University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

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Christopher C. Fennell

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Associate Professor of Center for African Studies
Associate Professor of African American Studies
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Associate Professor of Law

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  • Address:
    Department of Anthropology
    607 S Mathews Ave.
    M/C 148
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: (217) 333-3616; cell (312) 513-2683
  • Email:
  • Homepage: Visit Website

Research Interests

Historical and African diaspora archaeology; surveying methodologies; symbolic anthropology; legal anthropology; follow the "Visit Website" link at the right for more information on research projects.


  • National Endowment for the Humanities and Illinois Humanities Council, 2008, 2011 grants for summer speaker series and civic engagement in African-American Heritage and Archaeology



  • Revealing Landscapes. Comp. Christopher Fennell. Tucson: Society for Historical Archaeology, 2011.
  • African Diaspora Archaeology. Comp. Christopher Fennell. Tucson: Society for Historical Archaeology, 2008.
  • Fennell, Christopher. Crossroads and Cosmologies: Diasporas and Ethnogenesis in the New World. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.

Book Contributions

  • Fennell, Christopher C. "Dexterous Creation: Material Manifestations of Instrumental Symbolism in the Americas." Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic. Ed. Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula Saunders. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014. 216-235.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Fighting Despair: Challenges of a Comparative, Global Framework for Slavery Studies." The Archaeology of Slavery: A Comparative Approach to Captivity and Coercion. Ed. Lydia M. Wilson. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 2014. 391-399.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Cultural Creativity, Rebellions, and Comparative Questions for Afro-Brazilian Archaeology." Current Perspectives on the Archaeology of African Slavery in Latin America. Ed. Pedro P. Funari and Charles E. Orser. New York: Springer, 2014. 99-116.
  • Fennell, Christopher C. "Kongo and the Archaeology of Early African America." Kongo Across the Waters. Ed. Susan Cooksey, Robin Poynor, and Hein Vanhee. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2013. 231-239.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Carved, Inscribed, and Resurgent: Cultural and Natural Terrains as Analytic Challenges." Revealing Landscapes. Ed. Christopher Fennell. Tucson: Society for Historical Archaeology, 2011. 1-11.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Examining Structural Racism in the Jim Crow Era of Illinois." The Materiality of Freedom: Archaeologies of Post-Emancipation Life. Ed. Jodi Barnes. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011. 173-189.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Combating Attempts of Elision: African American Accomplishments at New Philadelphia, Illinois." Intangible Heritage Embodied. New York: Springer, 2009. 147-168 .
  • Fennell, Christopher. "African Diaspora Archaeology in Multiscalar and Multivariate Perspectives." African Diaspora Archaeology. Ed. Christopher Fennell. Tucson: Society for Historical Archaeology, 2008. 1-25.
  • Fennell, Christopher . "BaKongo Identity and Symbolic Expression in the Americas." The Archaeology of Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. 210-50.

Journal Articles

  • Fennell, Christopher. "Artifacts to Invoke, Direct, and Deflect." Historical Archaeology 48.3 (2014): 196-200.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Introductory Statement." Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage 1.1 (2012): 5-8.
  • Fennell, Christopher, and Kathryn Fay. "Paradoxes in Designs for a National Historic Landmark's Presentation." Museums & Social Issues 7.2 (2012): 323-340.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Early African America: Archaeological Studies of Significance and Diversity." Journal of Archaeological Research 19.1 (2011): 1-49.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Literate Inversions and Cultural Metaphors in Edgefield Stoneware." Historical Archaeology 45.2 (2011): 156-162.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Damaging Detours: Routes, Racism and New Philadelphia." Historical Archaeology 44.1 (2010): 138-154.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Excavating Strata of Memory and Forgetting." SAA Archaeological Record 8.1 (2008): 17-21.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Group Identity, Individual Creativity and Symbolic Generation in a BaKongo Diaspora." International Journal of Historical Archaeology 7.1 (2003): 1-31.
  • Fennell, Christopher, and Lee A. Fennell. "Fear and Greed in Tax Policy: A Qualitative Research Agenda." Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 13 (2003): 75-138 .
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Molded Malevolence: Instrumental Symbolism Rendered in Clay." Ceramics in America 3 (2003): 270-273.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Assessing Criticisms of Faunal Analyses and Environmental Reconstructions in the Tehuacan Valley Project." Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal 29.3 (2001): 349-359.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "Conjuring Boundaries: Inferring Past Identities from Religious Artifacts." International Journal of Historical Archaeology 4.4 (2000): 281-313.

Encyclopedia Entries

  • Fennell, Christopher. "African Diaspora Archaeology." Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. New York: Springer Press, 2012.
  • Fennell, Christopher. "African Diaspora Archaeology Network." Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. New York: Springer Press, 2012.