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Theresa Singleton

Theresa Singleton

Contact Information:


209B Maxwell Hall

Theresa Singleton

Professor, Anthropology Department


  • 2024 Spring
    • ANT 342 Archaeology of American Life
    • ANT 442 Methods in Archaeology
  • 2023 Fall
    • ANT 641 Anthropological Archaeology
    • MAX 123 Critical Issues for the United States
  • 2023 Spring
    • ANT 741 Archaeological Theory
    • MAX 123 Critical Issues for the United States
  • 2022 Fall
    • ANT 346 Gender In The Past

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., University of Florida, 1980


My areas of interest include historical archaeology, African diasporas, museums, North America and the Caribbean. Throughout my career as an archaeologist, I have combined my research interests with developing museum collections, exhibitions, lectures, workshops and publications geared toward general audiences. I am particularly interested in comparative studies of slave societies in the Americas.

I began my study of slavery in coastal Georgia where African-Americans descended from the former slave population are known as the Gullah-Geechee (Gullah refers to both the creole language they speak as well as to the people themselves). Since that time, I have conducted research, contributed to exhibitions and published on various aspects of African-American life in United States.

More recently, I have undertaken archeological research on slavery in Cuba, and in 2015, published a book on my study of a coffee plantation. I am also working on another book publication focusing on comparing plantation life in the Caribbean and the United States.

Areas of Expertise

Historical archaeology, African American history and culture, slavery in plantation America, archaeology of the African diaspora

Research Grant Awards and Projects

"Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2021 to 2026 - Hernandez de Lara", Sponsored by National Science Foundation.

"Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2021 to 2026", Sponsored by National Science Foundation.

"LiDAR and AUS / Drone for Archaeological and Environmental Surveys", Sponsored by Small Equipment Grant Program.

"Graduate Research Fellowship Program", Sponsored by National Science Foundation.

"Graduate Research Fellowship Program - Platt", Sponsored by National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

