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Kelly Jenks Receives SRI Foundation 2009–2010 Research Scholarship

Kelly Jenks

Kelly L. Jenks is a doctoral candidate in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, Tucson, as well as an assistant project director at Statistical Research, Inc., in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her dissertation chair is Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman. She received B.A.s in Anthropology and Archaeology from Cornell University in 2003, and completed her M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Arizona in 2005. She is trained in dendrochronology, ceramic analysis, historical-period artifact analysis, and documentary research and is well-versed in Spanish colonial history, regional economic systems, and culture contact research. Her research focuses on the people, places, and products involved in interregional trade in New Mexico.

Jenks’ proposal is entitled Cultivating Relationships, Constructing Identity: Interaction, Adaptation, and Spatial Organization along the Upper Pecos River, New Mexico. The primary goal of her research is to advance understanding of New Mexican Hispanic or “Vecino” identity during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the identification of patterns of practice and spatial organization. Although the term “Vecino” identifies all Hispanic citizens of colonial-period New Mexico, Jenks suggests that it masks significant cultural differences among the various villages that were, and still are, recognized by the Hispanic community. For example, authorities in the capital of Santa Fe often were frustrated by the independence and relative “barbarity” of the Pecos River villagers, whose village organization strayed from colonial specifications and whose practices were strongly influenced by their Plains Indian trading partners. Jenks explores these patterns of practice and space by conducting test excavations on private lands at San Miguel del Vado, the earliest of the Pecos River villages (established 1794), and comparing these data to published compliance and academic accounts of contemporary Vecino sites. Drawings and dates of the Pecos River village structures (the former produced by the Historic American Building Survey in 1975 and the latter derived from over 10 years of dendrochronological fieldwork by archaeologist Tom Windes) also inform this project. Jenks intends to communicate results of this research with professional, avocational, and local communities via publications in appropriate peer-reviewed journals, articles in relevant magazines and newspapers, and poster presentations developed for the local community.

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