Dean Saitta

Dean Saitta

  • Biographical Description

    • I'm a Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Urban Studies program 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 scholarship), and Governance (university service), each informed by a healthy commitment to Integration (of disciplinary knowledges, of alternative pedagogies, 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. My research interests are in ancient city planning and design, comparative architectural and urban form, and North American archaeology.  I've researched town planning and social change in ancient Zuni society of west-central New Mexico, where I directed DU archaeological field schools throughout the 1990s. I co-directed the Colorado Coal Field War Archaeological Project. This was 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 contributed to better understanding 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  Colorado Humanities. I'm Past President of the University of Denver Faculty Senate, past President of the DU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and past Co-President of the AAUP Colorado Conference. In 2014 I received the National AAUP's William S. Tacey Award for contributions to the Colorado Conference.

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

      I live in the historic Park Hill neighborhood of Denver with my wife Martha (an architect) and our teenage 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: Mar 8, 2017 5:56:26 PM