People

Adria LaViolette

Associate Professor

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Adria LaViolette (Associate Professor, Anthropology Department) is an archaeologist with active research in Africa, and a particular interest in medium-range and large-scale societies over the last two millennia.  Her earliest research was in West Africa where she conducted an ethnoarchaeological study of craft production in Jenne, Mali with implications for early urbanism in the Inland Niger Delta.  Since 1987 she has been working on the East African coast, conducting survey and excavation in several regions on the mainland and on Pemba Island, Tanzania, on sites at the intersection of archaeology, ethnology, and history.  At the Swahili centers of Pujini, Chwaka, and Tumbe, and at smaller village sites, she is exploring such topics as household organization, political economy, the changing practice of Islam and its effects on social and cultural life, the interface of regional domestic economy with long-distance Indian Ocean trade networks, and the transformations in social structure within the contexts of urbanism and colonialism. Profesor LaViolette has made a research priority the integration of village-dwelling and non-elite coastal peoples into Swahili historiography. She maintains long-term collaborative relationships with colleagues in Africa, the US, and Europe, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the African Archaeological Reviewa premier journal with wide-ranging theoretical, topical, and geographic coverage of the continent and beyond. Professor LaViolette’s recent research has appeared in the Journal of Field Archaeology, the International Journal of African Historical Studies, the Journal of African Archaeology, and  Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress.  

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