Julia Jong Haines

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr. Julia Jong Haines is an anthropological and historical archaeologist whose research focuses on the intersection of inequality, community identities, and landscapes. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Virginia and recently completed a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Comparative Archaeology. Her research examines the historical changes to the identities and political ecologies of enslaved and indentured plantation laborers and communities on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius from the 18th through the mid-20th century—a time when the island was besieged by sugar cane monocropping, deforestation, and village/urban development. In collaboration with Mauritian communities, local environmental and cultural resource managers, and researchers Dr. Haines also is dedicated to integrating archeological research into ongoing public history programs and supporting community-centered heritage projects. As a teacher, Dr. Haines engages students with digital methods, and the materials and landscapes of the past, particularly to broaden their understanding of the modern origins of power and inequality. She has taught a range of courses on the archaeology and anthropology of slavery and indenture, healing and disease, and gender and sexuality. In all her courses she emphasizes the politics of heritage and encourages students to confront the violent colonial roots of anthropology and archaeology, and grapple with contemporary ethical issues around conducting research. She has published articles on her research in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, and Journal of African Diaspora archaeology and Heritage and is editing a volume on historical archaeology (U Florida Press)

Research Focus

Plantations and the Places Between: Settlement Landscapes and Inequality in Colonial Mauritius

 As a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with the Society for the Humanities and Department of Anthropology, Dr. Haines will be working on publishing her research on the archaeology of indentured South Asian laborers who lived and worked on the Bras d’Eau Sugar estate, a Mauritian plantation occupied during the nineteenth century, and she will be starting a new project entitled Plantations and the Places Between: Settlement Landscapes and Inequality in Colonial Mauritius. This historical archaeological project considers how diasporic and transregional identities and cultural practices, forged within plantations, are reshaped in village settlements outside of estates and during and after the abolition of slavery and indenture. This research asks: How did settlement emerge on the island, particularly in the spaces between sugar plantation borders? How are landscape inequities reflected in communities’ local geographies and their access to resources? And what strategies did they use to cope with such challenges? Dr. Haines will be integrating remote sensing landscape methods with her existing archival and archaeological data in order to model the long-term consequences of plantation systems on public health, social inequality, ecological change, and community formation.

SHUM Courses - Spring 2024