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Postdoctoral Scholars

M. Elizabeth Grávalos

Dr. Beth Grávalos is an anthropological archaeologist who specializes in the Andes and material science applications in archaeology. Prior to coming to Stanford, she was a Postdoctoral Scientist at the Field Museum of Natural History (2021-2023). She earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2021.

Dr. Grávalos’s research interests lie at the intersection of landscape, community, and craft. She uses community-based archaeology and material science methods to understand the politics, practices, and community relationships of Andean craft producers, specifically ceramic and textile artisans. Dr. Grávalos is particularly interested in how knowledge and skills are transferred across generations and between communities, as well as how Indigenous ontologies surrounding environment and landscape relate to crafting traditions. Her current work focuses on Casma potters in Peru’s north coast (700–1400 CE); previously she studied Recuay and Middle Horizon potters and weavers (100–1000 CE) in Peru’s Ancash highlands. She is a specialist in ceramic thin section petrography, laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and textile analysis.

A young white woman with brown hair, a colorful shawl, and bright red lipstick stands in front of a background of leaves and smiles at the camera.

Laura Heath-Stout

Laura Heath-Stout's Website

Dr. Laura Heath-Stout (she/her) is an intersectional feminist archaeologist with a focus on the politics of archaeological knowledge production. Although her background is in Mesoamerican and North American historical archaeology, Laura's recent work has focused primarily on issues of diversity and equity within academic archaeology, and the way that our demographic imbalances shape the knowledge we produce about the human past. She uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative social science methods in this research. This work has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and published in American Antiquity, the Journal of Field Archaeology, and Advances in Archaeological Practice, among others. Her book, Identity, Oppression, and Diversity in Archaeology: Career Arcs, is forthcoming from Routledge in 2024, in the "Archaeology of Gender and Sexuality" series.

As a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford, Laura plans to launch her second major project, a community-driven study of the institutionalization of disabled people in 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century Massachusetts. In collaboration with disabled activists who have sought to uncover, publicize, and memorialize these traumatic histories as the defunct institutional campuses are redeveloped, Laura hopes to conduct ethnographic and archaeological research at Belchertown State School. She will bring a disability studies lens to this work in order to challenge mainstream archaeology's over-medicalized approach to disability in the past and will develop practices for an inclusive and universally-designed field project in order to support disabled people entering archaeology careers. 

Kimberley Connor

Dr. Kim Connor is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Stanford Archaeology Center. She is a historical archaeologist and culinary historian whose work focuses on food and dining in nineteenth-century institutions of immigration in the British Empire. She works mostly in Australia, but has also worked on archival and archaeological collections in Ireland, England, Scotland, Canada, and China. As a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Stanford Archaeology Center she is cataloguing and analysing glass from the Market Street Chinatown Project which is an exciting new project for her. Kim completed her BA (Languages) and BA Honours at the University of Sydney before coming to Stanford University where she completed an MA and a Ph.D. in Anthropology. In her spare time, she loves social dancing, cooking, and travelling to new parts of the world.

PhD Advisees

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Jocelyn Lee

Jocelyn Lee is a historical archaeologist with a focus on antiracist methodologies to understand landscape, mobility, and placemaking. Her dissertation is on Chinese diaspora archaeology in Oregon looking at the movement between labor camps and small community centers in rural landscapes. In addition, Jocelyn’s dissertation seeks to connect archaeological interpretations with present-day communities through the combination of countermapping, archival, and material analyses to help understand contemporary Chinese American’s conception of historical places. In the summer of 2023, she led a Passport In Time (PIT) project along with the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest on a Chinese mining camp in Southern Oregon where she emphasized an antiracist framework to investigating Chinese American history in Oregon.  

Jocelyn completed her MA in historical archaeology at UMass Boston in 2020 and received the Barbara E. Luedtke Book Award in Anthropology. 

Mercedes Martínez Milantchi (she/her)

My research focuses on the intersections of coloniality, museums and history-making practices. I am passionate about how ‘things’ tell stories about the past and how these narratives shape how heritage is mobilized in the present. Most centrally, I focus on the coloniality of museum collections, which either exist in colonized spaces or operate through the colonial legacies embodied in the collections themselves. Furthermore, I am interested in those non-institutional spaces which exist in lieu of the museum as sites of historical consciousness.

In addition to the ‘things’ that have been collected, I research the common narratives espoused in these spaces – such as myths of Indigenous extinction. In Puerto Rico, this has been part of official nation-building propaganda since the 1950s and is currently being contested in on the island and in its diaspora. For this reason, my research aims to have firm ties to community interests and heritage grassroots initiatives. This project hopes to understand how the past infiltrates the present and to disentangle notions of nationalism, sovereignty and archaeology.

Research Partners

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Dr. Selia Jinhua Tan, 谭金花, Architectural Historian

Associate Professor, Guangdong Qiaoxiang Cultural Research Center, Wuyi University

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Dr. J. Ryan Kennedy, Zooarchaeologist

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University

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Dr. Virginia S. Popper, Archaeobotanist

Research Associate, Fiske Center for Archaeological Research, University of Massachusetts Boston

Dr. Virginia Popper's website

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Chelsea Rose, Archaeologist

Research Archaeologist, Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

SOULA website

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Veronica Peterson

PhD Student, Harvard University

I research 19th century Chinese migration to the US and connections people maintain with home. What choices do people make on how to sustain themselves as they move and build lives in new locations? What guides those choices? I’m interested in using archaeological and historical evidence to explore what kinds of ingredients and food-related material were available and how recipes were adapted over time.