Peter Whiteley, Ph.D.
Curator of North American Ethnology, Curator-in-Charge of South American Ethnology
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School
- University of New Mexico, Ph.D., 1982
- University of New Mexico, M.A., 1978
- Cambridge University, B.A., 1975
Dr. Peter Whiteley studies Native North American cultures ethnographically and historically. His main focus is the Hopi of northern Arizona, where he began fieldwork in 1980, resulting in four books and monographs: Deliberate Acts: Changing Hopi Culture through the Oraibi Split (University of Arizona Press, 1988), Bacavi: Journey to Reed Springs (Northland Press, 1988), Rethinking Hopi Ethnography (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998), and The Orayvi Split: a Hopi Transformation (Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, 2008). In 2005, his paper Bartering Pahos with the President, on a Hopi diplomatic gift, won the Robert F. Heizer Prize for “best article in the field of ethnohistory.” Current Hopi work includes a collaborative project (funded by the National Science Foundation’s Endangered Languages program) on Hopi place-names and landscape concepts, with the Hopi Office of Cultural Preservation and colleagues at the University of Arizona.
Whiteley has also worked with the Cayuga and Akwesasne Mohawk in upstate New York, and is preparing a history of the Cayuga in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. Other field and archival research includes the Rio Grande Pueblos, the Hupa of northwestern California, Coast Salish of western Washington, and the Choctaw and Chickasaw of Oklahoma and Mississippi. Since 2009, Whiteley has led a comparative inquiry into Crow-Omaha kinship systems, both in Native North America and globally, with AMNH colleague Ward Wheeler (curator of Invertebrate Zoology), funded by the National Science Foundation’s Anthropology Program. One result is Crow-Omaha: New Light on a Classic Problem of Kinship Analysis (University of Arizona Press, 2012), a volume co-edited by Whiteley and Thomas Trautmann of the University of Michigan. Whiteley and Wheeler have also initiated a joint study (using phylogenetic methods) of how languages evolve, concentrating on the Uto-Aztecan languages of North and Middle America.
Recent and Major Publications
2018. George, R.J., S. Plog, A.S. Watson, K.L. Schmidt, B.J. Culleton, T.K. Harper, P.A. Gilman, S.A. LeBlanc, G. Amato, P.M. Whiteley, L.N. Kistler, and D.J. Kennett. Archaeogenomic evidence from the southwestern US points to a pre-Hispanic Scarlet Macaw breeding colony. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(35): 8740–8745. [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1805856115]
2018. Peter M. Whiteley, Ming Xue, and Ward C. Wheeler: Revising the Bantu Tree. Cladistics. (Early view 8-31-2018)
2018. Peter M. Whiteley, editor: Puebloan Societies: Homology and Heterogeneity in Time and Space. Advanced Seminar Series. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.
2018. Peter M. Whiteley: From Keresan Bridge to Tewa Flyover: New Clues about Pueblo Social Formations. In Puebloan Societies: Homology and Heterogeneity in Time and Space, Peter M. Whiteley, ed., pp. 103-132. Advanced Seminar Series. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.
2018. Peter M. Whiteley: Introduction: Homology and Heterogeneity in Puebloan Social History. In Puebloan Societies: Homology and Heterogeneity in Time and Space, Peter M. Whiteley, ed., pp. 1-24. Advanced Seminar Series. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.
2018. Richard J. George, Stephen Plog, Adam S. Watson, Kari L. Schmidt, Brendan J. Culleton, Thomas K. Harper, Patricia A. Gilman, Steven A. LeBlanc, George Amato, Peter M. Whiteley, Logan Kistler, and Douglas J. Kennett: Archaeogenomic Evidence from the Southwestern US Points to a pre-Hispanic Scarlet Macaw Breeding Colony. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
2018. Thomas R. Trautmann and Peter M. Whiteley: Comment on D. Read “Generative Crow-Omaha Terminologies.” Mathematical Anthropology and Cultural Theory 12:6.
2018. Trautmann, T.R., and P.M. Whiteley. Comment on D. Read, Generative Crow- Omaha terminologies. Mathematical Anthropology and Cultural Theory 12 (6):1–12.
