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Dr. Kathryn Sampeck

Professor of Anthropology
Sociology and Anthropology
Schroeder Hall - SCH 394
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research


Kathryn Sampeck (BA, MA, University of Chicago; PhD Tulane University) investigates pre-Columbian practices and material worlds, how they both shape and are transformed by colonial dynamics, and their lasting legacies.

Teaching Interests & Areas

Dr. Kathryn Sampeck teaches classes in historical archaeology, Afro-Latin America, landscape archaeology, archaeological theory, and anthropology of food. Her field school in eastern Tennessee explores the nature of sixteenth-century Spanish and indigenous interaction and how to detect political, social, and economic organization in archaeological landscapes.

Research Interests & Areas

historical archaeology, archaeology of Spanish colonialism, race and racialization, political economy, ethnohistory, food history, with a focus on the cultural history of taste, cultural landscapes, cartography, literacy, race, money and monetization, and commerce in American commodities in the Early Modern world.

Ph D Anthropology

Tulane University
New Orleans, LA

MA Anthropology

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

BA Anthropology

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

University Outstanding Researcher Award

Illinois State University

Outstanding Researcher

College of Arts and Sciences

CAS Excellence Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement of the Year

Illinois State University

Book Review

Sampeck, K. Race and Nation - Speaking of Spain: The Evolution of Race and Nation in the Hispanic World. By Antonio Feros. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017. Pp. 384. $46.50 cloth.. The Americas (2021): 12-14.
Sampeck, K. Frontiers of Science: Imperialism and Natural Knowledge in the Gulf South Borderlands, 1500–1850. By Cameron B. Strang. (Williamsburg, VA: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, and Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018.. Journal of the Early Republic 40.2 (2020)
Sampeck, K. Interregional Interaction in Ancient Mesoamerica. Edited by Joshua D. Englehardt and Michael D. Carrasco. Louisville: University Press of Colorado, 2019.. Hispanic American Historical Review 100.4 (2020): 696–697.
Sampeck, K. Atemorizar la tierra: Pedro de Alvarado y la Conquista de Guatemala, 1520-1541. Journal of Latin American Geography (2018)
Sampeck, K. The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900.. Ben Vinson III (EDs). The Americas (2018)

Book, Chapter

Camp, S., Carter, B., Painter, A., Rowe, S., & Sampeck, K. Teaching Archaeological Mapping and Data Management with KoBoToolbox. Ethan Wattrall and Lynne Goldstein (EDs), Digital Heritage and Archaeology in Practice. University Press of Florida (2022): pp. 273-297.
SAMPECK, K. Spanish Colonialism and Spatial Violence. Christopher Matthews and Bradley Phllippi (EDs), Archaeologies of Violence and Privilege. University of New Mexico Press (2020)
Sampeck, K. An Archaeology of Indigo: the Landscape of Obrajes in the Izalcos Region of Western El Salvador. Rani T. Alexander (EDs), Technology and Tradition after the Spanish Invasion. University of New Mexico Press (2019): 167-188.
Sampeck, K. Chocolate and Vanilla: Seeds of Taste. Mark McWilliams (EDs), Proceedings of the Oxford Food Symposium on Food and Cookery. Prospect Books (2019): 240-256.
Sampeck, K. Chocolate, Place, and Space: Cacao Terroir and Pre-Columbian to Early Modern Political Geographies. Carlnita Greene (EDs), Foodscapes: Food, Place and Space in a Global Society. Peter Lang (2019)

Book, Edited

Sampeck, K. Substance & Seduction: Ingested Commodities in Early Modern Mesoamerica. University of Texas Press (2017)

Journal Article

Erquicia Cruz, H., & Sampeck, K. Pandemic and Museums A View from El Salvador. June Erlick (EDs). ReVista/David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies XX.3 (2021): 26.
Martin, C., & Sampeck, K. From Cocoa Farms to Candy Chutes. Anthropology News/American Anthropological Association 61.6 (2021)
Sampeck, K. A Constitutional Approach to Cacao Money. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 61 (2020)
Sampeck, K., & Menezes Ferreira, L. Arqueología Afro-Latinoamericana: temas, problemas y afro-reparación (Afro-Latin American Archaeology: Problems, Issues and Afro-Reparation). Revista de Arqueología Histórica Argentina y Latinoamericana 13.2 (2020): 59-99.
Sampeck, K., & Menezes Ferreira, L. Delineando a Arqueologia Afro-Latino-Americana (Delineando La Arqueología Afro-Latinoamericana/Delineating Afro-Latin American Archaeology. VESITIGIOS: Revista Latino-Americana de Arqueologia Histórica 14.1 (2020): 142-168.


Historical Archaeology, 3rd Edition. Oser, Charles V. (2017) Pearson Press. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. ISBN: 978-0-205-97213-5.


In Search of Identities. Monuments and Counter Monuments. David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. (2021)
Nahua Diaspora and Cacao. Annual Meeting. Society for American Archaeology. (2021)
Chocolate, social justice, and labor. All Things Chocolate. David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. (2020)
Cultural Histories of Mexican Chocolate. FCCI Conversation Series Mexico. Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute. (2020)
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Afro-Latin American Archaeology. Annual Meeting. Society for Historical Archaeology. (2020)
Labor and Pandemics in Cacao History. FCCI Cacao Academy. Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute. (2020)
Maya Culinary Realms and Mesoamerican Use and Exchange of Cacao. Tulane Maya Symposium. Middle American Research Institute. (2020)
Chuck’s Stomping Grounds and Historical Archaeology’s Haunts: Or, How Charles Orser’s Work Haunts Me. Annual Meeting. Society for Historical Archaeology. (2019)
How Chocolate Came to Be. Department of Anthropology and the Latin American Studies Program Lecture Series. Vanderbilt University. (2019)
Insights of Afro-Latin American Archaeology. Springfield Society Annual Lecture. Archaeological Institute of America. (2019)

Grants & Contracts

Global Professor. The British Academy. Other. (2023)
UK Scholar - Eccles Centre at the British Library. IIE Fulbright Program. Federal. (2021)
Afro-Latin American Archaeology. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnohistory. Private. (2019)
Associate. Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University. Private. (2019)
Digital Fellowship for Former Fellows. John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Other. (2018)