  • Book
    • Singleton, T. A., Slavery Behind The Wall: An Archaeology of a Cuban Coffee Plantation. University Press of Florida, 2015.
  • Journal Articles
    • Singleton, T. A., "Slavery and Spatial Dialectics on a Cuban Coffee Plantation." World Archaeology, 2001.
    • Singleton, T. A., "The Archaeology of Slave Life." In Before Freedom Came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South. Campbell, Jr, E. D., Rice, K. S. (eds.) University Press of Virginia, 1996.
    • Singleton, T. A., "An Archaeological Perspective on African American Artistic Production." The International Review of African American Art, 1995.
    • Singleton, T. A., Bograd, M. D., "Archaeology of the African Diaspora." In Guides to the Archaeological Literature of the Immigrant Experience in America. Society Historical Archaeology, 1995.
    • Singleton, T. A., "The Archaeology of Slavery in North America." Annual Reviews in Anthropology, 1995.
    • Singleton, T. A., "The African-American Legacy Beneath Our Feet." In African-American Historical Places. Savage, B. (ed.) Preservation Press, 1994.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Those who work skillfully with their hands’ African-American Artisans in South Carolina 1700-1900." In Conflict and Transcendence: African- American Art in South Carolina. Columbia Museum of Art, 1992.
  • Book Chapters
    • Singleton, T. A., "Islands of Slavery: Caribbean Landscapes of Intensification." In What is a Slave Society: The Practice of Slavery in Global Perspective. Lenski, N., Cameron, C. M. (eds.) Cambridge University Press, 2018.
    • Singleton, T. A., "De l’ Afrique aux Amériques: archéologie de L’esclavage transatlantique et de la diaspora africaine." In Archéologie des Migrations. García, D., Le Brasé, H. (eds.) L’Institut national de recherches archéologiques preventives [Inrap], 2017.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Nineteenth Century Built Landscape of Plantation Slavery in Comparative Perspective." In The Archaeology of Slavery: A Comparative Approach to Captivity and Coercion. Marshall, L. W. (ed.) Southern Illinois University Press, 2015.
    • Singleton, T. A., "La vie à l’intérieur d’une enceinte de murailles: Archéologie d’une communauté d’esclaves de Cuba (Living within a wall enclosure: An Archaeology of a Cuban Slave Community)." In Archéologie de l’esclavage colonial. Delpuech, A., Jacob, J. (eds.) L’Institut national de recherches archéologiques preventives[INrap], 2014.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Reflexões sobre a arqueologia da diaspora Africana no Brasil [Thoughts on the Archaeology of the African Diaspora in Brazil]." Vestgíos –Revista de Arqueologia Histórica, 2013.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Epilogue: Reflections on Archaeologies of Post-Emancipation from a Student of Slavery." In The Materiality of Freedom :Archaeologies of Post-emancipation Life. Barnes, J. (ed.) University Press of South Carolina, 2011.
    • Singleton, T. A., "African Diaspora in Archaeology." In The African Diaspora and the Disciplines. Olaniyan, T., Sweet, J. (eds.) Indiana University Press, 2010.
  • Edited Volumes
    • “I, too, am America:” Archaeological Studies of African-American Life. Singleton, T. A. (ed.) University Press of Virginia, 1999.
    • The Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation Life. Singleton, T. A. (ed.) Academic Press, 1985.
  • Encyclopedia Entries
    • Singleton, T. A., "Cuba, Historical Archaeology of." In Encyclopedia of Caribbean Archaeology. Reid, B., Gilmore III, G. (eds.) University Press of Florida, 2014.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Plantation Archaeology." In Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Pearsall, D. M. (ed.) Academic Press, 2008.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Anthropology." In Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. MacMillian, 1996.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Plantation Life in the Southern United States." In Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Exhibition Reviews
    • Singleton, T. A., Sparks, R. J., "Review of Africans of the Old South: Mapping Exceptional Lives across the Atlantic World." The Journal of African History (2018), 2016.
    • Singleton, T. A., Moyer, T. S., "Review of Ancestors Worthy of Life Plantation Slavery and Black Life at Mount Clare." Museum Anthropology (2015), 2015.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Review of Cabin, Quarter, Plantation: Architecture and Landscapes of North American Slavery." Ellis, C., Ginsburg, R. (eds.) Journal of Southern History (2011), 2010.
    • Singleton, T. A., Samford, P., "Review of Sub-floor Pits and the Archaeology of Slavery in Colonial Virginia." Ethnohistory (2009), 2007.
    • Singleton, T. A., Orser, Jr, C. E., "Review of The Archaeology of Race and Racialization in Historic America." American Historical Review (2010), 2007.
    • Singleton, T. A., Fett, S. M., "Review of Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Plantations." Civil War Book Review (2002), 2001.
    • Singleton, T. A., "Review of Carter's Grove: The Winthrop Rockefeller Archaeology Museum, Wolstenholme Towne, and the Slave Quarter, and the Mansion." American Anthropologist (1993), 1993.

Presentations and Events

Primero Congreso Cubano Arqueologia Historica [First Cuban Congress on Historical Archaeology], "African Diaspora Archaeology in Counterpoint: Cuba and the Dominican Republic" (November 22, 2023)

Archaeology Beyond the Decade” in honor of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024, Anton de Kom University, Suriname, Leiden University, and the Society of Black Archaeologists, "Panel Title: Challenging Constructs of Materiality" (September 12, 2023)

Current State of the Archaeology of Slavery Panel, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora(ASWAD), "Archaeologies of Slavery and Resistance" (November 6, 2019)

Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University 2019 Annual Conference, ""Slavery and Artifacts, Representing Slavery: Voices, Images" and "Deep History of Slavery: Antiquity and Modernity in Dialogue"" (November 1, 2019)

Mesa Redonda:Arqueologia Quilombola, VI Semana Internacional de Arqueologia Dicentes, Museu de Arquelogia e Etnologia, University São Paulo, "Archaeology of Marronage in the Caribbean Antilles" (May 23, 2019)

Coastal Georgia Historical Society, "Archaeology of Slavery and Little St. Simons Fieldtrip" (March 20, 2019 - March 21, 2019)

George McJunkin Biennial Lecture, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, "Archaeology of Slavery" (January 16, 2019)

Honors and Accolades

Trinity College, Washington, DC (1970 - 1974)