Main content start

Michael Wilcox

Michael Wilcox
Senior Lecturer
Native American Studies
Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity


NATIVEAM 111B: Muwekma: Landscape Archaeology and the Narratives of California Natives (Autumn)

CSRE 199: Preparation for Senior Thesis (Winter)

Past Course(s):

CSRE 30Q: The Big Shift

CSRE 118E: Heritage, Environment, and Sovereignty in Hawaii

NATIVEAM 16: Native Americans in the 21st Century: Encounters, Identity, and Sovereignty in Contemporary America

Michael Wilcox Is an Indigenous/Native American scholar (Yuman descent) who has taught at Stanford University since 2001.

He received his Doctorate in Anthropology and Archaeology from Harvard University in 2001 where he was the instrumental in Founding the Harvard University Native American Program in fulfillment of Harvard's 1638 charter as an Indian College.

He has been on the faculty of Stanford since 2001, first as an Assistant and Associate professor of Anthropology and currently as a Senior Lecturer in Native American Studies in the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. He currently leads research projects from the Stanford Indigenous Archaeology Lab in the Archaeology Center and is a faculty affiliate in Stanford Earth: School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. He was awarded the 2021-23 Woods Institute Environmental Ventures Grant “HO‘I HOU KA LOKO: (Bridging Past, Present, And Future) Ahupua'a Community based Agriculture and Aquaculture” with Professor Peter Vitousek, Director of the Wrigley Program in Hawaii.

His recent Publications include The Pueblo Revolt and the Mythology of Conquest: an Indigenous Archaeology of Contact (University of California Press) and is co-editor of Rethinking Colonial Pasts Through Archaeology (Oxford University Press).

He serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area and is a founding board member of the Muwekma Ohlone Cultural Preservation Land Trust.

His current research involves documentation of Indigenous Rebellions and in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as ‘Aina based research and education with Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) communities in Hamakua Hawaii. He is working on an interdisciplinary project about the Indigenous History of the San Francisco Bay Area (In Prep) “Claiming Home, Reclaiming History: Rebellion, Mobility and the Narratives of Invisibility Among California’s Bay Area Natives. (Monograph).

In 2020 he received the Departmental award for Outstanding teaching in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. 

(For Emily) Areas for the red boxes on the Arch center webpage: Archaeological Method and Theory, Americas, Indigenous Archaeology, Indigenous Peoples, California, Hawaii, Pueblo People, Historical Archaeology


Rethinking Colonial Pasts Through Archaeology

The Pueblo Revolt and the mythology of conquest: An indigenous archaeology of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680


New York Times Magazine: “FEATURE: How Do You Know When Society Is About to Fall Apart? Meet the Scholars Who Study Civilizational Collapse” (Nov. 11, 2020)

Stanford Magazine, “FEATURE: If History Is Any Guide- 4 Stanford scholars on how the pandemic could transform us” (Jill Patton, September 2020)

SCIENCE (American Association for the Advancement of Science) “From Black Death to fatal flu, past pandemics show why people on the margins suffer most” (Lizzie Wade May 2020)

University of New Mexico Taos Lecture Series: Transformative Events and Processes in New Mexico's Colonial History

Science, Grave Disputes

Science, Walking in Two Worlds

NPR Interview, Our Times with Craig Barnes, Broadcast on KSFR Santa Fe

Santa Fe New Mexican, New book explores Spanish conquest brutality


(In Prep) Reversing the Terminal Narrative: Rethinking Conquest from The Pueblo Revolt to the Indigenous Rebellions of California. (American Antiquity).

(In Prep) When is a conquest? Rethinking the Early Colonial and Indigenous History of the San Francisco Bay Area: Documentary and Archaeological Evidence From The Hinterlands.

(In Press) “Questioning Conquest in The Pueblo World.” In Contesting the Borderlands. Edited by Deborah and Jon Lawrence. University of Oklahoma Press.

2015 Indigenous Archaeology and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680: Social Mobility and Boundary Maintenance in Colonial Contexts. In From The Margins: The Archaeology of the Colonized. Edited by Rodney Harrison, Neal Ferris and Michael Wilcox. Oxford University Press.

2014 Book Review: Pueblo Indians and Spanish Colonial Authority in Eighteenth-Century New Mexico. Tracy L. Brown. American Historical Review, Oxford Journals. Volume 119, Issue 5: 1685-1687.

2012 Colonizing The Genome: DNA and The New Raciology In American Archaeology. Scientific Discourses and Cultural Difference. Edited by Gesa Mackenthun. Waxmann Verlag, Berlin.

2010 Saving Indigenous Peoples from Ourselves: Separate but Equal Archaeology is not Scientific Archaeology. American Antiquity, Volume 75, Number 2, 221-228.

2010 Marketing Conquest and the Vanishing Indian: An Indigenous Response to Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. Journal of Social Archaeology. Volume 10, Number 1, 93-117.

2009 Marketing Conquest and the Vanishing Indian: An Indigenous Response to Jared Diamond’s Guns Germs and Steel and Collapse. In Questioning Collapse. Edited by Norm Yoffee and Patricia McAnany. Cambridge University Press. 113-142.

2009 NAGPRA and Indigenous Peoples: The Social Context and Controversies, and the Transformation of American Archaeology. In Voices in American Archaeology: Society for American Archaeology 75th Anniversary Special Volume. Society for American Archaeology Press. 178-192.

2005 Schizophrenia on the Frontier. In Native American Voices on Identity, Art, & Culture: Objects of Everlasting Esteem. Edited by Lucy Fowler Williams, William Wierzbowski, & Robert W. Preucel. University of Pennsylvania Press. 95-96.

2002 Social Memory and the Pueblo Revolt: A Postcolonial Perspective. In Archaeologies of the Pueblo Revolt: Identity, Meaning, and Renewal in the Pueblo World. Edited by Robert W. Preucel. University of New Mexico Press. 167-180.

2001”Now the God of the Spaniards is dead”: Ethnogenesis and community formation in the aftermath of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Co-authored with Robert W. Preucel and Loa Traxler. Journal of the Southwest Symposium.

2000 Dialogue or Diatribe? Indians and archaeologists in the post-NAGPRA era. In Ronald Niezen (Ed.), Spirit wars: Native North American religions in the age of nation building. University of California Press.


Academic Program(s)