethnographic reading of the archival work by early Mayanist scholars his research seeks to challenge the persistent coloniality in Maya heritage production by taking on the political and onto-epistemological formations of early Mayanist thought. Forefronting their relationships with descendant Maya communities, this work seeks to elucidate the obfuscated Maya actors and aspects of colonialism buried and omitted in the narratives produced by and about early Mayanist scholarship. Francisco’s work is informed by his background, having participated in the CHC’s Tihosuco Heritage Preservation and Community Project, as well as his continuous engagement with contemporary Maya communities in Chiapas, Yucatan, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also interested more broadly in indigenous ontologies and decolonization especially in relation to foodways and objects, as well as community engagement with heritage issues, especially by contemporary Maya communities.
Kasey is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. While pursuing her Masters in Historic Preservation at Penn, she became interested in the intersection between cultural heritage studies, anthropology, and historic preservation, particularly focusing on ideas of ownership and control of historic resources. She has been a part of the colonial house sub-project of the Tihosuco Heritage Preservation and Community Development Project in Quintana Roo, Mexico, since 2014. Her work on that project ranges from documentation and drawing of the existing structures to interviewing owners and members of the community regarding their perceptions of the colonial era structures in town. More broadly, her interests include cultural heritage, identity, memorialization, historic preservation, community-based archaeological projects, how space impacts culture and memory, and the spatial manifestations of inequality.
Chris is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research seeks to understand the epistemic value-gap between stakeholders of cultural heritage, including indigenous peoples, museum professionals, and the public. In particular, he focuses on how, why, and to what effect colonizers objectify and how colonized subjectify the same cultural heritage. Currently, his research is located between the museums of continental France and the Oceanic peoples represented within them. He is a Research Assistant for Dr. Brian Daniel’s Shasta project in California. His background is in archaeological heritage legal compliance work, especially the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, for museums, universities, and the US military.
Eric is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology broadly interested in Bronze Age archaeology and heritage politics of the Middle East and Central Asia. He completed his BA in archaeology at the College of Wooster in 2016 and MA at the University of Chicago (MAPSS) in 2018. His fieldwork experience includes survey and excavation projects in Israel, Cyprus, and the Midwestern United States. While at UChicago he worked for and managed the Afghan Heritage Mapping Partnership (AHMP), helping to create a comprehensive geospatial database of archaeological sites across the nation and conducting collaborative research and trainings with partners at the Archaeology Institute of Afghanistan.
Chrislyn Laurie Laurore is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. More broadly, she is concerned with contested and post-conflict heritage, collective memory and identity, as well as representations of Black history in monuments, memorials, and museums. Her research seeks to map the materiality of belonging in multiracial societies with a particular focus on the ways in which heritage tourism mobilizes real and imagined communities across the African diaspora. Chrislyn holds a BA in Anthropology and Africana Studies from Mount Holyoke College.
Autumn Melby is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. Her dissertation research examines how households within the southern periphery of influence of the Cahokia site in southern Illinois responded to the presumed ‘collapse’ of the center during the 13th century A.D. Her other research interests include resilience studies, indigenous archaeology, museum studies, public and community-based archaeology.
Lise Puyo is a cultural anthropologist from France, interested in material and written evidence of the diplomatic relations between Indigenous peoples and French colonial settler societies in the American Northeast. Her interests include museum policies, ethics, curation, and the appropriation and display of Indigenous heritage. Lise’s experience includes material culture analysis, working with museum collections in the United States, France, and Canada. A significant part of her research also uses historical written documents to navigate among ecclesiastical sources, French and English colonial sources, Six Nations Haudenosaunee sources, and others who shaped the networks and practices of collecting, from proto-anthropological cabinets of curiosity to ethnographic museums to tribal nations. At Penn, she serves as a Research Assistant to Dr. Margaret Bruchac for the project “On the Wampum Trail,” supported by grants from the Penn Museum and the Department of Anthropology. She has also been researching the French logic underpinning the recurring auctions of Hopi katsinam in Paris. Ms. Puyo sees these case studies as more than just historical, archaeological or museological issues; they also reveal political struggles, historical traumas, and issues of cultural sovereignty that are dramatically at stake today. Read more about her work for the Wampum Trail project here.
Sam is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology interested in exploring the relationships between archaeology, heritage, land, and politics through community-based participatory research. She currently works on the Tihosuco Heritage Preservation and Community Development Project in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Her archaeological research explores historic haciendas and ranchos to track the emergence and expansion of the capitalist world-system and understand the broader socioeconomic dynamics of the Yucatecan frontier in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Robbie is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology whose research focuses on socio-political, economic and historical perspectives on the looting and destruction of cultural heritage in the modern conflict zones of the Middle East. In particular, his research seeks to address questions surrounding the facilitation networks that perpetuate the trade in illicit antiquities, the dislocation of populations from their own history and the engagement of local communities in cultural heritage preservation. Robbie undertook his undergraduate and graduate degrees at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology, concentrating on the archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa. Robbie is part of the Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria Initiative at the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, helping to document the damage caused to Syrian cultural heritage in the ongoing Syrian civil war.
Charlotte is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology whose research focuses on how contemporary political and legal boundaries shape different uses of archaeological heritage, with a focus on how Inca archaeology and identity is shaped in Peru and Ecuador. In particular, she seeks to address how Quito, Ecuador, and Cusco, Peru emerged as epicenters of differential Inca-ness, and how these national identities have subsequently morphed, from intersections with Spanish colonialism, to the way that American imperial projects influenced archaeology. At Princeton University, Charlotte completed her undergraduate degree in anthropology with certificates in archaeology, Latin American studies, and urban studies. As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, she completed her master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in archaeology, in the Museums and Heritage studies track. She has held internships and research positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. At the Penn Cultural Heritage Center she holds a museum assistantship working on a digital project for the Belize National Collection, and serves as an organizer for the Annual Graduate conference on Cultural Heritage.