Mark Hauser is a historical archaeologist who has built a prolific career for himself in academia. His work has taken him around the world, and he has written several books on the subjects of slavery, materiality and inequality. He is an assistant professor in Northwestern University’s Department of Anthropology.
Beginning his research at Syracuse University in 1996, Mark Hauser earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the university in 2001. In addition to teaching at Northwestern University, he also taught as a visiting associate professor for the University of Notre Dame for three years between 2006 and 2009.
Mark Hauser’s research and teaching interests include historical archaeology, economic anthropology, GIS and remote sensing, and compositional analysis. His regions of focus include South India and the Caribbean, and he has been participating in archaeological excursions in the latter area since 1991. Fields of study include slavery in the Americas, Afro-Caribbean material and housing culture, and colonial landscapes and everyday life.
In addition to numerous publications in academic journals, Mark Hauser has written several books. His first book, “An Archaeology of Black Markets: Local Ceramics and Economies in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica”, was published in 2008. Using archaeological recoveries of utilitarian pottery made and used to furnish the houses of enslaved people in Jamaica, Hauser mapped the informal economies of these tools to trace the cultural and political registers of their everyday lives.
Mark Hauser’s second book, “Archaeology in Dominica: Everyday Ecologies and Economies at Morne Patate” was published in 2020, and his third and most recent publication was “Mapping Water in Dominica: Enslavement and Environment under Colonialism.” In “Mapping Water”, published in 2021, he examines the archaeological record of water, its management, and everyday uses during the island’s ‘sugar revolution.’ This allowed him to map the ecological legacies of colonialism and slavery in the Caribbean.
Additionally, in his research on the African Diaspora and its colonial context, Mark Hauser explored the intersection of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Using slavery’s archaeological report, his work in this area seeks to map alternative geographies of the world in those centuries.
In 2012, Hauser gave a talk entitled “Digging Up Plantations” at the Chicago Humanities Festival. In the talk, he discussed the material remains of slavery, along with what the archaeological sites and the artifacts found within them can tell us about the everyday lives of slaves in the American South and Caribbean. Archaeologists such as Mark Hauser have excavated plantations and estate houses in these two regions in order to learn from the objects found here how slaves created meaning in the face of extraordinary inequality.
Mark Hauser’s current research is on the labor histories and social lives of two communities in the Caribbean and South India. Through this, he explores a ‘prehistory’ of the global south through mapping the movement of ideas, people and objects between two oceans. He also continues to teach a number of classes at Northwestern University.