Research Expertise and Interest

historical archaeology, zooarchaeology, ceramic material science, GIS, landscape archaeology, experimental archaeology, community-engaged research, outreach, foodways, actualistic research, exploration geophysics, ground penetrating radar, remote sensing, photogrammetry, magnetometry, thermodynamics, adobe construction, food sovereignty

Research Description

Jun Sunseri's research in community-accountable archaeology includes complementary lines of evidence of varied types and spatial scales. These include analysis of archaeological ceramic and faunal assemblages related to domestic foodways and GIS analysis of remote sensing, survey, and excavation data to reveal tactical, engineering, and ritual patterning of cultural landscapes. By placing these suites of data in dialogue with each other, he seeks more robust explanations of the ways that communities expressed various aspects of their identities in different contexts and scales of social performance. Examples of this research includes studies of systems of cross-cultural contact and the way they operated in structuring and mitigating social and ethnic boundaries during the proto-historic and colonial periods. Related to these research foci are the relationships between colonization and the historical transformation of indigenous landscape, foodways, and identity. As a community-accountable archaeologist, he is especially interested in the potential for examining these issues through the analysis of material culture and technology in close partnership with descendant communities. Community-engaged and accountable research is one register of tools that his research cluster uses in combating legacies of academic exploitation via partnered scholarship. Our work foregrounds the articulation of social science research with restorative justice and contemporary community struggles for self-determination, with a particular emphasis on archaeology. We have been recruited to these efforts as part of significant changes in the relationships between the academy and descendant communities and this signals a key shift in how cultural patrimony is recognized and respected in decolonizing research partnerships. Our commitment to community authority represents new kinds of risks and rewards for both sides, and directly impacts the types of research questions addressed in collaborative projects.

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