Katherine F Hayes

My research, based in various North American colonial contexts, stems from a challenge to the dominant narratives about the inevitability of colonial outcomes. In particular I am interested in issues of agency, negotiation, resistance, and opportunistic power demonstrated by peoples who history once popularly regarded as having been totally powerless in contexts of European colonization, like indigenous communities and enslaved Africans and African Americans. I have pursued these issues, most recently at sites in New York and Minnesota, by examining the often silent materiality of social relations which were not controlled by European settlers. This arena has led me to work in the productive tension between history and archaeology, the curated and the abandoned, memory and forgetting, and most importantly in conflicting notions of heritage.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of California, Berkeley, 2008.


  • Historical archaeology
  • Memory, forgetting, history, heritage
  • Colonialism in North America
  • Ceramic analysis
  • Material culture studies
Courses Taught
  • Historical Archaeology (Anth 3028)
  • Foundations of Anthropological Archaeology (Anth 8004)
  • Archival Analysis for Anthropologists (Anth 4101)
  • Archaeologies of Colonialism (Anth 4103)
  • Archaeological Ceramics (Anth 5444)
  • Field Methods in Archaeology (Anth 3221/8220)
Research & Professional Activities


  • Heritage Collaborative and Partnership with MnHS: Institute for Advanced Studies Research Collaborative, a working group convened to explore new pedagogical approaches to training heritage professionals reflecting an interdisciplinary and community-based field (co-conveners Greg Donofrio, Architecture, Phyllis Messenger, IAS, Kevin Murphy, History/American Studies, Anduin Wilhide, History, and Pat Nunnally, River Life Program), Fall 2011 - Spring 2016
  • Comparative Archaeologies of Colonialism: Investigating fur trade sites in Wadena County, Minnesota:
  • John E. Sawyer Seminar "Making the Mississippi: New Water Narratives for the 21st Century": Funded by the Mellon Foundation, this seminar brings together scholars across the sciences and humanities to explore the future of water, with a focus on the Mississippi River, under continuing conditions of climate change (see link above), 2014-15
  • Craig Cipolla and Katherine Hayes, editors (2015). Rethinking Colonialism: Comparative Archaeological Approaches. University Press of Florida.
  • Slavery Before Race: Europeans, Africans, and Indians at Long Island's Sylvester Manor Plantation, 1651-1884. New York University Press, New York (2013).
  • Parameters in the use of pXRF for archaeological site prospection: a case study at the Reaume Fort Site, Central Minnesota. Journal of Archaeological Science 40 (August 2013): 3193-3211.
  • "Small Beginnings: Experimental Technologies and Implications for Hybridity." In The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture (ed. J. Card), Center for Archaeological Investigation Occasional Paper No. 39, pp.425-448. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 2013.
  • Occulting the Past: Conceptualizing forgetting in the history and archaeology of Sylvester Manor. Archaeological Dialogues 18(2): 197-221. (2011) Download
  • Memory's Materiality. SAA Archaeological Record 8(1):22-25. (2008)
  • Katherine Hayes and Stephen A. Mrozowski, eds. (2007) The Historical Archaeology of Sylvester Manor (Special Issue). Northeast Historical Archaeology 36(1).
  • Laurie A. Wilkie and Katherine Howlett Hayes (2006). Engendered and Feminist Archaeologies of the Recent and Documented Pasts. Journal of Archaeological Research 14: 243-264.