Dean Saitta

  • Biographical Description

    • I'm a Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Denver. I've worked at DU since 1988. I find it useful to think about faculty work in terms of four "pillars" of scholarship.  These four pillars include Discovery (research), TeachingEngagement (public outreach), and Governance (university service), each informed by a healthy commitment to Integration (of theory and practice, of disciplinary knowledges, of campus and community, of different institutional visions).   So, that's how this portfolio is organized.

      I teach courses in evolutionary anthropology, urban anthropology, and archaeology.  I currently direct DU's Urban Studies program and I periodically direct the London Study Abroad program.  I'm also US Co-Director of a FIPSE-European Union curriculum development grant entitled "Global Cities/Global Citizenship: Social and Natural Transformations of Urban Areas in Europe and the USA."

      My research interests are in North American archaeology, labor history, and comparative architectural and urban form.  I've researched social change in ancient Zuni society of west-central New Mexico, where I directed DU archaeological field schools throughout the 1990s. I'm a Co-Director of the Colorado Coal Field War Archaeological Project. This is the first systematic effort to excavate sites associated with the 1913-1914 southern Colorado coal field strike, including the Ludlow Tent Colony (a National Historic Register site and, as of 2009, a National Historical Landmark). The killing of women and children at Ludlow on April 20, 1914 (the "Ludlow Massacre") was a singularly important event in American labor history. Our research seeks to better understand the circumstances surrounding this event, including the coping strategies of striking coal miners and the ways in which they integrated an ethnically-diverse strikeforce.

      In 1998 I was honored with the University Scholar-Teacher of the Year award, and from 2000-2003 I served as University Professor of Social Science. I'm a past member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Past President of the University of Denver Faculty Senate, President of the DU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and past Co-President of the AAUP Colorado Conference.

      I'm currently researching and teaching issues in urban anthropology; specifically, how people of different cultural backgrounds interact with, and are shaped by, the built environment of the city. I blog about urban space, architecture, culture, planning, and design at Intercultural Urbanism.

      I live in the historic Park Hill neighborhood of Denver with my wife Martha (an architect) and our young son, Joe.

      Banner Photograph: "Four Sisters", Togeye Canyon NM (by Dean Saitta)

  • Education

    • PhD, University of Massachusetts, 1987. MA, University of Massachusetts, 1980. BA, Wake Forest University, 1977.
This portfolio last updated: May 14, 2015 11:46:03 AM