AIA Lecturer/Host: Claudia Chang
Claudia Chang (Ph.D. State University of New York, Binghamton) has taught anthropological archaeology at Sweet Briar College in Virginia since 1981. She currently specializes in Central Asia, and has conducted archaeological and ethnographic field research on foraging and pastoral peoples in Kazakhstan, as well as in Greece and North America. Professor Chang has written or edited several books and catalogs, including Pastoralists at the Periphery: Herders in a Capitalist World (co-edited with Harold A. Koster, U. of Arizona Press, 1994) and Of Grass and Gold: Nomads of Kazakhstan (edited by C. Chang and K. Guroff, Foundation for International Arts & Education, 2006). She is currently working on an unpublished manuscript, Shepherd, Farmer or Nomad? Commoners and Elites of the Eurasian Steppe along the Silk Route, an account of archaeology in the Talgar region of southeastern Kazakhstan.
Since 1994 she and her husband have directed and managed the Kazakh-American Archaeological Expedition (KAAE), and she has been the Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on two National Science Foundation Grants to fund archaeological excavations and surveys in the Talgar Region. In 1995, while a full-time Fulbright lecturer in anthropology at Kazakh State University, Professor Chang visited the Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan: Samarkand, Bukhara, and Tashkent; and in the late 1990s she collaborated with Chinese archaeologists working in Urumchi, one of the eastern points of the silk trade. She is a long-time member of the Archaeological Institute of America, lectured on the AIA’s national circuit annually from 2003-05, and has lectured on two previous departures of this AIA tour of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan since 2008.