1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Carrie Heitman Named ACLS Faculty Fellow

Saturday, 25 February 2012

— from Dionisios Kavadias

Carolyn Heitman, whose dissertation was entitled “Architectures of Inequality: Evaluating Houses, Kinship, and Cosmology in Chaco Canyon, N.M., A.D. 800-1200” was just awarded a ACLS Faculty Fellows awards for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Using archaeological data from masonry house structures and circular communal 'kivas' in conjunction with ethnographic data, Dr. Heitman's dissertation examined the connection between symbolic investment in house construction and the creation of social hierarchies during the Chacoan florescence (A.D. 800-1200). The specific goals of her analysis were to assess the utility of house society models for Chaco Canyon and to determine if the insights enabled by such models help identify if and how social hierarchies were expressed or constructed through the idiom of the house. For over a hundred years, archaeologists have struggled to understand the degree and form of social inequality evident during the prehistoric occupation of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. 

For the last several years, the American Council of Learned Society for the advancement of the Humanities, along with the Mellon Foundation, has selected about 50 new Ph.Ds for this prestigious award. Each fellow may be assigned to a participating university—UVa is in the program—to teach and research for two years in exchange for research funds and a modest starting salary. Of the 50 Fellows selected this year 5 were anthropologists, and two were from UVa. A third Fellow, Townsend Middleton, received his B.A. from us in 1999. A fourth, Junjie Chen, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, is a student of a UVa Ph.D. alumn, Alma Gottlieb.

Dr. Heitman's 2011 colleague, Jason Hickel, also received a ACLS Faculty Fellows Award.