College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Professor Steve Kosiba to Join the UTSA Department of Anthropology

October 23, 2021

The UTSA Deparmment of Anthropology is excited to announce that Dr. Steve Kosiba will join us as an associate professor in January of 2022. Dr. Kosiba (PhD UChicago 2010) is an anthropological archaeologist and environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on historical ecology, the construction of social difference, and the cultural roles of material things in the ancient and early modern world, with particular emphasis on Inka and Spanish colonialism in South America. Dr. Kosiba is currently directing several archaeological and ethnographic projects in Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inka Empire. His major project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, examines how people with no power—forcibly resettled workers—forged their identity and community. The research centers on Rumiqolqa, a massive labor colony in Cuzco where people of diverse origin quarried stone for Inka and Spanish regimes (ca. 1450-1750 CE). It traces the often-clandestine practices by which workers pooled labor, exchanged goods, and integrated food production tasks to create social linkages that cut across the rigidly segregated neighborhoods in which they had been forced to live. Going beyond a top-down comparison of Inka and Spanish colonization, Dr. Kosiba is uncovering the bottom-up practices by which workers built a sense of community as they constructed and designed their houses and terraces, fields and gardens. 

As he recently shared with us in an email, Dr. Kosiba is especially excited to collaborate with the Institute of Texan Cultures, where he will be expanding on his earlier work in the digital humanities to design virtual tools that can turn archaeological and historical sites into living museums through text, art, and augmented reality graphics. After living in San Antonio last year, and "falling in love with it," he looks forward to collaborating with local communities, contributing to the intellectual and arts scene, gardening year-round, and "sampling every taco in town."

Welcome to UTSA, Dr. Kosiba--we're sure you'll fit right in with our department, university, and city!

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