Historical Archaeologies of the Modern World:Celebrating the Career of Robert Schuyler

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2017

Robert Schuyler is one of the leading figures in modern historical archaeology. Through his publications, teaching, and mentorship of generations of students he has helped shape our discipline. A scholar of diverse interests, his early publications focused on defining the field, documenting its history, and exploring topics such as race and ethnicity that have become central to modern historical archaeology. He explored fortified Native American communities from the Contact Period, workers’ housing in Lowell Massachusetts, 19th-century African-American communities, silver rush boomtowns in the American West, and most recently, the planned 19th-century community of Vineland, New Jersey. Reflecting his broad vision of the field, his students have explored an array of archaeological topics using varied theoretical perspectives. This session, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Society for Historical Archaeology celebrates his extraordinary career.

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  • Documents (9)

  • Historic Ethnography and the Early Colonial Delaware Valley (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brian D. Crane.

    The documentary record and archaeological resources of the Delaware valley present an excellent opportunity to explore the complex interactions among colonial settlers and their Lenape and Susquehannock neighbors. Historic ethnography envisions approaching the culture of a group of people at a specific place and time from as many documentary and material perspectives as possible in order to develop a rich and deeply contextualized understanding of how those people lived. My approach to work on...

  • Michilimackinac and the Modern World: The View from an English Trader's House (2017)
    DOCUMENT Full-Text Lynn L.M. Evans.

    Archaeological excavations have taken place at Michilimackinac every summer since 1959, pre-dating the Society for Historical Archaeology.  The project and its approaches have evolved along with the discipline.  This paper examines current research at an English trader's house within the fort.  His wide range of ceramics and other goods provide insight into the cosmopolitan nature of life on the edge of the eigteenth-century British empire.

  • Researching an African American Founder With the Help of One of Historical Archaeology’s Founders (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Patrice L Jeppson.

    This Robert Schuyler-dedicated Symposium paper considers three of Schuyler’s contributions to the field—his reflections on historical archaeology’s potential for the study of American national identity as a cultural and evolving process (1971, 1976), his call for an awareness of the importance of cultural context in archaeology research (1973), and his writing about the importance of conducting historical ethnography (1988). These foundational ideas shaping historical archaeology practice are...

  • Robert L. Schuyler and the Emergence of an Archaeology of Ethnicity: "A topic of interest to both the profession and the public" (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Anna Agbe-Davies.

    Robert Schuyler has been at the forefront, not only of historical archaeology, but also the archaeology of ethnicity.  Although historical archaeology had examined intercultural settings (the very stuff of ethnicity) from its inception, these themes were under-articulated in its early years.  One of the earliest steps towards a research agenda was Schuyler’s edited volume Archaeological Perspectives on Ethnicity in America.  This paper examines the themes of his contributions to that...

  • Robert L. Schuyler and the History of Historical Archaeology (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Benjamin C. Pykles.

    As we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Society for Historical Archaeology, it seems appropriate to reflect on the history of historical archaeology at large. Although scholarly works on the history of the field are few, Robert L. Schuyler has been a steady advocate for and contributor to such work throughout his career. Over the last fifty years, he has consistently called for the need to document and preserve the history of the field. Equally important, he made...

  • Robert Schuyler as a Model of Making Space for Diversity of Thought (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kristen R. Fellows.

    As one of the first historical archaeologists to publish on issues of race and ethnicity, Robert Schuyler’s legacy on such topics has been carried forward by many of his students. My research centers on a free black American enclave who settled on the island of Hispaniola, enslaved laborers on plantations in the Caribbean, and an African American brothel owner and the women who worked for her in Fargo, ND. While all of these projects are united through a focus on race, identity, and power...

  • The Schuyler Effect: From Brooklyn to Lowell, Utah, and Beyond (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jed Levin.

    Over the past half century Robert Schulyer’s penetrating intellect and rigorous scholarship has had a deep and sustained impact on the development and maturation of the field of Historical Archaeology. His impact has been nowhere as profound as in his role as a mentor to generations of students. Not a few of those students share the common experience of having their professional career course sent careening, topsy-turvy, in unanticipated directions under the influence of Schulyer’s catholic...

  • Schuyler’s "Guide to Substantive and Theoretical Contributions"—Then and Now (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Meta F. Janowitz.

    Robert Schuyler’s Historical Archaeology: A Guide to Substantive and Theoretical Contributions was first published in 1978 and is now in its fifth printing. The Guide was the first work to gather together some of the most important founding documents of the relatively new field of historical archaeology and is still in use in undergraduate and graduate courses today. This paper will review the themes of that volume, as selected and edited by Dr. Schuyler, and will discuss how the ideas put forth...

  • "Send Me a Postcard and Don’t Forget to Sign It": Comments from a Current Schuyler Student (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth C. Clay.

    Throughout Robert Schuyler’s career he has mentored leading scholars in the field and continues the tradition of mentorship to this day. As one of his final PhD students, I’ve benefitted from his years of experience, his contribution to forging the discipline of historical archaeology, and his extensive network of former students. All have been invaluable to my growth as an archaeologist. With a liberal advising style, he expects his students to pursue their own research interests and...