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).
Since 1994 she and her husband have directed and managed the Kazakh-American Archaeological Expedition (KAAE). Currently, Professor Chang is the Co-Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation Grant, “Collaborative Research: Bronze and Iron Age Prehistory on the Margins of the Eurasian Steppe.” During the academic year 2012-13, she has been conducting surveys and excavations in southeastern Kazakhstan on Iron Age settlements and writing a monograph. 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 lectured on AIA Tours’ Archaeology on Central Asia's Silk Road tour of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in 2008.