Khadene Harris joined the Kenyon faculty in 2019. Harris is an historical archaeologist whose scholarship sits at the intersection of race, enslavement and capitalism in the Caribbean and the wider Atlantic. Her current research in the Eastern Caribbean (Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) focuses on plantation landscapes from slavery through freedom with an emphasis on socio-economic networks among the laboring class.
Prior to Kenyon, Harris was a postdoctoral fellow with the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (daacs.org) at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
Areas of Expertise
Historical archaeology of the African diaspora, material culture, colonialism
2019 — Doctor of Philosphy from Northwestern University
2017 — Master of Arts from Northwestern University
2010 — Master of Arts from The University of the West Indies
2005 — Bachelor of Arts from The University of the West Indies
Courses Recently Taught
Today, people increasingly live in highly industrialized and urban civilizations. But how long have humans had "civilization?" What is "civilization" and how can it be recognized? This course addresses these questions through looking at the basic elements of archaeology and its place in anthropology. Topics covered include the history of archaeology, fundamental aspects of fieldwork and analysis, and the prehistoric record from the first humans to the origins of civilization. This foundation course is required for upper-level work in archaeology courses. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.
In a world of rapidly changing technologies, consumers and their commodities are now central to economic growth in most parts of the world. Consumer spending remains resilient, accounting for the bulk of economic activity in the world’s largest economies. Where do the resources come from to sustain such growth, and for whom? What are the conditions that facilitated this current social, political and economic climate? This course is an anthropological approach to the study of consumption and the processes that entangle people and objects together on a global scale. Throughout the course, we examine how consumption practices shape the modern world by emphasizing their impact on individual behaviors, the environment, the economy and public policy. This class addresses a wide variety of processes involved in the creation, exchange and consumption of commodities in a global historical context. Special attention is paid to labor practices and social identities that are intricately tied to the way humans consume and the material objects they acquire. This course counts as an upper-level elective for the anthropology major. Prerequisite: ANTH 112 or 113. Offered every fall.
This course is an archaeological exploration of the major concepts, themes and research questions that are at the foundation of African diaspora studies. In this class, students engage with the very concept of "African diaspora" in conversation with the geopolitical and socioeconomic processes that shaped, and continue to influence the field. Through an engagement with archaeological and ethnographic case studies, we examine the everyday practices of peoples of African descent across numerous geographies, focusing on similarities and differences that emerge from our comparative approach. Students are introduced to a number of methodological and theoretical perspectives and examine topics such as slavery, emancipation, cultural production, gender, ethnicity, class and spirituality. This course appeals to students interested in archaeology, anthropology, history, African American studies and Caribbean studies. This counts toward the upper-level archaeology requirement for the major. Prerequisite: ANTH 112 and permission of the instructor. Offered every spring.
This course is designed to look at the archaeology of colonialism in two ways. We analyze colonialism as a concept and as a discursive practice that has concrete effects for our archaeological work. The goal is to understand how colonial processes contribute to the production of academic knowledge, historical archive and archaeological facts. We take a critical look at how the legacy of colonialism continues to structure our relationship with descendant communities and other stakeholder groups we encounter during our archaeological fieldwork. \nIn the second part of the course, we try to understand colonialism as a phenomenon that can be explored through material and other (textual, oral historical) remains in archaeological contexts. We review case studies of colonial encounters in the Middle East, Europe (the Mediterranean), Africa, Oceania and North America. The goal is to understand the processes and contexts of colonialism and its effects on past societies by imparting a thorough understanding of how colonial practices can vary across time and space; considering how archaeology can highlight such variation; and facilitating a deeper understanding of how the materiality of past colonial relations bears on present-day inequalities. This counts toward the upper-level archaeology requirement for the major. Prerequisite: ANTH 111, 112, or 113.
The department reserves individual study for those students who are unusually motivated in an area of the field and who we believe are responsible enough to handle the challenge of working independently. Such courses might be research-oriented (e.g., students returning from off-campus study programs with data) but are more commonly reading-oriented courses allowing students to explore in greater depth topics that interest them or that overlap with their major course of study. To arrange for individual study, a student must consult with a faculty member during the semester before the independent work is to be undertaken. The individual-study course may be designed exclusively by the faculty member or it may be designed in consultation with the student. For reading courses, a bibliography is created and the student reads those works, meeting periodically (weekly or bi-weekly) with the faculty member to discuss them. Faculty directing the individual study will set the terms of course evaluation, which typically involve either a research paper or an extensive annotated bibliography with a short explanatory essay tying the entries together and situating the debates that they represent. Another option is for the student to write one- to two-page assessments of each book or reading at intervals throughout the semester. The faculty member comments on these assessments and may request periodic reassessments. The course culminates with a synthetic paper that pulls together all the readings. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they are expected to begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek the departmental approval before the established deadline. This course counts toward the major or minor.