Ian Kuijt is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in the social geography of village life within small-scale prehistoric and historic communities, including communities off the west of Ireland. Drawing upon ethnography, social theory, and archaeology, his scholarship is focused primarily on emerging social inequality, identity, and the construction of community through ritual and economic means.
While Professor Kuijt’s training and early research focused on the Middle Eastern Neolithic period, for the past ten years he has turned his attention to the history and culture of two island communities off the Connemara coast: Inishark, a fishing village abandoned in 1960 but with many houses and buildings (albeit in various states of ruin) remaining, and Inishbofin, at its peak in the 1840s the home of 300 residents—now empty. The multifaceted project he leads, Cultural Landscapes of the Irish Coast, initiated in 2006—draws upon archaeological and archival research, oral history, and video ethnography to document life on Inishark and Inishbofin from the Bronze Age to the present day—and includes research on residents and their descendants who moved to America.
Professor Kuijt is the author or co-editor of seven books, including Transformation by Fire: The Archaeology of Cremation in Cultural Context (2014); People of the Middle Fraser Canyon: An Archaeological History (2012); Macroevolution in Human Prehistory (2009); and Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity, and Differentiation (2000). His most recent co-authored book, Island Places, Island Lives (2015), employs photographic recognition software to play 23 linked two-minute films designed, filmed, and produced by Wiliam Donaruma (Notre Dame, Film Television and Theater) and Kuijt. He has written over one hundred scholarly articles, including publications in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Current Anthropology, American Antiquity, The Journal of Economic Anthropology, and The Journal of Archaeological Science. He serves on a number of editorial boards, including Antiquity and Paléorient.
Professor Kuijt’s research has been supported by major fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of Notre Dame Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, he Amerind Foundation, the John Tynan Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation-Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, Spain, the John Templeton Foundation, the British Academy, the Mellon Foundation, and the Sigma Xi Foundation.
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