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Dr. Jennifer Kahn Named 2020 Reves Faculty Fellow

From the Reves Center: 

Each year a committee of faculty and Reves staff awards Reves Faculty Fellowships to support faculty-student research and collaboration on internationally-focused, engaged scholarship. The initiative is open to full-time William & Mary faculty in all academic units. Proposals are invited from faculty with significant experience in the international arena as well as those seeking to expand the focus of their work to include international, global and/or trans-national approaches. 

The Reves Center for International Studies has awarded four professors Reves Faculty Fellowships for research in 2020.

Dr. Kahn's project is titled "Differential Cultural Responses to Social Change and Ecosystem Change in Polynesian Chiefdoms." Ethnographic, linguistic, and archaeological research has established that all Polynesian societies descended from a common Ancestral Polynesian culture. Thus, the varied forms of island socioecosystems  of Polynesia reflect differential trajectories of dynamic interactions between island populations and societies with their natural environments, leading to new and at times radically transformed landscapes and emergent sociopolitical formations. This research project seeks to identify those characteristics and processes of island environments and societies which allowed some chiefdoms to develop substantial resilience, while others were transformed into states of high instability and in some cases collapse. The research will apply archaeological and anthropological approaches including zooarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology, GIS mapping, and excavation of rockshelter and ritual site complexes to identify prime movers leading to sociopolitical change on the island of Rurutu (Austral Islands).