Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2011; Assistant Professor

Office: Breland Hall 305
Lab: Breland Hall 307
E-mailkljenks@nmsu.edu
Office Phone: 575-646-2560
Curriculum Vitae
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I am an archaeologist specializing in the historical archaeology and late prehistory of the American Southwest and Southern Plains. My research focuses on the construction of social and political identities and the influence of interregional trade in New Mexico.

Current Research

My primary interest is in the material construction and evolution of social identities within contact zones. Much of my recent research has focused on group identities that formed during the late Spanish colonial, Mexican, and early American periods in the Southwest.

One major focus of my research has been on the construction of “Hispanic” identity within multiethnic colonial communities. I have completed analyses of ceramics recovered from the Tubac presidio in southern Arizona (occupied 1752-1846), arguing that these collections offer insight into the shifting cultural identities of the (mostly indigenous) presidio soldiers. I have also conducted fieldwork within the land grant community of San Miguel del Vado, New Mexico, established in the Upper Pecos River Valley on the eastern frontier of the New Mexico colony in 1794. My analysis of the use of space, architecture, and materials at this site focuses on the ways that residents used corporate practices and communal spaces to downplay ethnic differences and express a shared civic identity (vecindad) that distinguished them from their eastern neighbors and trade partners. Presently, I am exploring Hispanic expansion and settlement in New Mexico in both earlier and later periods: at Los Ojitos, a homestead-era village in the Middle Pecos Valley occupied ca. 1870-1950, and along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Spanish “royal road” connecting New Mexico to Mexico from the founding of the New Mexico colony in 1598 through to the 1880s.

I have previous experience working in cultural resource management (CRM) in the Southwest and Great Plains regions, and I regularly teach two of the core courses (ANTH 540 and 542) for the Graduate Certificate in Cultural Resource Management here at NMSU. The fall course (ANTH 540) focuses on CRM law, while the spring semester introduces students to the practice of CRM by involving them in active research projects relating to the Camino Real. Undergraduate students who are interested in taking these classes may register for ANTH 497 (but please contact me first).

Courses Presently in Rotation

  • ANTH 201G: Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 315: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANTH 318/518: Historical Archaeology
  • ANTH 497/540: Cultural Resource Management
  • ANTH 497/542: Cultural Resource Management II
  • HON 235G: Window on Humanity

Other Courses

  • Anthropology of Gender
  • Archaeological Lab Techniques
  • Archaeology of Identity
  • Field Training in Archaeology
  • Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • World Archaeology

Photos from the field