Samuel Wilson

Department of Anthropology

University of Texas Austin, TX 78712
off (512)471-4206 fax (512)471-6535


I'm an archaeologist and historical anthropologist interested in processes of cultural interactions in "contact situations", some of the most difficult and consequential moments in human experience. I am interested in the origins complex forms of social and political organization and the development of governing institutions. I have also studied the relationship of different kinds of information technologies and information flows to social and political structures, from the beginning of writing systems to the impact of information technologies over the last 40 years. My most focused area of specialization is the prehistory, history, and culture of the indigenous people of the Caribbean and the events that took place after the arrival of Europeans. I carried out archaeological research on the small Caribbean island of Nevis for several years.

The expanding impact of the latest revolution in information technology is being felt nearly everywhere, and I have occasionally been surprised at how little attention social scientists have paid to this civilization-changing process. I am a past Director of the University of Texas's program in Technology, Literacy, and Culture, which under Elizabeth Keating's leadership has become the program in Science, Technology, and Society. This program addresses the social impacts of digital technology and aims to enrich higher education and equip students to be thoughtful, broadly educated, and humane citizens and leaders of a world of increasing technological and socio-political complexity.

Brief CV

Recent publications: The Archaeology of the Caribbean (07), The Prehistory of Nevis, a Small Island in the Lesser Antilles (06), Anthropology of online communities (02), Legacy of Indigenous People (01), Nevis Report (IACA 2001) (01) Caribbean overview (01), Emperor's Giraffe (99), Cultural pluralism and complex societies (99), Uncertainty and complex societies (98), The Aboriginal People of the Caribbean (97)



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