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Lewis Borck

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Lewis Borck

Assistant Professor
Horizon Endowed Chair of Native American History and Culture

Copeland Hall 207


AA: Liberal Arts, Madison Area Technical College

BA: Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology; Minor in Psychology, University of New Mexico

MA: Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology, University of Arizona

PhD: Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology; Minor in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, University of Arizona

Personal Statement

Dr. Borck is a neurodiverse author and academic. He started in community college as a nontraditional student, received his B.A. from the University of New Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology from the University of Arizona with a minor in remote sensing and spatial analysis. He is a founding member of the Black Trowel Collective, a founding committee member of their microgrants mutual aid project for BIPOC and working class archaeology students, as well as the founding president for The History Underground. He has held academic positions at the University of Arizona, Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands, and at the University of Missouri (in the nuclear research reactor). He has also previously worked in the federal, private, and nonprofit sectors within cultural heritage management and archaeology. Prior to working as an archaeologist and in the academic world he was a proud product of the public school system, was unionized factory labor, managed a large nightclub, was a professional musician, and worked construction and maintenance along with many service jobs.

Borck is currently partnered with the Jicarilla Apache Nation’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office to conduct culturally informed heritage and compliance oriented field research in northern New Mexico. Methodologically, Lewis uses quantitative spatial and network approaches to analyze data from the material histories of past peoples. He then places these results within, and interprets them through, descendant histories and philosophies. His research examines both how Indigenous rebellions, revolutions, and social movements are often missed, even erased, by archaeologists even as they transformed societies in powerful ways. He also focuses on how modern, global politics, economic systems, and ideologies shape how researchers write history, including how researchers recreate the histories and ideals of "Western Civilization" in the deep past. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Institute for Field Research.

Lewis believes deeply in the power of storytelling, so in addition to his peer reviewed works, he has written for periodicals like the Huffington Post, Yes! Magazine, Sapiens, Culturico, and The Conversation and regularly appears on public lecture series and podcasts. He incorporates these storytelling methods into his classes.

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Southwestern material histories (archaeology)
Ancestral Pueblo archaeology
Ancestral O'odham (Hohokam) archaeology
Indigenous archaeology
Social Network analysis
Community-based knowledge production
Spatial analysis
Indigenous revolutions and social movements
Indigenous anarchism
Political ideology
Social organization
Storytelling for research communication

Honors and Recognition

Wiche Interstate Passport Implementation Committee, New Mexico Highlands University, 2022

Editorial Board, American Antiquity, Society for American Archaeology, 2021 - present

Committee on Native American Relations, Society for American Archaeology, 2020 - present

Vera Campbell Promise Scholarship Committee, Institute for Field Research, 2021

Native American Scholarship Committee, Society for American Archaeology, 2019-2021

President/co-founder, The History Underground Board of Directors, 2019 - present

Co-founder, Black Trowel Collective Microgrants Committee, 2019 - 2021

Selected Research and Creative Activity

The Past is a Radical Archive: Lessons for a Breaking World. HU Talks 2021

Coauthored as part of the Black Trowel Collective. Mutual Aid in Archaeology: The Black Trowel Collective Microgrants. Anthrodendrum. October 1st, 2021.

The past holds lessons, not warnings, about our current Global Crises. June 28, Culturico. With Jakob Sedig.

The Miseducation of the Public and the Erasure of Native Americans. November 22. American Anthropological Association Blog. With Ashleigh Thompson.

The Indigenous Origins of the American Dream. October 8th, Yes! Magazine. With D. Shane Miller

Graffiti Bombing in U.S. National Parks. August 26th, Sapiens.

Indiana O’Brien and the Raiders of the ‘Maze’. October 10th. The Huffington Post.

Borck, Lewis and Jeffery J. Clark. Hierarchy and Anarchy in History: A Case Study of Social Movements in Archaeology in the Hohokam Classic Period. In Hohokam Classic Period Revisited edited by Glen E. Rice and Chris R. Loendorf. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

Borck, Lewis and Jeffery J. Clark. Dispersing Power: The Contentious, Egalitarian
Politics of the Salado Phenomenon in the Hohokam Region of the U.S. Southwest. In Power from Below: Commoners and Elites in the Archaeological Record, edited by T. L. Thurston and Manuel Fernández-Götz. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Corinne L. Hofman, Lewis Borck, Jason Laffoon, Emma Slayton, Becki Scott, Thomas W. Breukel, Catarina Guzzo Falci, Maroussia Favre, Menno Hoogland. Island Networks: Transformations of Inter-community Social Relationships in the Lesser Antilles at the Advent of European Colonialism. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. Special Issue: Networks in Island Environments, edited by Jason Laffoon, Lewis Borck, and Corinne L. Hofman.

Borck, Lewis. Seeds to Trees: Connecting the Means and Ends in Heritage Management. A Reply to Holtorf. Forum Kritische Archaologie 9.

Borck, Lewis, Jan Athenstaedt, Lee Ann Cheromiah, Leslie Aragon, Corinne J. Hofman, Ulrik Brandes. Plainware and Polychrome: Quantifying Perceptual Differences in Ceramic Classification 3(1):135-150. Journal of Computer Aided Applications in Archaeology.

Borck, Lewis. Constructing the Future History: Prefiguration as Historical Epistemology and the Chronopolitics of Archaeology. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 5(2):229-238.

2018 Borck, Lewis. Sophisticated Rebels: Meaning Maps and Settlement Structure as Evidence for a Social Movement in the Gallina Region of the U.S. Southwest. In Life Beyond the Boundaries: Constructing Identity in Edge Regions of the North American Southwest, edited by Sarah Herr and Karen Harry. Pp. 118-164. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Borck, Lewis and Barbara J. Mills. Approaching an Archaeology of Choice: Consumption, Resistance, and Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest. In Indigenous People and Foreign Things: Archaeologies of Consumption in the Americas, edited by Craig Cipolla. Pp. 29-43. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Borck, Lewis and Erik Simpson. Identity is an Infinite Now: Being Instead of Becoming in the Gallina Highlands. Kiva: The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History
83(4):471—493. Special Issue: Recent Advances in Gallina Archeology, edited by Lewis Borck.

Borck, Lewis and Matthew C. Sanger. An Introduction to Anarchism in Archaeology. The SAA Archaeological Record. 17(1):9–16. Special Issue: Anarchist Theory and Archaeology, edited by Matthew C. Sanger and Lewis Borck.

All articles can be found at: