Sociology and Anthropology

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Alexander V Benitez

Alexander V Benitez

Alexander V Benitez

Assistant Professor

Anthropology: Mesoamerican archaeology, Central Highlands region of Mexico, identity along the U.S.-Mexico border, history of museums

I am a Mesoamerican archaeologist interested in the peoples and cultures of the Central Highlands region of Mexico. Specifically, I focus on the Classic and Epiclassic periods (circa AD 200-900) of that region. My current research attempts to understand networks of commodity exchange and shifting political economies during a monumental episode of state collapse at the city of Teotihuacan, in the Valley of Mexico, at the end of the Late Classic period.  Connected to this is a general interest in exploring the relationships that develop between centers of economic and political power and borderlands/periphery regions where agency and identity play vital yet under-explored roles. A related historic archaeology project explores issues of identity along the U.S. - Mexico border; prior to and following the Mexico – U.S. War (circa 1848). 

I also have an interest in the history of museums and their evolving relationships with anthropologists (specifically archaeologists). Issues of authenticity, cultural representation and public responsibility are central themes. These themes guide the Central America Ceramics Research Project and the Mesoamerican Collections Project (temporarily on hold), which are based at the National Museum of the American Indian.

 

Curriculum vitae available upon request.