Squeaky Wheel Award Recipients

2007 - Joan Gero

The Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology is honored to present the 2007 Squeaky Wheel award to Joan Gero. Joan has dedicated her career to exposing inequality and attention to gender, with particular attention to spotlighting issues of feminist concern within the current practice of archaeology. Her article “Socio-politics and the woman-at-home ideology” (1985, American Antiquity 50(2):342-350), was one of the first publications to highlight the inequities and expectations faced by female archaeologists. Her groundbreaking volume Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory (co-edited with Margaret Conkey), transformed archaeology by destabilizing assumptions about men’s societal contribution, making investigations of ancient women’s marks on the archaeological record and gender in past cultures an accepted part of the sub-field. Specifically, Joan challenged Paleoindian researchers’ ideas about the primacy of hunting and butchering as male activities, as well as their resistance to recognize women’s tools and roles.  In addition to her contributions to feminist archaeology, Joan has also been a vocal actor with regard to the global politics of archaeology. Presently, she serves as the World Archaeological Congress’ Senior North American Representative on the congress planning team, as well as Head Series Editor for the One World Archaeology book series. Joan will be retiring this year from American University after ten years of service at American and 13 years teaching at the University of South Carolina.  Throughout her tenure, Joan remained an active mentor and valued colleague.  Her office door was always open, and her wit, sage advice, and enthusiasm for anthropology never faded.

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