Barbara L. Voss
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 four 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; (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; and (4) the Arboretum Chinese Labor Quarters Project (2018-present), a study of historic Chinese workers’ residences on Stanford campus lands. 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.
Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project
Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project
Arboretum Chinese Labor Quarters Project