STEM Shoutout: Dr. Patricia Crown

 UNM Anthropology professor awarded prestigious fellowship

Dr. Patricia Crown has been awarded the School for Advanced Research (SAR) Weatherhead Resident Scholar Fellowship effective 2019-2020. 


The (SAR) Weatherhead Resident Scholar Fellowship awards nine months of housing in Santa Fe and a stipend for the researcher while they complete a book, manuscript, or dissertation. 


“In my case, I will be writing a book about the politics and ritual involving drinking cacao from cylinder jars in Chaco Canyon. 900 years ago, people imported cacao from Mesoamerica and used probably used it in public ceremonies. So the vessels have much to tell us about the economy, politics, and ceremonies in Chaco,” Crown said in an email. 


Crown’s research interests revolve around the archeology of the pre-Hispanic U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest, which Crown called “a vast area with a fascinating diversity of cultures and people.” 


Crown, the Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, has also received the A.V. Kidder Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Field Research Award from the Shanghai Archaeology Forum (China), and the Excellence in Ceramic Analysis Award from the Society for American Archaeology. In 2014, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Science. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, National Geographic Society, the Wenner Gren Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. 


Crown’s current research focuses on economic and ritual connections between pre-Hispanic groups living in Mesoamerica to the south, and what is now New Mexico. During this time, when there was no border, there was continuing movement of ideas, goods, and people between what is now Mexico and New Mexico. 


“Understanding the nature of this exchange and how it impacted the social and political landscape of the U.S. Southwest is important, particularly in the context of societal concerns with immigration and trade today,” Crown said. 


“The SAR Weatherhead Resident Scholar Fellowship is hard to get. I have applied several times, and am thrilled to finally be selected for this honor. I look forward to having nine months of time on their Santa Fe campus to complete a book and interact with the other scholars. Fortunately, I’ll be close enough to UNM to maintain contact with the graduate students I mentor,” Crown said.