Department of Anthropology
Research area: Cultural Anthropology
Phone: (210) 458-4075
Office: MH 4.01.23
My research concerns the way that humans express their thoughts, feelings, and values through various cultural activities, including ritual, myth, social organization, music, dance, dress, and language, especially the nomenclature and classification of animals, plants, and landscape. These interests unfold in a program of study addressing cultural documentation, cultural stasis and change, and identity maintenance among American Indians. My research program uses the theories, methods, and techniques of cognitive anthropology, structural and symbolic analysis, discourse analysis, linguistics, ethnomusicology, visual anthropology, and ethnohistory. Since 1982 I have been conducting ethnographic fieldwork and archival research with the Comanches, a Plains Indian society living in southwest Oklahoma. I have also done fieldwork in four Texas Indian communities: the Tiguas of Ysleta, the Alabama-Coushattas in Polk County, the Kickapoos of Eagle Pass and Nacimiento, Coahuila, and urban Indians of Dallas and San Antonio. Current research projects include an extended study of Comanche religious ideology, translation and annotation of nineteenth-century Comanche lexicons, and analysis of some newly-discovered photographs from Fort Sill, Indian Territory and Fort Griffin, Texas circa 1870.
Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1986
I enjoy teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in general and cultural anthropology. I have also taught in the UTSA Honors and American Studies programs, and supervised several honors and master’s theses. Courses include Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Topics in American Studies: Indians of Texas, Ritual and Symbol, Indians of the Great Plains, Anthropology of American Culture, Folklore and Folklife, The Fieldwork Experience, Ethnographic Film, and Paradigms of Americanist Anthropology.
2017. Gelo, D. Two Episodes in Texas Indian History Reconsidered: Getting the Facts Right about the Lafuente Attack and the Fort Parker Raid. Southwestern Historical Quarterly 120(4): 440-460.
2017. Gelo, D. and C. J. Wickham. Comanches and Germans on the Texas Frontier. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.
2013. Gelo, D. A Metal Arrowhead from Coryell County, Texas. Plains Anthropologist 58:79-95.
2009. Gelo, D. and L. T. Jones III. Photographic Evidence for Southern Plains Armor. Visual Anthropology Review 25:49-65.
Main Office: MH 4.03.38
Department of Anthropology
University of Texas at San Antonio
College of Liberal and Fine Arts
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249-1644