BARBARA L. VOSS
Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University
I am a historical archaeologist who investigates the modern world through themes of colonization, diaspora, and sexuality. My research traces how these historical processes impacted vulnerable communities and examines how these same communities resisted, transformed, survived, and participated in displacement and violence. I conduct archaeological field and laboratory studies alongside oral history, community-based knowledge, archival research, and media analyses. Through this mixed-methodology approach, I develop multi-scalar perspectives on the past that cross conventional boundaries between local/global and past/present/future.
My research, teaching, and writing are all guided by principles of community-based research. I collaborate with descendants, heritage stakeholders, community organizations, activists, and artists to develop public-facing projects that critically examine the past while addressing present-day needs of historically oppressed communities. I believe that how we do archaeology is as important as the outcomes of our research. I work to connect the present and the past through innovative public programing.
At Stanford University, I teach a wide range of courses, as well as advising at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Current topical seminars explore theory and methodology of urbanism, gender and sexuality, violence, colonialism, and race and ethnicity. I also offer professionalization courses that equip students with practical knowledge and skills that support their careers of choice. As scheduling allows, I always enjoy teaching hands-on field and lab courses that involve students directly in ongoing research.
As a queer, gender-non-conforming person and a disabled archaeologist, I have labored throughout my entire career to widen access to archaeology and to foster greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of archaeological practice. This has included activism, advocacy, teaching, and mentoring within and outside of the discipline, as well as scholarly work that bridges archaeology, queer theory, and critical race theory.
Stanford University sits on the stolen and occupied land of the Ohlone and Muwekma Ohlone people. Stanford University’s founding endowment originated in profit unfairly extracted from the labor of Chinese railroad workers and others employed in the Stanford family’s business enterprises. I acknowledge my ongoing responsibility to address these and other historical and present-day injustices in my research and teaching.