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Kirby Farah, Ph.D.

Department of Anthropology

University of Southern California

3620 South Vermont Ave., Suite 352

Los Angeles, CA 90089-2537

Email: kirbyfar@usc.edu

Phone: (817) 368-5349

Current Academic Employment

2017-Present

Full-time Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California


Education

2017 

Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, Riverside

Dissertation: Leadership and Community Identity at Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico

Committee Chair: Wendy Ashmore

2011

M.A., Anthropology, University of California, Riverside

2009

B.A. Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin

B.A. Art History, University of Texas at Austin

Honors Thesis: Arroyo Pesquero: A Middle Preclassic Watery Shrine

Advisor: Julia Guernsey


Grants and Fellowships

Fellowships:

2015

Dumbarton Oaks Summer Fellowship - Precolumbian Studies

2011-2014      

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship ($124,000)

External Funding:

2017

Wenner-Gren Engaged Anthropology Grant ($5,000)

2015               

UC-Mexus Dissertation Research Grant, # DG-14-62 ($10,720)

2014-2015      

Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, #8879 ($19,718)

2014-2015      

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, #BCS 1419202 ($24,940)

Internal Funding:

2017               

Propes Conference Grant, University of California, Riverside ($320)

2012-2013      

CHASS Graduate Student Research Grant from the University of California, Riverside ($1,400)

2010-2011      

Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship from the University of California, Riverside ($28,749)

2007-2008      

Kemp-Forman Memorial Endowed Presidential Scholarship, University of Texas, Austin ($2,500)

 

 

Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

2018          

Farah, Kirby “Constructing a Kingdom: Architectural Strategies and the Nature of Leadership at Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico” Journal of Social Archaeology. Link to Article

2018               

Farah, Kirby, and Kenneth Seligson. From Crystal Skulls to the Caste War: Intersections of Tourism, Archaeology and Heritage in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Anthropology Now 10(2):24-36. Link to Article

2018               

Seligson, Kenneth, and Kirby Farah. Engaging the Brown Fedora: Archaeology, Education and Popular Media. Anthropology Now 10(2):56-68. Link to Article

Book Chapters:

In press          

Farah, Kirby “The Light Burned Brightly: New Fire Ceremonies in Postclassic central Mexico” In Night and Darkness in Mexico and Central America, edited by Nancy Gonlin and David Reed, University of Colorado Press, Boulder.

In press          

Farah, Kirby “The Formation of a Kingdom” In La Historia y Arqueología de Xaltocan, edited by Christopher Morehart, Kristin De Lucia, and Enrique Rodriguez.

Technical Reports:

2017               

Farah, Kirby “Proyecto Arqueológico de Xaltocan-Elite: Informe de la Temporada de Campo Julio 2014-Diciembre 2014” Presentado al Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, D.F., Mexico. 

2011               

Trachman, Rissa M., Kirby Farah, Thomas Ewing, and Jana Murdock “Summary Report for Investigations at the Site of Dos Hombres and the Surrounding Settlement” The 2010 Field Season. In Research Reports from the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, Volume Five, edited by Brett A. Houk and Fred Valdez, Jr., pp. 235-242. Occasional Papers 12, Mesoamerican Archaeological Research Laboratory. The University of Texas at Austin.

2010                

Hyde, David M., Kirby Farah, and Alexandra Smith “Research Results of Investigations at Group A of the Medicinal Trail Site” The 2009 Field Season. In Research Reports from the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, Volume Four, edited by David M. Hyde and Fred Valdez, Jr., pp. 41-48. Occasional Papers 11, Mesoamerican Archaeological Research Laboratory. The University of Texas at Austin.

2009                

Hyde, David M., Kirby Farah, and Alexandra Smith “Research Results of the 2009 Field Season at Group A of the Medicinal Trail Site. In Programme for Belize Archaeological Project: Summary Report of the 2009 Investigations, edited by Fred Valdez, Jr., pp. 40-44. Report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology, National Institute of Culture and History, Belmopan, Belize.

Works In Progress:

Under Review

Farah, Kirby “Treasured Trash: The Use and Significance of Ceramic Fragments in Elite Ritual Contexts at Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico” Submitted to Latin American Antiquity.

