Thursday, April 14, 2011

Binford's legacy

Yesterday, I mentioned the impact of Binford's publications. But surely his greatest legacy is through his students. He was influential in the careers of a great many archaeologists, who were themselves very influential.

I had hoped to put together an academic geneaology, mapping out the Binford patriline. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find information about his students on-line, and my personal knowledge is patchy (and highly incriminating of my identity, not that most of you don't know that already!). I was able to find the following list of Binford's students at the University of New Mexico, which represents the bulk of his career.

P.R. Schultz
Robert Vierra
Alan Osborn (Nebraska State Museum)
R.F Schalk (Cascadia Archaeology)
W.H.G. Morgan
Richard Chapman (New Mexico Office of Contract Archaeology)
Rosalind Hunter-Anderson
Robin Torrence (Australia Museum)
Robert Hitchcock (Michigan State University)
Larry Todd (Colorado State)
EL Camille
James Ebert
Galen Burgett
Robert Hard (UT San Antonio)
Mark Stiger (Western State University, CO)
Michael Smyth (Rollins College)
Martha Graham
SL Larraide
Ronald Kneebone
David Rapson
Mary Stiner (Arizona)
Steven Kuhn (Arizona)
James Enloe (Iowa)
Alexandra Roberts
Neale Draper
R. Wojcik
Dan Amick (Loyola)
Anna Backer
D. Oswald (Prescott College)
Matthew Schmader
RP Mauldin (UT San Antonio)
Wiliam Doleman
Mark Lycett (University of Chicago)
C. Carrillo
Russell Greaves

My apologies to those whose affiliation I do not list, or if I have it incorrect. Many of Binford's students are working in CRM or government jobs, and have been very influential through their publications and interactions with other scholars. I didn't include those affiliations here, just because my original intent was to put together an academic pedigree chart, so I was interested in Binford's students' students. That turned out to be impossible, but just from this partial list of his students, it's clear he's left a significant legacy.

If I remember correctly, Bob Whalen (University of Michigan), Jim Brown (Northwestern), and Stuart Streuver (Northwestern), were also students of Binford's at Chicago. I don't know any of his students from SMU. Clearly, the list above is just the tip of the iceberg.


  1. My undergraduate advisor LuAnn Wandsnider was a Binford student at UNM. I remember that she had a framed photo of him on her office desk as well as a poster that said "Binfordination in Progress". It wasn't that she was trying to mock him but rather appreciate his profound influence on archaeology and her own way of thinking. Obviously this made quite an impression on me in many ways.

  2. Was she his PhD student? I didn't have her on the list! One of the problems with trying to quantify Binford's impact is the number of ways he could influence students, his own and other people's, graduate and undergraduate. I have more in common, theoretically, with my undergraduate advisor than my graduate advisor, but I wouldn't appear in a list of his students. Binford's legacy was very profound on so many levels.

  3. He influenced a lot of us who didn't finish too. Santley, Strauss, Cordell, Sabloff, was an amazing time at UNM. I went on to finish elsewhere, but the way Binford taught me to think stuck, and I'm grateful.

  4. I'm sure it was an amazing time!

    There must be hundreds of undergrads, MA students, field workers, co-authors, co-researchers who were influenced by Binford. His legacy is incredible.

  5. A great man, but also a terrible man to study under. Lew Binford had one friend, Lew Binford. Didn't help a lot of his students get jobs, which a committee chair is supposed to do. So few of my fellow grad students got out of there with PhD's. Many just disappeared, there one day and gone the next. We were so excited about learning from him, but then remember nobody had computers then. Just alcohol and marijuana. All theory, no method. Now it is the total other way around.