Gannon University Hosts Annual Collins Institute Lecture Series

Edward Jolie, Ph.D.Posted: April 7, 2015

Located 70 miles from the nearest town and accessible only by washboard dirt roads, Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico, contains the most significant collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, and is one of the United States' most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas.

The archaeology of Chaco Canyon is the subject of Gannon University's annual Collins Institute Lecture Series on April 9 at 7 p.m. "Archaeology, Sociocultural Diversity, and Ritual at Chaco Canyon" is the title of this year's address, to be given by Edward Jolie, Ph.D., assistant professor at Mercyhurst University and director of the R. L. Andrews Center for Perishables Analysis.

Through his research on perishable material culture, such as baskets, sandals and textiles, Jolie addresses questions of social identity, technological change and innovation, social learning and cultural transmission, primarily in the Southwest and Great Basin culture areas of the U.S..

Of Oglala Lakota (Sioux) and Hodulgee Muscogee (Creek) descent, Jolie maintains ties to family and friends in South Dakota and Oklahoma. On the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, he has been working to address emerging concerns with tribal cultural heritage management.

The subject matter of this year's Collins Lecture is a departure, said Suzanne Richard, Ph.D., Gannon University professor of history and archaeology and director of the Collins Institute and the Archaeology Museum Gallery. "My area of specialization is the Middle East, and I usually invite speakers I know from that area of the world. Dr. Jolie is an anthropologist and also works with material culture as all archaeologists do. He looks at materials and uses anthropological theory to illuminate the behavior and society and social identity of the people who made them and to understand the culture through the technology and innovation at the Chaco Canyon site."

The Collins Lecture will be given in the Palumbo Academic Center third floor, 824 Peach Street. The event is free and open to the public.