Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Robyn Cutright earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009, specializing in the archaeology of the Andean region. She is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Centre College, a top liberal arts college where teaching is a central focus. Robyn has taught several study abroad courses in Peru that explore the ancient cultures of Peru's coast and highlands, and has also taught field ethnography and archaeology courses in Costa Rica. At Centre, she teaches a broad range of classes in Anthropology, Archaeology, and Latin American Studies, including Inkas Aztecs Mayas, Pyramids and Politics: Exploring Peru's Prehispanic Past, The Archaeologist Looks at Death, and Paleokitchen: the Archaeology of Food.
Robyn has over a decade of experience conducting archaeological fieldwork in Peru. Her research focuses on the Chimú, a coastal empire that preceded, and was conquered by, the Inca. Specifically, she explores the daily lives and local experiences of people living in frontier and provincial communities and the political impacts of ancient conquest. She is currently the director of a multi-year project at the archaeological site of Ventanillas, where she investigates how local strategies interacted with state politics at the edge of coastal state control. Her work has been published in journals such as Latin American Antiquity and Ñawpa Pacha, the journal of the Institute of Andean Studies, and she has co-edited a bilingual volume on the archaeology of the Pacific Coast. Her research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and the Social Science Research Council, and she is a former Fulbright Fellow to Peru.
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