Susan D. Gillespie, Ph.D.
Photo of Professor Gillespie
Phone: (352) 294-7595
Lab: Turlington Hall, Room B350
Archaeology, ethnohistory, iconography, and epigraphy of Mesoamerica (focusing on Aztecs, Mayas, and Olmecs); kinship, kingship, and socio-political organization; cosmology and political ideologies; symbolic, structural, and semiotic anthropology; archaeological and social theory; the anthropology of history; the history of anthropology
My research combines archaeological, iconographic, and ethnohistorical approaches to the investigation of social organization and social identity. My geographic focus is Mesoamerica, which I treat as a symbiotic area (a “field of ethnological study”) whose co-evolving societies are best understood from regional and interregional long-term comparative perspectives. My excavations, iconographic, and documentary analyses have focused on the Aztecs, Olmecs, and Maya. I am especially interested in understanding the formation and interactions of social groups and hierarchy from a sociocosmic perspective, and how conceptions of time, place, person, and event were represented in material ways. These include architectural forms and landscapes, ritual and mundane actions, the crafting of portable objects, the manipulation of symbolic forms and icons, and the construction and maintenance of narratives. My work is theoretically oriented towards social and contextual archaeology, and an anthropology of history.