Carla M. Sinopoli joins the University New Mexico as Director of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology and Professor of Anthropology. An archaeologist specializing in South Asia, her survey and excavation projects in southern India examine the political economy of the 2nd millennium CE imperial capital of Vijayanagara and emergent sociopolitical inequalities in the second and first millennia BCE Iron Age. In addition to her archaeological work, Sinopoli’s research interests also include the history of university museums and anthropological collecting. She is the author or editor of 10 books and dozens of articles and her work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for Humanities, National Geographic Society, and Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, among others.
Sinopoli comes to UNM from the University of Michigan, where she was a professor of anthropology and curator of Asian collections in the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. As curator, she conducted research, developed exhibitions, and published on archaeological, ethnographic, and photographic collections from the Indian Himalayas, China, and Southeast Asia. Her final curatorial project at Michigan is a collaborative co-curated exhibition of Anishinaabe baskets from the Great Lakes that is scheduled to open at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways in Mount Pleasant Michigan in spring 2019. In addition to her curatorial work, Sinopoli served as director of the UM Museum of Anthropological Archaeology from 2005-2011 and directed Michigan’s Museum Studies Program from 2012-2018.
Sinopoli is excited to bring her museum experience and expertise to UNM and the Maxwell Museum:
“With its remarkable collections and rich history of scholarship and exhibitions about the human experience past and present, the Maxwell Museum has a storied place among University anthropology museums in the United States and beyond. I am honored and thrilled at the opportunity to be part of UNM’s and the Maxwell’s long commitment to anthropological research, education, and community engagement. I look forward to working with the Museum’s talented curators and staff and colleagues across UNM and our region to build on the museum’s impressive history by increasing educational opportunities for UNM students; strengthening community partnerships with Indigenous and source communities and other museum stakeholders; engaging new audiences; supporting ongoing efforts to improve collection care and dissemination; facilitating new and innovative research and creative projects; and continuing to present challenging and innovative exhibitions .”