SoA Lecture Series: Dr. Justin Dunnavant, UCLA


Sep 30 2021 - 2:00pm

Thursday, September 30, 2021
2:00 p.m.

Via Zoom

Title: Have Confidence in the Sea: Archaeologies of Marronage

Abstract: In this talk, I discuss how archaeology has contributed to our understanding of marronage in the Atlantic world. Drawing from contemporary LiDAR and geospatial data in St. Croix and former Danish West Indies, I show how newer archaeological methods expand our understanding of maroon geographies and ecologies while also turning our attention toward maritime seascapes. Theoretically, I engage scholars in Black Geographies to think more critically about the sea/ocean as a site of history, memory, placemaking, and liminality, phenomenologically positioning bodies of water and seafaring vessels as a (de)generative space of Black Atlantic sociality and possibility. We can bridge terrestrial and maritime experiences by employing various “archaeologies” of marronage.

Dr. Justin Dunnavant is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. His current research in the US Virgin Islands investigates the relationship between ecology and enslavement in the former Danish West Indies. In addition to his archaeological research, Justin is co-founder of the Society of Black Archaeologists and an AAUS Scientific SCUBA Diver. In 2021, he was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and inducted into The Explorers Club as one of “Fifty People Changing the World that You Need to Know About.” He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. His research has been featured on Netflix's "Explained," Hulu's "Your Attention Please" and in print in American Archaeology and Science Magazine.


For more information, contact: Dr. Linda Green (
or Catherine Lehman (

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