I am a historical archaeologist who studies the dynamics and outcomes of transnational cultural encounters: How did diverse groups of people, who previously had little knowledge of each other, navigate the challenges and opportunities of abrupt and sustained interactions caused by colonialism, conflict, and migration? I approach this question through fine-grained, site-specific investigations coupled with broad-scale comparative and collaborative research programs. My earlier work investigated Spanish colonization of the Americas, an area of research that I continue to be involved in. My current research focuses on 19th century migration from southern China, which I am investigating through three interrelated projects: (1) the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project (2002-present), a community-based research program developed to study and interpret the history and archaeology of San Jose’s first Chinese community; (2) the interdisciplinary Chinese Railroad Workers of North America Project (2012-present), for which I serve as Director of Archaeology; and (3) Research Cooperation on Home Cultures of 19th Century Overseas Chinese, a collaboration with Wuyi University to develop ethnohistoric and archaeological research on qiaoxiang (home villages) in Kaiping County, Guangdong. Throughout, my research is guided by a deep commitment to public archaeology and collaborative research. Additionally, I continue to work 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.
Link to Curriculum Vita.
The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects
(co-edited with El Casella),
Cambridge University Press
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
2015 What’s new? Rethinking ethnogenesis in the archaeology of colonialism. American Antiquity 80(4):655-670.
2015 Towards a transpacific archaeology of the modern world. International Journal of Historical Archaeology. Online first: ISSN 1092-7697.
2015 The historical experience of labor: Archaeological contributions to interdisciplinary research on Chinese railroad workers. Historical Archaeology 49(1):4-23.
2012 Curation as research: a case study in orphaned and underreported archaeological collections. Archaeological Dialogues 19(2) 145–169.
2012 Status and ceramics in Spanish colonial archaeology. Historical Archaeology 46(2):39-54.
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. 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.
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.
2000 . Feminisms, queer theories, and the archaeological study of past sexualities. World Archaeology 32(2):180-192.