Valerie is a historical archaeologist working in what is currently the US Southwest whose research lies at the intersection of anthropology and American Studies/Ethnic Studies. Her research develops archaeological models of communities of practice that are informed by ethnography, oral history, and theory from Chicanx and Native Studies. Most broadly, she is interested in the reverberations of Spanish and other colonialisms in the 18th-20th centuries.
Her current research concerns the production, circulation, and consumption of everyday objects, especially pottery, in the Northern Rio Grande ca. 1750-1950 A.D. Valerie pursues a combined typological, compositional, and ethnoarchaeological approach to ceramics analysis. She also works with oral history research, archival documents, and community interlocutors to contribute to the analysis of excavated material culture.
Valerie participates in excavations in Dixon (historically San Antonio del Embudo), New Mexico and works with legacy collections from Picuris Pueblo. She frequently conducts petrographic analysis and experimental analyses of clays and pottery as a visiting researcher at UC-Santa Cruz, and she also helps facilitate volunteer material culture labs for the Taos Archaeological Society at SMU-in-Taos. Finally, Valerie has research experience in multiple archaeological contexts, especially in the Spanish-speaking world, and maintains a professional interest in the archaeology and historical anthropology of contemporary Spain.
Beyond her research, Valerie also has active commitments to teaching and learning in higher education, serving as a Fellow at the Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning with a special emphasis on inclusive teaching, as well as holding the appointment of Inaugural Fellow at the Columbia GSAS Writing Studio.
Columbia University, MPhil in Anthropology, 2016
Columbia University, MA in Anthropology, 2015
Brown University, BA in Archaeology and the Ancient World and Anthropology, 2013