April Beisaw

April M Beisaw

Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology
Associate Professor, Vassar College, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Archaeology of North America, Native American culture and history, contemporary and historical archaeology, osteoarchaeology, GIS, landscapes, memory, identity, repatriation, water rights

April M. Beisaw is a North American archaeologist who studies cultural change and resilience in the relatively recent past (1300 AD to yesterday). The pressures of a fast-paced world can encourage the uncritical acceptance of stereotypes that serve to explain why “others” are inferior to “ourselves” or may be hindering change that might be viewed as “progress.” Through archaeology, we can challenge stereotypes, remember forgotten events, and imagine new futures. For example, by studying the peoples and places that were sacrificed to construct the New York City water system, April hopes to shift the dialogue from where urban areas can find new water sources to who they will take water from. By documenting Native American protest sites from the 1969 takeover of Alcatraz to 2016’s Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps at the Standing Rock reservation, we can see the consistency of calls for America to live up to the treaty promises our government made. The present was created in the past, so the past is our future.

BA, Rutgers University; MA, PhD, Binghamton University

At Vassar since 2012

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Geographic Areas of Expertise United States
Geographic Areas of Expertise International
Western Hemisphere