Under Review

Farah, Kirby “Prioritizing the Past: Archaeological Research and Perceptions of Patrimony at Xaltocan, Mexico” Submitted to International Journal of Heritage Studies.

In Preparation

Farah, Kirby “Big changes in little places: examining the impacts of the Aztec conquest on local leadership at Late Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico”” Preparedfor Ancient Mesoamerica.


Conferences and Invited Talks

Invited Talks:

2017               

“Critical Cultural Heritage and the Ethics of Archaeological Research” Organized by the Anthropology Club at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, November 7, 2017.

2017               

“Catching Fire: Ritual Practice Among the Leaders of Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico” Organized by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, February 27, 2017.

Discussant:

2017               

Section on Space and Place in Mesoamerica, at the 37th Annual James C. Young Colloquium: Space, Places, and Faces: Papers in Honor of Dr. Wendy Ashmore in Riverside, California, April 15, 2017.

Panels Organized:

2014               

“Archaeology Beyond Borders: Current investigations by Mexican and American Researchers” Co-organized with Julie Wesp for the 79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Austin, Texas, April 23-27, 2014.

Papers Presented:

2018               

Farah, Kirby “The Nature of Leadership and Community Cohesion at Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico”. Paper to be presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeology in Washington, D.C., April 11-15, 2018.

2017               

Farah, Kirby “Big changes in little places: examining the impacts of the Aztec conquest on local leadership at Late Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico”. Paper presented at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeology in Vancouver, British Columbia, March 29-April 2, 2017.

2017               

Farah, Kirby “A Single Beam Cannot Support a Great House: Examining Community Dynamics and the Power Strategies of Leaders at Postclassic, Xaltocan”. Paper presented at the Southern California Mesoamerica Network Conference in Los Angeles, California, March 5, 2017.

2016               

Farah, Kirby “Reevaluating class at Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico”. Paper presented at the 36th Annual James C. Young Colloquium: Knowledge Production, Theory and Standpoint: Papers in Honor of Dr. Thomas C. Patterson in Riverside, California, March 18, 2016.

2016               

Farah, Kirby “Palace and Home: Examining the production and expression of elite identity at Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico”. Paper presented at the 6th Annual UCLA Interdisciplinary Archaeology Research Conference: Fitting in or Opting Out: Exploring Identity and Personhood in the Past in Los Angeles, California, February 6, 2016

2014               

Farah, Kirby “Finding common ground: a comparative of study of elite and commoner domestic practices at Postclassic Xaltocan”. Paper presented at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Austin, Texas, April 23-27, 2014.

2012               

Leventhal, Richard, Kirby Farah and Randi Ragsdale. “The Caste War of the Yucatan: Heritage and Economic Development” Paper presented at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Memphis, Tennessee, April 18-22, 2012.

2011               

Farah, Kirby "Past, Present and Future: Archaeology of Maya Water and Land
Management”. Paper presented at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Sacramento, California, March 30-April 3, 2011.

2011               

Trachman, Rissa, Kirby Farah, and Thomas Ewing: “Water to Power: Tracing Notions of Management from an Ancient Water System in Northwestern Belize”, Paper presented at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Sacramento, California, March 30-April 3, 2011.

Posters Presented:

2015               

Farah, Kirby “An Elite Ceramic Tradition at Postclassic Xaltocan.” In poster session: “Comparative Approaches to Postclassic Mesoamerican Ceramics”, Poster presented at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeology in San Francisco, California, April 15-19, 2015.

On-Campus Talks:

2018               

“The Adaptive and Adoptive Nature of Aztec Religion” Organized by the Department of Religion for the Feed Your Mind Series at the University of Southern California. March 21, 2018.

2017               

“Rewriting the Past: Collaborative Archaeology and Evaluating the Social Value of Heritage at Xaltocan, Mexico” Organized by the Department of Anthropology at The University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, November 16, 2017.


