Shannon Lee Dawdy
- Assistant Professor of Anthropology and the Social Sciences in the College
Shannon Lee Dawdy, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College, is a historical anthropologist and archaeologist concentrating on the Atlantic World after 1450. Her research focuses on the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean, particularly Louisiana and Cuba. Her interdisciplinary projects seek to understand maritime and creole societies in their own ethnographic terms while engaging with broader issues such as colonialism, modernity, and informal economies. Her first single-author book, Building the Devil's Empire, develops the idea of rogue colonialism to explain the ways in which French New Orleans, and many colonies like it, functioned outside state controls. Related topics of her research and teaching include urban planning, food, gender and sexuality, disaster, temporality, and race and ethnicity. Recent fieldwork has focused on garden and hospitality sites in New Orleans (Pitot House, Rising Sun Hotel, St. Antoine's Garden). This work informs her current book project, Patina: An Archaeology of Everyday Aesthetics, which seeks to understand the connections between aesthetics and social life.