Bio


Dr. Barbara L. Voss is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, where she is also affiliated with the Stanford Archaeology Center, the Center for Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity, the Program on Asian American Studies, the Program on Urban Studies, and the Program on Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Academic Appointments


  • Associate Professor, Anthropology

Administrative Appointments


  • Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University (2009 - Present)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University (2001 - 2009)
  • Fellow, National Science Foundation (1996 - 2001)
  • Fellowship, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (1996 - 1999)

Honors & Awards


  • Faculty Research Fellow, Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (2016)
  • Faculty Research Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2014-2015)
  • Richard E. Guggenhime Faculty Scholar, Richard E. Guggenhime (2010-2013)
  • Ruth Benedict Prize for The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis, University of California Press (2008)
  • Gordon R. Willey prize for the best archaeological paper published in American Anthropologist, Gordon R. Willey (2008)
  • Hellman Faculty Scholar, Stanford University Program on Urban Studies (2007)
  • Robert Heizer Prize for Excellence in the Study of California Archaeology, Robert Heizer (2002)
  • Ruth Benedict Prize for Archaeologies of Sexuality, Ruth Benedict (2000)
  • Michelle Rosaldo Prize for Research in Feminist Anthropology, Stanford University (1987)
  • Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, Stanford University (1986-1987)
  • Boothe Prize for Outstanding Writing, Stanford University (1986)
  • Office of Technology Licensing Research Incentive Awards, Technology Licensing Research (2003)

Program Affiliations


  • Center for East Asian Studies
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Anthropology, with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality (2002)
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley, Anthropology (1997)
  • B.A., Stanford University, Anthropology (1988)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


I am a historical archaeologist who studies the dynamics and outcomes of transnational cultural encounters: How did diverse groups of people, who previously had little knowledge of each other, navigate the challenges and opportunities of abrupt and sustained interactions caused by colonialism, conflict, and migration? I approach this question through fine-grained, site-specific investigations coupled with broad-scale comparative and collaborative research programs. My earlier work investigated Spanish colonization of the Americas, an area of research that I continue to be involved in. My current research focuses on 19th century migration from southern China, which I am investigating through three interrelated projects: (1) the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project (2002-present), a community-based research program developed to study and interpret the history and archaeology of San Jose’s first Chinese community; (2) the interdisciplinary Chinese Railroad Workers of North America Project (2012-present), for which I serve as Director of Archaeology; and (3) Research Cooperation on Home Cultures of 19th Century Overseas Chinese, a collaboration with Wuyi University to develop ethnohistoric and archaeological research on qiaoxiang (home villages) in Kaiping County, Guangdong. Throughout, my research is guided by a deep commitment to public archaeology and collaborative research. Additionally, I continue to work to generate a productive dialogue between queer studies and archaeology, and to develop rigorous methodologies that support the study of sexuality and gender through archaeological evidence.

Projects


  • Historical and Archaeological Research on Qiaoxiang (Home Villages) of 19th Century Transpacific Migrants in the Kaiping Diaolou World Heritage Site, Guangdong, China, Stanford University

    This collaborative project is a pioneering interdisciplinary study of 19th century qiaoxiang (home village) society and culture in the Pearl River Delta region, Guangdong, China. Emigration from southeastern China is one of the largest and most important population movements during the modern era. Migrants’ home villages developed distinctive cultural and social strategies to stay connected to migrants living abroad. The qiaoxiang were themselves transformed as migrants shared new cultural influences and sent remittances to support their famlies and cultural institutions back home. However, although historians, archaeologists, and architectural historians have extensively researched Chinese migrant communities in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, to date little scholarly attention has been given to the home villages themselves. This project emerges through a long-term research collaboration between Stanford University researchers, the Guangdong Province Bureau of Cultural Relics, and the Guangdong Qiaoxiang Cultural Research Center at Wuyi University. The focus of this collaboration is archaeological research, which will be augmented by archival, oral history, and architectural research.

