Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Chair

Department of Anthropology

University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

University of Pennsylvania

Teaching: Courses

Oceans of Dharma (in progress) builds on archaeological survey and excavation around the imperial capital of Vijayanagara, south India (c. AD 1300-1700), and on allied research on historical texts and paleoenvironments.  The book is a synthetic and analytical treatment of the ways in which Vijayanagara imperial expansion and economic change led to the creation of marginalized peoples and strategies, including small farmers and specialized hunter-gatherers. It also examines, to the extent possible, strategies of resistance and accommodation that helped shape the contingent outcomes of these processes in different parts of the empire. While the book is intended as a substantive treatment of  Indian history, it also makes a theoretical argument about the construction of  inequality and about anthropological misperceptions that equate marginalized peoples with presumably earlier cultural-evolutionary “stages.”