Voss, Barbara

Associate Professor
Ph.D. Berkeley, 2002

My research program is centered on two primary interests: historical archaeology and sexuality studies. Within historical archaeology, my research focuses on the dynamics and outcomes of transnational cultural encounters in the Americas. This research includes ongoing investigations of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, including (since 1992) field and laboratory research at the Presidio of San Francisco. In the past decade, I have expanded this work on cultural encounters into the archaeology of overseas Chinese communities in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In this capacity I serve as Principal Investigator of the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project, a community-based research program developed to study and interpret the history and archaeology of San Jose’s first Chinese community. The second focus of my research is sexuality studies in archaeology. I strive to generate a productive dialogue between queer studies and archaeology, and to develop rigorous methodologies that support the study of sexuality and gender through archaeological evidence. Most recently I have been exploring the relationship between queer theory and postcolonial theory in archaeology, the subject of my recent book The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects, co-edited with El Casella. Throughout I am guided by a deep commitment to public archaeology and collaborative research.

Link to Curriculum Vita.

Links to websites:
My Academica.edu page: http://stanford.academia.edu/BarbaraVoss
Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project: http://marketstreet.stanford.edu

Contact Information: 
Office Hour: By appointment
Selected Publications: 



The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects
(co-edited with El Casella),
Cambridge University Press


The Arch of Ethnogenesis book cover

The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis: Race, Sexuality, and Identity in Colonial San Francisco.
University of California Press.



The Archaeology of Chinese Immigrant and Chinese American Communities
(co-edited with Bryn Williams).
Thematic issue of the journal, Historical Archaeology 42(3).



Archaeologies of Sexuality
(co-edited with Robert A. Schmidt).
Routledge: London and New York.


Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2012    Curation as research: a case study in orphaned and underreported archaeological collections. Archaeological Dialogues.

2012    with M.S. Kane. Re-establishing context for orphaned collections: a case study from the Market Street Chinatown, San Jose, California. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals.

2012    Status and ceramics in Spanish colonial archaeology. Historical Archaeology 46(2):39-54.

2012    A land of ethnogenesis: material culture, power, and identity. In Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology, edited by T. L. Jones and J. E. Perry, pp. 303-318. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek CA.

2010    The Archaeology of Indigenous Heritage at Spanish-colonial Military Settlements. In Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas. edited by M. Liebmann and M. S. Murphy, pp. 243-265. School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM.

2010    Matter Out of Time: The Paradox of the “Contemporary Past.” Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress 6(1):181-192.

2008    Gender, Race, and Labor in the Archaeology of the Spanish-Colonial Americas. Current Anthropology 49(5):861-897.

2008    Poor People in Silk Shirts: Dress and Ethnogenesis in Spanish-colonial San Francisco. Journal of Social Archaeology 8(3):404-432.

2008    Sexuality studies in archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology 37(1):317-336.

2008    With R. Allen. Overseas Chinese Archaeology: Historical Foundations, Current Reflections, and New Directions. Co-authored with Rebecca Allen. Historical Archaeology 42(3):5-28.

2008    Between the Household and the World-System: Social Collectivity and Community Agency in Overseas Chinese Archaeology. Historical Archaeology 42(3):37-52.

2008    Domesticating Imperialism: Sexual Politics and the Archaeology of Empire. American Anthropologist 110(2):191-203.

2007    Image, Text, Object: Interpreting Documents and Artifacts as ‘Labors of Representation’. Historical Archaeology 41(4): 144-168.

2006    Engendered Archaeology: Men, Women, and Others. Historical Archaeology: Studies in Global Archaeology. Martin Hall and Stephen Silliman, eds. Blackwell Publishing Inc., London. Pp. 107-127. Blackwell Publishing, London.

2005    From Casta to Californio: Social Identity and the Archaeology of Culture Contact. American Anthropologist 107(3):461-474.

2005    The Archaeology of Overseas Chinese Communities. World Archaeology 37(3):424-439.

2005    Sexual Subjects: Identity and Taxonomy in Archaeological Research. In The Archaeology of Plural and Changing Identities, edited by E. C. Casella and C. Fowler, pp. 55-78. Kulwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.

2000    Feminisms, Queer Theories, and the Archaeological Study of Past Sexualities. World Archaeology 32(2): 180-192.