    Location

    Kaiping, China

  • Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, Stanford University

    Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants toiled at a grueling pace and in perilous working conditions to help construct America’s first Transcontinental Railroad. The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West. The Project coordinates research in North America and Asia in order to create an on-line digital archive available to all, along with books, digital visualizations, conferences and public events.

    2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the introduction of large numbers of Chinese workers on the construction of the first transcontinental railway across North America. May 10, 2019 is the 150th anniversary of Leland Stanford’s driving the famous “golden spike” to connect the Central Pacific and Union Pacific at Promontory Summit, Utah, to complete the line. The labor of these Chinese workers (who eventually numbered between 10-12,000 at any one moment) was central to creating the wealth that Leland Stanford used to found Stanford University. But these workers have never received the attention they deserve. We know relatively little about their lives. What led them to come to the United States? What experiences did they have in their arduous work? How did they live their daily lives? What kinds of communities did they create? How did their work on the railroad change the lives of their families in China and how did it change the lives of the workers themselves, both those who returned to China or went elsewhere after the railroad’s completion and those who stayed in the U.S.?

    We need to know how they contributed to shaping not just the physical but the social landscape of the West. The sesquicentennial anniversaries of the railroad’s construction and completion provide an unprecedented opportunity to launch a major evaluation of their experiences. Historians and other scholars in a range of disciplines in North America and in Asia are cooperating in locating new historical materials and developing a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding and appreciating this long neglected history. (Although the focus of the project is the Chinese railroad workers, the Project also opens out into the lives these individuals lived during the decades after the railroad was completed.) In addition to recovering an unjustly neglected chapter of history of special significance for Stanford University, this transnational, collaborative, multi-year research project will pioneer in modeling new ways of exploring the shared past of China and the United States.

    The history of the Chinese in the U.S. from the nineteenth to early twentieth century is a transnational story that should be told from both U.S. and Chinese perspectives. The possibilities that the digitization of archives opens up will allow us to explore a range of issues involving the Chinese in America from both U.S. and Chinese vantage points. The Chinese Railroad Workers Project will produce a body of scholarship based on new materials and resources that will be the most authoritative study on the Chinese railroad worker experience in America. It will culminate in (1) an online multi-lingual digital archive of historical materials, oral histories of families of descendants, collections of visual images, material objects, art work, and more; (2) conferences at Stanford and in Asia; (3) the publication of volumes containing the produced scholarship, along with digital visualizations and other media to present the story of the Chinese railroad workers.

    Location

    Donner Summit, California

  • Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project, Stanford University

    The Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project is a research and education program developed to catalog, analyze, report, and curate a remarkable collection of artifacts that were excavated in 1985-1988. Once located at the intersections of Market and San Fernando Streets in downtown San José, California, the Market Street Chinatown was founded in the 1860s and occupied until it was burned in an arson fire in 1887. A century later, the site of the Market Street Chinatown was chosen for urban redevelopment, including the construction of the Fairmont Hotel and the Silicon Valley Financial Center. The City of San José Redevelopment Agency contracted Archaeological Resource Service to monitor construction activities and conduct excavations at the site. After preliminary analysis, the artifacts from the site were boxed and put in storage at a warehouse that was inaccessible to researchers and to the public. The primary goal of this project is to catalog and analyze the collection so they can once again be used for research and educational programs.