Teaching Interests

Mesoamerican archaeology, archaeological field methods, Aztec archaeology, critical cultural heritage, archaeological theory, political archaeology, feminist archaeology 


Teaching Experience

Instructor of record:

University of Southern California - Department of Anthropology

2018               

Who Owns The Past?: Cultural Heritage in the News (Fall)

California State University, Long Beach - Department of Art History

2017               

Pre-Columbian Art (Spring)

California State University, Northridge - Department of Anthropology

2017               

Introduction to Archaeology (Spring)

2016               

Prehistoric Archaeology (Fall)

California State University, San Bernardino - Department of Anthropology

2017               

Introduction to World Civilizations (Winter)

University of California, Riverside – Department of Anthropology

2016               

Introduction to Archaeology (Summer), Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Summer)

Teaching assistant:

University of Southern California - Department of Anthropology

2018               

Archaeology: Our Human Past (Spring), Culture Through Film (Spring), Trojan Archaeology (Spring), Mesoamerican Cosmovision (Fall), Maya Archaeology and History (Fall)

2017               

Mesoamerican Cosmovision (Fall), Maya Archaeology and History (Fall)

University of California, Riverside - Department of Anthropology

2015-2016      

Introduction to Archaeology (Fall), Biological Anthropology (Winter, Spring)

Guest lecturer:

University of California, Riverside - Department of Anthropology

2016               

Social Meanings of Space (4/27/2016 and 4/29/2016), Ancient Households and Communities (4/29/2016)

Course reader:

University of California, Riverside - Department of Anthropology

2016               

Gender and Archaeology (Winter)

2011               

Class and State Formation (Spring)

Teaching development:

2017               

Teaching Online Courses, University of California, Riverside

2015               

Teaching Assistant Development Program, University of California, Riverside


Research Interests

Mesoamerican archaeology (central Mexican focus), cultural heritage, community archaeology, political archaeology, theories of practice and materiality, identity, social class and status, space and place theory, social memory


Research Experience

2017               

Director, Las Actividades Rituales de Los Gobernantes de Xaltocan: A Community Museum Project, funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation (Engaged Anthropology Grant)

2014-2015      

Principal Investigator/Director, Proyecto Arqueológico de Xaltocan Élite, with permission from Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia and cooperation from Universidad Nacional de México Autónoma

2011-2012      

Research Assistant, Tihosuco Community Heritage Project, funded by the University of Pennsylvania Cultural Heritage Museum, directed by Richard Leventhal

2010               

Senior Staff and Operation Director, Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, University of Texas, Austin, directed by Rissa Trachman

2009-2010      

Research Assistant and Operation Supervisor, Xaltocan Archaeological Project: Domestic Spaces and Household Practices at Xaltocan under Aztec Imperial Expansion, directed by Lisa Overholtzer

2009               

Field Technician, PBS&J – Highway 41 Expansion Project, phase II investigation and mechanical excavation of a Caddo site in Marshall, Texas

2009               

Research Assistant, Texas Archaeological Research Lab, Paleo-Indian Research Project, University of Texas, Austin, directed by Fred Valdez

2009               

Staff and Operation Supervisor, University of Texas, Austin and Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, directed by Fred Valdez

2008               

Junior Staff and Sub-Operation Supervisor, University of Texas, Austin and Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, directed by Fred Valdez

2007               

Student Excavator, University of Texas, Austin and Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, directed by Fred Valdez


Service

2018-present  

Organizer, SoCal Mesoamerica Netowrk

2018-present  

Curriculum Committee Member, USC Department of Anthropology

2018               

Review Committee, USC Masters in Visual Anthropology Program

2018               

Organizer, RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film at USC

2018               

Search Committee Member, Society of Fellows at USC

2017-present  

Faculty Mentor, Society for Trojan Archaeologists 

2017               

Panelist, Graduate School Q and A, for UCR College of Humanities and the Arts

2016               

Funding and Grants Consultant, Riverside Metropolitan Museum

2015-present  

Editorial Assistant and Proofreader, Arqueología Iberoamericana

2013               

Co-Organizer, James C. Young Colloquium,

2012               

Vice President, Student Association for Graduate Anthropology-UCR

2012-2014      

Panelist, National Science Foundation-Graduate Research Fellowship Workshop


Professional Memberships

2014-present  

Sociedad Mexicana de Antropología

2010-present  

Society for American Archaeology

2010-present  

American Anthropological Association


Languages

English (native)

Spanish (excellent)

References Available Upon Request