Monthly Meeting

May 2019


Cassandra Smith

7:30 PM, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

2000 Mountain Road NW

Located in north-central New Mexico, Pottery Mound is a site of continuing significance in the Puebloan cultural landscape. It is one of several Ancestral Pueblo villages occupied during the Pueblo IV period (1300-1540 CE) and known to feature paintings upon the walls of ritually significant rooms identified as kivas. Like other places in the world that have been subject to various archaeological processes – places with deep histories, places no longer actively occupied – Pottery Mound is often described in academic literature in terms that situate it in the distant past, as a ruin. However, like all archaeological sites, Pottery Mound does not exist singularly as an object of scholarly inquiry. It exists otherwise as well. In this paper, I describe Pottery Mound as a place in the world – geographically, historically, culturally, archaeologically, and sensorially. I consider Pottery Mound expansively – as a place that lives and speaks and continues to act, powerfully, within Puebloan ontological and epistemological frameworks.

Cassandra Smith is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Lecturer in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Cassandra’s dissertation is “Kiva Murals at Pottery Mound: A Consideration of a Trans-temporal Performativity in a Puebloan Life World,” and her research focuses broadly upon the intersection of Native American art, performance studies, and indigenous studies. Cassandra co-chaired a session on the intersectionality of indigeneity and performance and new media art at the 2015 Native American Art Studies Association Conference; she co-organized the 2017 “This Land/That Land Symposium: The Politics of Land Sovereignty and Environmental Racism” with Gallery 400 and the UIC Native American Support Program; and she organized “Belongings: A Critical Forum on Museum Studies” at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019. Cassandra is the faculty advisor for the Indigenous@SAIC student group, and she served as a board member of the First Nations Film and Video Festival. She was a recipient of a 2016 UIC Provost’s Award and holds a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Tulsa, and a Certificate of Museum Studies, MFA in Studio Arts, and MA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


The Albuquerque Archaeological Society is an avocational group that advocates preserving archaeological and other cultural resources by informing members and the public about archaeological and ethnological subjects through our meetings, presentations, newsletter, other electronic media, field trips, volunteer efforts, field surveys, and studies. Membership is only $25 for an individual or family, and it’s free to students with a Student ID or current class schedule. Membership puts you on our mailing list for our monthly newsletter, and gives you access to our field trips, volunteering endeavors, and our seminars. However, our meetings are always free and open to the public, with a guest lecturer and refreshments, great conversation, and the chance to socialize with those who share an interest in archaeology, both professionals and avocational members. Come see what we’re all about! We’d love your company!


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