Anthropology Faculty

Anthony Andrews
Professor of Anthropology (941) 487-4327

M.A., Ph.D. University of Arizona
B.A., Harvard University

Professor Andrews is a widely published Maya archaeologist and enthnohistorian who has done extensive field work in Mexico and Central America.  In addition to archaeology and biological anthropology, he supervises studies in ecological anthropology, primate evolution and behavior, Latin American ethnography and historical archaeology, as well as economic and urban anthropology.  He is author, co-author or co-editor of several books and monographs in both English and Spanish, including A Study of the Ruins of Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico (1975),  Ecab:  poblado y provincia del siglo XVI en Yucatán (1979), Maya Salt Production and Trade (1983), Arqueología histórica en el área maya (1985),  Excavaciones arqueológicas en El Meco, Quintana Roo (1986), First Cities (1995), Reconstructing the Past.  Studies in Mesoamerican and Central American Prehistory (2006), and Historia General de Yucatán, Vol 1: La civilización maya Yucateca (2014).  He has also published more than a hundred articles, book chapters, reports, and reviews.  Most of his fieldwork has focused on surveys and excavations of prehispanic and historic sites along all three coasts of the Yucatán peninsula, in southeastern Mexico.  His research interests include prehispanic and historic architecture, coastal ecology and human adaptations, economics and trade, history of Maya archaeology, and Yucatecan history and historical cartography.

Uzi Baram
Professor of Anthropology

Director, New College Public Archaeology Lab (941) 487-4217

M.A., Ph.D. University of Massachusetts at Amherst
B.A. State University of New York at Binghamton

Uzi Baram is an anthropologist who teaches a wide range of archaeology and cultural anthropology courses. As a New College professor, Professor Baram has moved his principle area of research from the eastern Mediterranean to the west coast of Florida. In the eastern Mediterranean he has studied the material culture, cultural landscapes, Western travel accounts and social identities of the Ottoman Empire. Current research on the Middle East examines the intersection of archaeology and heritage tourism.

As a faculty member at New College, Professor Baram has created local programs in archaeology and heritage studies. For example, the public anthropology program Looking For Angola employs the dual lens of archaeology and ethnography to reveal a “history from below” for an early nineteenth century maroon community in the context of the anthropological critiques of racism and the histories of southwestern Florida. As the founding director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab, Professor Baram has trained students in historic preservation, public outreach and anthropological studies of the recent past.

Professor Baram has edited and contributed to A Historical Archaeology of the Ottoman Empire: Breaking New Ground (2000), Marketing Heritage: Archaeology and the Consumption of the Past (2004), Between Art and Artifact: Approaches to Visual Representation in Historical Archaeology (2007), and Cosmopolitanism and Ethnogenesis, Colonialism and Resistance: Themes in the Historical Archaeology of Florida (2012) as well as many journal articles and research reports on historical archaeology, heritage and the politics of the past.

Erin Dean
Assistant Professor of Anthropology (941) 487-4269

M.A., Ph.D., University of Arizona
B.A., University of Kansas

Professor Dean is an environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on conservation and development in Tanzania and Zanzibar. She situates her anthropological work within the interdisciplinary subfield of political ecology, and she is particularly interested in how control of land and resources is negotiated and ordered based on gender, age, ethnicity, class, political affiliation, and institutional status.  Her ongoing work considers a variety of topics of both emergent and persistent concern to community members, including forest and marine conservation, “participatory” resource management, knowledge production, gendered identity, alternative energy development, land rights, and political authority. Her recent publications include articles in the journals Human Organization and the Journal of Contemporary African Studies.

At New College, Professor Dean also coordinates the Sarasota Water Oral History Project, This collaboration with Sarasota County and the Water Atlas explores how water resources are understood and remembered by local residents. Student participants in the project explore the theory and methodology of oral history, conduct in-depth oral history interviews with local residents, and create narrative audio-visual presentations which are archived and available online.

Maria Vesperi
Professor of Anthropology

(941) 487-4358

M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University
B.A., University of Massachusetts

Maria D. Vesperi is a cultural anthropologist with research interests in urban issues, anthropology and journalism, social welfare policy, cultural constructions of aging and race, representations through visual media and performance and early industrial history. She left her first teaching position in 1981 to work at the Tampa Bay Times, where she wrote features and columns and contributed to investigative series on welfare, home health care, community mental health care and aging. She joined the newspaper’s editorial board in 1986, working in Florida and Washington, D.C. until returning to full-time teaching and research in 1993. At New College she offers courses in cultural anthropology, myth and ritual, history of anthropological theory, anthropology and literature, language, culture and society, contemporary U.S. cultures, the anthropology of performance, anthropological approaches to the study of aging and group tutorial work in visual anthropology. She also established and continues to teach a journalism sequence which includes production of a campus weekly, The Catalyst. Professor Vesperi is incoming editor of Anthropology Now, a multi-media platform designed to make anthropological knowledge accessible to the public. She is 2009 recipient of the American Anthropological Association/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology.

Professor Vesperi presents her work regularly at national and international meetings and serves actively in professional associations. She is a past president of the Society for the Anthropology of North America and the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology, and has served on the American Anthropological Association Executive Board and Long Range Planning Committee. She developed the theme and served as Executive Program Committee Chair for “Critical Intersections/Dangerous Issues,” the Association’s 2006 annual meeting. She is founding editor of North American Dialogue, the publication of the Society for the Anthropology of North America, a former contributing editor for Transforming Anthropology, the journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists, former editor of the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology Newsletter and a former Section News Editor and column contributor to Anthropology News. She is a trustee of the Poynter Institute, a non-profit school for journalism education and leadership.

Professor Vesperi’s recent publications include Anthropology off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing, a co-edited volume of commentaries on how anthropologists craft their work, and chapters in anthologies on anthropology and journalism, aging, and the impact of the baby boom generation on US society. Her current project is a manuscript on the relationship between ethnography and narrative journalism.

Gabrielle Vail
Research Scholar (941) 487-4380

M.A., Ph.D., Tulane University
B.A., New College of Florida

Professor Vail specializes in Pre-Columbian studies, with an emphasis on the iconography and hieroglyphic texts of the screenfold manuscripts (codices) painted by the prehispanic Maya. She has done collaborative research with colleagues on the Borgia group of codices from central Mexico and postclassic murals from the Maya area, as well as ethnohistoric documents from the Maya region. These studies contribute to our understanding of the ideology and religion of Mesoamerica and of interactions among Maya and central Mexican cultures during the postclassic period.

[Did you know?]

The Hal C. Ball Anthropology Laboratory on campus houses a 2,000-volume library on Mesoamerican anthropology. It also contains a collection of anthropology texts and manuals, a series of hominid and primate skulls, a slide collection, an oral history archive, audio-visual and photographic equipment, a computer workstation for student use and a Mac video editing station.

Office of the Provost
New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida  34243

Phone: (941) 487-4200
Fax: (941) 487-4201