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Steven Wernke

Associate Professor, Department Chair (Archaeology, Andes, Spatial Analysis)


Archaeology and ethnohistory of the Andean region; colonialism and culture change; religious transformation; community and land-use organization; GIS, remote sensing, and geospatial analysis


Steven Wernke [website] is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, director of the Spatial Analysis Research Laboratory, and director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Spatial Research. Prof. Wernke is an archaeologist and historical anthropologist of the Andean region of South America. His research takes place at the intersection of several disciplines: archaeology and history, prehispanic and colonial studies, anthropology and cultural geography. Prof. Wernke's interests center on the lived experiences of indigenous communities across the Spanish invasion of the Andes–especially how new kinds of communities, landscapes, and religious practice emerged out of successive attempts by the Inkas and the Spanish to subordinate and remake Andean societies in their own self-image. Methodologically, his work brings together analyses of archaeological and documentary datasets in geospatial frameworks.