    Location

    San Jose California

2016-17 Courses


All Publications


  • WHAT'S NEW? RETHINKING ETHNOGENESIS IN THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF COLONIALISM AMERICAN ANTIQUITY Voss, B. L. 2015; 80 (4): 655-670
  • Carving Chopsticks, Building Home: Wood Artifacts from the Market Street Chinatown in San Jose, California INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Seiter, J. I., Worthington, M. J., Voss, B. L., Kane, M. S. 2015; 19 (3): 664-685
  • Fan and Tsai: Intracommunity Variation in Plant-Based Food Consumption at the Market Street Chinatown, San Jose, California HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Cummings, L. S., Voss, B. L., Yu, C. Y., Kovacik, P., Puseman, K., Yost, C., Kennedy, R., Kane, M. S. 2014; 48 (2): 143-172
  • Curation as research. A case study in orphaned and underreported archaeological collections ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIALOGUES Voss, B. L. 2012; 19 (2): 145-169
  • The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects edited by Voss, B. L., Casella, E. C. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2012
  • Intimate encounters: an archaeology of sexualities within colonial worlds The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects Voss, B. L. edited by Casella, E. C. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2012: 1-10
  • Sexual effects: postcolonial and queer perspectives on the archaeology of sexuality and empire The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects Voss, B. L. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2012: 11-30
  • The scale of the intimate: imperial policies and sexual practices in San Francisco. The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects edited by Voss, B. L. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2012: 173-193
  • A land of ethnogenesis: material culture, power, and identity Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology Voss, B. L. edited by Jones, T. L., Perry , J. E. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek CA. 2012: 303-318
  • Re-establishing context for orphaned collections: a case study from the Market Street Chinatown, San Jose, California Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals Voss, B. L., Kane, M. S. 2012; 8 (2): 87-112
  • Status and Ceramics in Spanish Colonial Archaeology HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Voss, B. L. 2012; 46 (2): 39-54
  • The Seneca Restoration, 1715-1754: An Iroquois Local Political Economy. (Book Review) ETHNOHISTORY Book Review Authored by: Voss, B. L. 2010; 57 (3): 485-486
  • Matter Out of Time: The Paradox of the "Contemporary Past" ARCHAEOLOGIES-JOURNAL OF THE WORLD ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONGRESS Voss, B. L. 2010; 6 (1): 181-192
  • Domesticating imperialism: sexual politics and the archaeology of empire In Contemporary Archaeology in Theory Voss, B. L. edited by Preucel, R. W., Mrozowski, S. A. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. 2010: 191-203
  • Guide to ceramic MNV calculation quantitative and quantitative analysis Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology Voss, B. L., Allen, R. 2010; 5: 1-9
  • The archaeology of indigenous heritage at Spanish-colonial military settlements Enduring Conquests: Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas Voss, B. L. edited by Leibmann, M., Murphy, M. S. School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM.. 2010: 243-265
  • Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives: Sex, Gender, and Archaeology (Book Review) AMERICAN ANTIQUITY Book Review Authored by: Voss, B. L. 2009; 74 (3): 583-584
  • Looking for gender, finding sexuality: a queer politic of archaeology, fifteen years later In Que(e)rying Archaeology: Proceedings of the 37th Annual Chacmool Archaeological Conference Voss, B. L. edited by Terendy, S., Lyons, N., Janse-Smekal, M. 2009: 29-39
  • Presidio de San Francisco Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, California: Native, Spanish, and Mexican period archaeology Archaeology in American: An Encyclopedia Blind, E. B., Osborn, S. K., Voss, B. L., Clevenger, L. N. edited by Lightfoot, K. G. Greenwood Publishing Corp, Westport, Connecticut. 2009
  • Gender, Race, and Labor in the Archaeology of the Spanish Colonial Americas CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Voss, B. L. 2008; 49 (5): 861-893

