Headshot of Joseph Curran

Joseph Curran

Ph.D. Candidate; Part-Time Instructor
Department(s): Anthropology
Email: curraj1@unlv.nevada.edu


I am an archaeologist conducting interdisciplinary research to operationalize post-colonial theoretical paradigms in examining how Indigenous people adapt, resist or redefine colonial technology in the Southwestern borderlands. I investigate the use of Indigenous technology in conflicts and negotiations among the American Indian groups Lower Colorado River Basin (i.e. Quechan, Mohave, Cocopa, and Maricopa) from 1540 to 1857. Specifically, I examine why these peoples seemed to prefer to fight on foot with their traditional wooden clubs during regional battles instead of using Spanish and then Anglo-American guns and horses as cavalry. To investigate this topic, I utilize a multi-disciplinary methodology that includes archival, experimental archaeological, and biomechanical engineering analyses.


  • M.A.: Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles 2017

Research Interests

Post-colonial theory, Indigenous-colonial interactions, conflict and violence, borderlands studies, Indigenous archaeology, ethnohistory, museum and archival studies, experimental archaeology, biomechanics, Southwest, California, North America