Fac/Staff profile


Associate Professor of Anthropology, Anthropology Discipline Coordinator
John Chenoweth
3045F, CASL Building
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128

Teaching Areas:

Research Areas:

Biography and Education

John Chenoweth is an historical archaeologist and anthropologist whose research focuses on the material aspects of community identity, particularly the interaction of religion, race, and power, and broad systems of power such as colonialism.  His work has primarily taken place in Caribbean, particularly the British Virgin Islands, where he studies 18th and 19th century sites of enslavement and freedom. Recent work also looks at 19th century religious communities in Michigan, contemporary archaeology, and materials science. A new project examines environmental and cultural change in 17th century New England. He came to Dearborn following two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, teaching in the IHUM/Thinking Matters and Anthropology Programs.


Ph.D.: Anthropology, University of California-Berkeley (2011)

M.A.: Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania (2006). 

Postdoc: Stanford University (2011-2013)

Teaching and Research

Selected Publications

In Press.  Reconstructing a Changing Religious Landscape: the Material Traces of Barbados Quakers. International Journal of Historical Archaeology.


2018. Marine Shell and Small Island Slavery in the Caribbean.  Historical Archaeology 52(4): 467-488.


2017. Natural Graffiti and Cultural Plants: A Contemporary Archaeology of Yosemite and Detroit. American Anthropologist 119(3): 464-477.


2017.  Simplicity, Equality, and Slavery: An Archaeology of Quakerism in the British Virgin Islands, 1740-1780. University of Florida Press.

Reviewed in Historical Archaeology and AAR’s Reading Religion


2016. (Bates, Lynsey, John M. Chenoweth, and James Delle, eds.) Archaeologies of Slavery and Freedom in the Caribbean: Exploring the Spaces in Between. University Press of Florida. Reprinted in paperback, Sept 2018.


2016. The Historical Archaeology Laboratory Handbook. Society for Historical Archaeology, Germantown, MD.


2015. (Chenoweth, John M, and Alan Farahani) Color in historical ceramic typologies: A test case in statistical analysis of replicable measurements. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 4: 310-319.


2014. Practicing and Preaching Quakerism: Creating a Religion of Peace on a Slavery-Era Plantation. American Anthropologist 116(1): 94-109.


2013. The Archaeology of Quakerism in Philadelphia and Beyond: Identity, Context, and Conformity. In Kings and Commoners, Settlers and Savants: The Historical Archaeology of the Delaware Valley, 1600-1820.  R. Veit and D. Orr, eds. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Pp. 185-204.


2012.  Quakerism and the Lack of ‘Things’ in the Early Modern. In The Mystery and Meaning of Modern Materials: Selected Papers from the 2009 CHAT Conference, Keble College, Oxford. L. McAtackney and B. Fortenberry, eds.  BAR, Oxford. Pp. 73-84.


2009 Social Identity, Material Culture, and the Archaeology of Religion: Quaker Practices in Context. Journal of Social Archaeology 9 (3): 319-340.


2006 “What’ll Thou Have”: Quakers and the Characterization of Tavern Sites in Colonial Philadelphia.  Northeast Historical Archaeology 35: 75-90.


Member for
4 years 3 months
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