    View details for DOI 10.1086/591275

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259970900005

  • 'Poor people in silk shirts' - Dress and ethnogenesis in Spanish-colonial San Francisco JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ARCHAEOLOGY Voss, B. L. 2008; 8 (3): 404-432
  • Domesticating imperialism: Sexual politics and the archaeology of empire AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST Voss, B. L. 2008; 110 (2): 191-203
  • Sexuality Studies in Archaeology ANNUAL REVIEW OF ANTHROPOLOGY Voss, B. L. 2008; 37: 317-336
  • The archaeology of Chinese immigrant and Chinese American communities HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Williams, B., Voss, B. L. 2008; 42 (3): 1-4
  • The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis: Race and Sexuality in Colonial San Francisco Voss, B. L. University of California Press, Berkeley. 2008
  • Las politicas sexuales de imperio en las Americas Espafiolas: perspectivas arqueol6gicas del San Francisco colonial Cuadernos de Arqueologia Mediterranea Voss, B. L. 2008; 17: 31-52
  • Overseas Chinese archaeology: Historical foundations, current reflections, and new directions HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Voss, B. L., Allen, R. 2008; 42 (3): 5-28
  • Between the household and the world system: Social collectivity and community agency in Overseas Chinese archaeology HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Voss, B. L. 2008; 42 (3): 37-52
  • The archaeology of Chinese immigrant and Chinese American communities Thematic issue of Historical Archaeology Voss, B. L., Williams, B. 2008; 42 (3)
  • Image, text, object: Interpreting documents and artifacts as 'labors of representation' HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Voss, B. L. 2007; 41 (4): 147-171
  • Sexuality in archaeology Identity and Subsistence: Gender Strategies for Archaeology Voss, B. L. edited by Nelson, S. M. AltaMira Press, Lanham MD. 2007: 33-68
  • Feminisms, queer theories, and the archaeological study of past sexualities In The Archaeology of Identities Voss, B. L. edited by Insoll, T. Routledge, London.. 2007: 124-136
  • Sexuality in archaeology The Handbook of Gender in Archaeology Voss, B. L. edited by Nelson, S. M. AltaMira Press, Lanham MD. 2006: 365-400
  • Engendered archaeology: men, women, and others Historical Archaeology Voss, B. L. edited by Hall, M., Silliman, S. Blackwell Publishing, London. 2006: 107-127
  • The archaeology of Overseas Chinese communities WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY VOSS, B. L. 2005; 37 (3): 424-439
  • From Casta to Californio: Social identity and the archaeology of culture contact AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST VOSS, B. L. 2005; 107 (3): 461-474
  • From Casta to California: social identity and the archaeology of culture contact American Anthropologist Voss, B. L. 2005; 107 (3): 461-474
  • Sexual subjects: identity and taxonomy in archaeological research The Archaeology of Plural and Changing Identities Voss, B. L. edited by Casella, E. C., Fowler, C. Kulwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York. 2005: 55-78
  • El Presidio de San Francisco: At the edge of empire HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Blind, E. B., VOSS, B. L., Osborn, S. K., Barker, L. R. 2004; 38 (3): 135-149
  • The Market Street Chinatown Archaeological Project: applied research in the university classroom Voss, B. L. 2004: 209-212
  • Culture contact at El Presidio de San Francisco: The Tennessee Hollow Watershed Archaeology Project Society for California Archaeology Newsletter Voss, B. L. 2004; 38 (1): 29-33
  • Feminisms, queer theories, and the archaeological study of past sexualities In Same Sex Cultures and Sexualities: An Anthropological Reader Voss, B. L. edited by Robertson, J. Backwell Press, Oxford. 2004: 49-49
  • Culture contact and colonial practices: archaeological traces of daily life in early San Francisco Boletin: The Journal of the California Mission Studies Association Voss, B. L. 2003; 20 (1): 63-77
  • Documenting life at the edge of the Spanish empire Noticias de Anza Voss, B. L. 2003; 22: 1-3
  • Feminisms, queer theories, and the archaeological study of past sexualities WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY VOSS, B. L. 2000; 32 (2): 180-192
  • Colonial Sex: Archaeology, Structured Space, and Sexuality in Alta California's Spanish-Colonial Missions Archaeologies of Sexuality edited by Voss, B. L., Schmidt, R. A. 2000: 35-61
  • Archaeologies of Sexuality edited by Schmidt, R. A., Voss, B. L. Routledge, London. 2000
  • Archaeologies of Sexuality: An Introduction Archaeologies of Sexualit edited by Voss, B. L., Schmidt, R. A. 2000: 1-32
  • History, the family, and household archaeologies Proceedings of the 30th Annual Chacmool Archaelogical Conference Voss, B. L. edited by Boyd, M., Erwin, J. C., Hendrickson, M. 2000: 292-301
  • Geophysical remote sensing of Spanish-colonial archaeological remains: Presidio de San Francisco Cross, G., Voss, B. L. 1996: 330-336
  • From presidio to post: recent archaeological discoveries of the Spanish, Mexican, and American periods at the Presidio of San Francisco Voss, B. L. 1996: 278-283