About Me

10-28-15 alicia odewale

           I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa. I specialize in African Diaspora archaeology in the Caribbean and Southeastern United States with a theoretical focus in human behavioral ecology. My dissertation entitled “Living among Presidents and Kings: Enslaved Africans Coping with Risk in Service to the Elite” compared the material culture of royal enslaved Africans in the Danish West Indies (modern day Virgin Islands) and enslaved Africans of a former U.S. president in Virginia to examine the natural and social environment affecting the enslaved community in both regions. This research also analyzes the different strategies these groups used to overcome the challenges they faced in service to some of the most elite members of society.

          My archaeological training spans African Heritage Sites in Mississippi, Arkansas, Virginia, and St. Croix. My focus on the royal slaves in Christiansted and urban slavery in Caribbean contexts offers a unique contribution to current African Diaspora scholarship and has led to new questions regarding Danish slave treatment, quality of life for slaves in an urban environment, the roles of royal and presidential slaves in society, how enslaved people respond to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, and a host of other inquiries.

         I was fortunate enough to be the first person of color to graduate with a masters in Museum Science and Management from the University of Tulsa and just recently in 2016 became the first person in history to graduate with a doctorate degree in anthropology from the same institution. Even though these were big moments in my career, being the only African American throughout my graduate training in Anthropology sparked a larger life mission for me. Now as a faculty member, I am committed to building more inclusive research agendas and encouraging more minority participation in this field by (1st) educating the public about the diverse lifeways and world changing contributions of people of African descent in the past using the cultural material they left behind, and (2nd) by developing academic programs and partnering with organizations engaged in the work of training a new generation of diverse archaeologists that share a passion for the archaeology and history of the African Diaspora.

         I have received support for my research through the University of Tulsa, the National Science Foundation, the George Odell Foundation, The National Park Service, American Anthropological Association, EARTHANGLE, SREB- Minority Doctoral Scholars Program, Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center, and the Montpelier Foundation.





  1. Thank you for sharing yourself with us! Hope you inspire more young people to take up the science of Archaeology. It is an essential part of knowing ourselves.1LOVE!

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some more pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is an excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

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  4. The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a wonderful activity on this topic!

  5. Hello Shayne,

    I don’t really have any tips for you. I just use my page as a way to communicate my research in a larger non-academic setting. So I don’t consider my website a blog simply because I think of blogs as more like online weekly journals about various topics. With that being said, running this site does not take up much of my time at all. I only post if I have an event coming up or someone asks me an interesting question related to my research or I stumble across some interesting and unknown factoid as I am researching my dissertation so its not a daily or weekly thing for me. I also have no understanding of programming and wordpress is still very easy for me to use so I’m sure you won’t have any trouble with it either.

  6. I needed to thank you for this good read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post Iannalo

  7. Hi superb blog! Does running a blog such as
    this take a large amount of work? I’ve no understanding of
    programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog
    in the near future. Anyhow, should you have any ideas or tips for new
    blog owners please share. I know this is off subject but I just needed to ask.

    Appreciate it!

  8. I dont even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  9. I’m commenting to let you be aware of what a excellent encounter my friend’s child had reading this page. She realized numerous things, including what it is like to possess a very effective giving heart to make many more effortlessly grasp a challenging topic. You really exceeded visitors’ expectations. Thanks for displaying such valuable, trusted, educational and fun tips about this topic to Mary.

  10. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always interesting to read through articles from other writers
    and use a little something from other websites.

  11. I’m still learning from you, while I’m improving myself. I definitely liked reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the information coming. I loved it!

  12. Just want to say your article is as amazing. Thank you a million and
    please carry on the rewarding work.

  13. Hi Alicia,

    Love your research! I would love to meet you and hear more about it. Also, are you interested in writing a short piece for the ABA News about it. We would love to have you include.

    Wishing you all the best

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