AGENDA

My research focuses on how collectives reckon with past violence. I use historical anthropology (including approaches derived from archaeology, ethnography, and historiography) to better understand how past violence influences present-day sociopolitical consciousness and collective imaginations of the future.

Specializations

Cultural heritage and collective memory; political violence and colonialism; intersections of race, indigeneity, and gender; feminist anthropologies; indigenous and diasporic (historical) archaeologies; collaborative research methodologies

Areas of Competency

Latin American History; Native American History; landscape theory; time, temporality, materiality; Peircean semiotics

Geographic Areas

Americas (especially Maya Lowlands, Mexico, and USA); Australia

BOOK PROJECT

How does political violence materialize across timescales in settler colonial contexts? This central question of my working book manuscript, Things of War: Conflict & Heritage on Mexico's Maya Frontier, responds to what I see as a growing divide between war studies and everyday life studies in the humanities and social sciences. This divide has special influence in studies of colonialism writ large, and colonial violence in particular, because it can render indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples' experiences with and engagements in colonial projects unintelligible. In order to remedy this shortcoming, I present a framework for an archaeology of political violence, defined not as a synonym for war, but as the function of war and structural oppression. The framework I propose emerges from my involvement with a collaborative heritage initiative, the Tihosuco Heritage Preservation and Community Development Project, located in Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The project positioned me to draw on a wide range of media with which to think about the politics surrounding the history of the Caste War of Yucatan—a predominantly Maya contra-colonial insurrection that began in the former Tihosuco Parish in 1847. The war lasted until 1901, making it one of the longest (as well as most successful) indigenous insurrections to have been mounted in the Americas. My dissertation, "Materializing Political Violence: Segregation, War, and Memory in Quintana Roo, Mexico," began to contend with how political violence materializes by investigating the racial geographies of segregation, war, and memory practice in the region. Ultimately, the aim is to arrive at a more holistic approach to investigating violence—and its ramifications—in settler colonial contexts.

WORKS in PROGRESS

Edited Collections

Cain, Tiffany C. and Teresa P. Raczek, eds. Forthcoming (July 2020). “Engendering Heritage: Contemporary Feminist Approaches to Archaeological and Heritage Practice.” Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association (AP3A). Volume 31.

Diserens Morgan, Kasey and Tiffany C. Cain, eds. Publication approved for 2021. Coloniality in the Maya Lowlands: Archaeological Perspectives. Edited compilation of ongoing research in Central America focused on 18th-20th centuries. University Press of Colorado.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

Cain, Tiffany C. Forthcoming (July 2020). “Reflecting on Positionality: Archaeological Heritage Praxis in Quintana Roo, Mexico.” AP3A.

Cain, Tiffany C. and Teresa P. Raczek. Forthcoming (July 2020). “Introduction: Toward an Engaged Feminist Heritage Praxis.” AP3A.

Cain, Tiffany C. and Kasey Diserens Morgan. Forthcoming (February 2021). “Heritage Activism in Quintana Roo, Mexico: Assembling New Futures through an Umbrella Heritage Practice.” In Trowels in the Trenches: Archaeology as Social Activism, edited by Christopher P. Barton. University Press of Florida.

Cain, Tiffany C. Accepted. "Confronting Violence in the Layered Landscapes of East-Central Quintana Roo." In Coloniality in the Maya Lowlands: Archaeological Perspectives.

Diserens Morgan, Kasey and Tiffany C. Cain. Accepted. "Characterizing an Archaeology of the Recent Past in the Maya Region." In Coloniality in the Maya Lowlands: Archaeological Perspectives.

Cain, Tiffany C. Preparing to submit. "Heritage as Liberation." Journal article.

Cain, Tiffany C. Preparing to submit. “Memorial Alienation, Material Intimacy.” Journal article.

Cain, Tiffany C. Preparing to submit. "Settler Colonialism without Treaties: The Significance of Dos Republicas for Understanding Colonialism in Latin America." Journal article.

OTHER RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

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Contact: tiffany.cain[at]princeton.edu

© Tiffany C. Cain (all content and images)

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