2018. Whiteley, P.M. The native shaping of anthropological inquiry. In: T.J. Ferguson and L.J. Kuwanwisiwma (editors), Hopihiniwtiput Kukveni’at, Footprints of Hopi history. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
2017. Kennett, D.J., S. Plog, R.J. George, J.B. Culleton, A.S. Watson, P. Skoglund, N. Rohland, S. Mallick, K. Stewardson, L. Kistler, S.A. LeBlanc, P.M. Whiteley, D. Reich, and G.H. Perry. Archaeogenomic Evidence Reveals Prehistoric Matrilineal Dynasty. Nature Communications 8:14115. [doi: 10.1038/ncomms14115]
2016. Whiteley, P.M. Dualism and pluralism in Pueblo kinship and ritual systems. In D. Read and F. El Guindi (editors), Structure and Dynamics special issue, Back to kinship II, 9(2): 252–272.
2015. Watson, A.S., S. Plog, B.J. Culleton, P.A. Gilman, S.A. LeBlanc, P.M. Whiteley, S. Claramunt, and D.J. Kennett. Evidence for Early Long-Distance Procurement of Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) and the Emergence of Social Complexity in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2015 112 (27) 8238-8243.
2015. Whiteley, P.M. Chacoan Kinship. In Chaco Revisited: New Research on the Prehistory of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, edited by Carrie C. Heitman and Stephen Plog, pp. 272-304. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
2015. Whiteley, P.M. Agential Dialogue in the Photo-ethnography of Edward S. Curtis. Dialectical Anthropology 39:347-352.
2015. Whiteley, P.M. and D. Snow Pueblo-tiwa Names: Hybrid Transmission in the Sprachbund. Journal of the Southwest 57:4:525-582.
2015. Whiteley, P.M. Francisco Garcés' 1775-76 Diary and the Napac: A Further Inquiry. Kiva: The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History 80:3-4:366-392.
2012 (Ward C. Wheeler, Peter M. Whiteley, and Theodore Powers) Phylogenetic Analysis of Socio-Cultural Data: Identifying Transformation Vectors for Kinship Systems. In Crow-Omaha: New Light on a Classic Problem of Kinship Analysis, Thomas R. Trautmann and Peter M. Whiteley, eds., pp. 109-31. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
2012 Crow-Omaha Kinship in North America: A Puebloan Perspective. In Crow-Omaha: New Light on a Classic Problem of Kinship Analysis, Thomas R. Trautmann and Peter M. Whiteley, eds., pp. 83-108. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
2011 Who Were the Napac? Decoding an Ethnohistorical Enigma. Kiva: The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History 77:1:59-86.
2011 Hopi Place Value: Translating a Landscape. In Born in the Blood: On Native American Translation, Brian Swann, ed., pp. 84-108. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
2008 The Orayvi Split: A Hopi Transformation. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 87. 2 vols.
2008 Explanation vs. Sensation: the Discourse of Cannibalism at Awat’ovi. In Social Violence in the Prehispanic American Southwest, Deborah Nichols and Patricia Crown, eds., pp. 184-215. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
2004 Bartering Pahos with the President. Ethnohistory 51:2:359-414.
2003 Do "Language Rights" Serve Indigenous Interests? Some Hopi and Other Queries. American Anthropologist 105:4:712-722.
1998 Rethinking Hopi Ethnography. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
1988 Deliberate Acts: Changing Hopi Culture through the Oraibi Split. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, 2001-present
Affiliated Professor, Ph.D. Program in Anthropology, CUNY, 2001-present
Professor of Anthropology, Sarah Lawrence College, 1985-2000
Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology, Northern Arizona University, 1983-85
Ritual and Symbolism
American Indian History
Ethnography and Literature
Aaron Glass, AMNH/Bard Graduate Center Postdoctoral fellow, 2008-10
Caroline Heitman, University of Virginia, 2011
Johanna Gorelick, C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center Doctoral Program in Anthropology, 2005
Susan Golla, Columbia University, 1987
Catherine McLaughlin, Columbia University, 2007
Graduate Student Research Assistants
Theodore Powers, C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center (funded by NSF), 2009-2011
Nathan Woods, C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center (funded by NSF), 2010-2012
Tina Brüderlin, Johannes Gutenberg University (funded by Eugene V. and Clare Thaw Charitable Trust), 2008
William Peace, Columbia University (funded by AMNH start-up grant), 2001-2003