Ladder Rank Faculty

J. Cameron Monroe
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Anthropology Department
    • Archaeological Research Center
  • Affiliations History Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location 321 Social Sciences I
  • Office Hours Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or by appointment
  • Mail Stop Social Sciences 1 Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High St
    • Santa Cruz CA 95060
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Archaeology, Africa and African Studies, African Diaspora, Slavery
  • Courses Taught Anthropology 3: Introduction to Archaeology; Anthropology 175B: African Complex Societies; Anthropology 178: Historical Archaeology, A Global Perspecive; Anthropology 194L: African Diaspora Archaeology; Anthropology 194Y: Archaeologies of Space and Landscape; Anthropology 287: Pathways to Social Complexity; Anthropology 294: Landscape Archaeology

Summary of Expertise

Professor J. Cameron Monroe's research broadly examines political, economic, and cultural transformation in West Africa and the African Diaspora in the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its aftermath. He has conducted research on the nature of African American ethnic identity and household-level production in early colonial Virginia. His recent research project, the Abomey Plateau Archaeological Project, is located in the Republic of Bénin in West Africa. This project explores the dynamics of political transformation in West Africa in the era of the slave trade. Integrating documentary, oral, and archaeological data, this research focuses on the political economy of landscape and the built environment and the nature of urban transformation in contact period West Africa. He is now initiating a new research project in the politics of space and monumentality in the Kingdom of Haiti in Northern Haiti.

Research Interests

Archaeology of West Africa and the African Diaspora; historical anthropology; social complexity and the state; urbanism; space, landscape and monumentality; culture contact and change; spatial analysis and GIS; West Africa (Bénin) and the Caribbean (Haiti).

Biography, Education and Training

Professor J. Cameron Monroe earned a B.A. from UC Berkeley (1995), M.A. from UCLA (1999), and PhD from UCLA (2003), all degrees in Anthropology. Between 2004 and 2006, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Departments of African and African American Studies, Anthropology, and History at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz in the Fall of 2006. He has participated in archaeological field research in Armenia, Belize, Bénin, Haiti, Israel, Sudan and the United States (California and Virginia). Specializing in the Archaeology of state formation in West Africa and the African Diaspora, Professor Monroe has directed the Abomey Plateau Archaeological Project (Bénin) since 2000, and launched a new research project in Haiti in 2015.