Marshall, Lydia, Ph.D.
Sociology and Anthropology, Asbury Hall, Room 205D
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
I am Assistant Professor of Anthropology at DePauw University. I received my Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Virginia. At DePauw, I teach a variety of courses, including Human Origins, Archaeology, Archaeology Field School, Archaeology of the Body, and History of Anthropology.
My scholarship focuses on the archaeology of slavery and, more specifically, emancipated and self-emancipated people. In my doctoral research, I investigated communities formed by runaway slaves in 19th-century coastal Kenya. My analysis particularly focused on these communities’ cultural plurality and participation in the regional economy.
Since coming to DePauw, I have initiated a local research program about Putnam County’s so-called “Exodusters.” The exodus of African Americans from the U.S. South in the late 1870s and early 1880s encompassed the relocation of tens of thousands of people to a variety of northern and western states, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Indiana. Hundreds of migrants settled in Putnam County, where DePauw University is located. I am especially interested in Exodusters’ place in the regional economy, whether and how migrants’ lifeways reflected their southern origins, and the expression of actual or aspirational socioeconomic identity through consumer consumption. While the Exoduster project remains in its early stages, I have enjoyed integrating undergraduates into my research, both through the Student-Faculty Summer Research Program and a May term archaeological field school.
These research projects stem from a broader interest in the comparison of different slave systems, both between regions and across time. I have explored this topic in depth in my edited book, The Archaeology of Slavery: A Comparative Approach to Captivity and Coercion (2015, SIU Press). I have additionally published my research in International Journal of Historical Archaeology, African Archaeological Review and the Journal of African Archaeology, among other journals. I am currently associate editor of the Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage. My scholarship has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright-Hays Program (U.S. Department of Education), and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies. I received the 2018 John L. Cotter Award from the Society for Historical Archaeology for excellence in early career scholarship.