Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels

Assistant Professor

Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels is an Assistant Professor with expertise in cultural heritage, environmental anthropology, political anthropology, and international development. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University in 2010, building on a masters degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Much of her work integrates archaeological and sociocultural anthropology around issues of cultural heritage, focusing on the transnational contexts of heritage, in the areas of international economic development, human rights, democracy building, and global climate change. Her current book project (Anthropogenic: Carbon Heritage and Climate Change) examines the heritage of human-caused climate change through the historic resources and material infrastructure of carbon-based energy resources at several sites in the United States. This research draws attention to the historic conditions of anthropogenic climate change, based in fossil fuels, and the implication of this past within contemporary adaptation and mitigation efforts as a way of reflecting upon and mobilizing social change. Dr. Lafrenz Samuels’ work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Institute of Maghrib Studies, the US-Norway Fulbright Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.



Selected Publications:


2018. Mobilizing Heritage: Anthropological Practice and Transnational Prospects. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Link

2015. (with T. Rico) Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. Link (review) (review) (review)

2012. (with D. Totten) Making Roman Places: Past and Present. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplement Series 89. Portsmouth, RI: JRA. Link (review)

Technical Reports

2016. (with A. Markham, E. Osipova, and A. Caldas) World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate. Nairobi/Paris: UNEP & UNESCO. Link

Articles and Chapters

In press. (with P. van Dommelen) "Punic Heritage in Tunisia," in Oxford Handbook of the Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean, C. López-Ruiz and B. Doak, editors. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2017. New Challenges for Cultural Heritage: Supporting Biodiversity in the Face of Climate Change [Introduction to Special Issue "Cultural Heritage, Biodiversity, and Climate Change"]. Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) 39(2): 69-71. Link

2017. Biodiversity in World Heritage Cultural Landscapes: Possibilities and Problems for Communicating Climate Change and Mobilizing Mitigation. Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) 39(2): 116-126. Link

2017. Commentary – Climate Archaeology: New Paradigms for Changing Times. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 32(2): 222-228. Link

2016. (with M. Ferrer Martin) "Women's Ritual Practice in the Western Phoenician and Punic World," in Women in Antiquity: Real Women Across the Ancient World, S. Budin and J. Turfa, editors, pp. 533-552. London: Routledge.

2016. Transnational Turns for Archaeological Heritage: From Conservation to Development, Governments to Governance. Journal of Field Archaeology 41(3): 355-367. Link

2016. The Cadence of Climate: Heritage Proxies and Social Change. Journal of Social Archaeology 16(2): 142-163. Link

2015. "Introduction: Heritage as Persuasion," in Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage, K. Lafrenz Samuels and T. Rico, editors, pp. 3-28. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. Link

2015. "Heritage Rights and the Rhetoric of Reality in Pre-Revolution Tunisia," in Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage, K. Lafrenz Samuels and T. Rico, editors, pp. 243-258. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. Link

2015. (with I. Lilley) "Transnationalism and Heritage Development," in Global Heritage: A Reader, L. Meskell, editor, pp. 217-239. Malden, MA: Wiley. Link

2012. (with D. Totten) "Roman Place-Making: Archaeological Interpretation and Contemporary Heritage Contexts," in Making Roman Places, D. Totten and K. Lafrenz Samuels, editors, pp. 11-33. Portsmouth, RI: JRA.

2012. "Roman Archaeology and the Making of Heritage Citizens in Tunisia," in Making Roman Places, D. Totten and K. Lafrenz Samuels, editors, pp. 159-170. Portsmouth, RI: JRA. Link

2010. "Heritage Management and Poverty Reduction," in Heritage and Globalisation, S. Labadi and C. Long, editors, pp. 200-215. London/New York: Routledge. Link

2009. Trajectories of Development: International Heritage Management of Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa. Archaeologies: The Journal of the World Archaeological Congress 5(1): 68-91. Link

2008. Value and Significance in Archaeology. Archaeological Dialogues 18(1): 71-97. Link

Other Work

2011. Field Work: Constructing Archaeological and Ethnographic Intersections [book review]. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 21(1): 152-156. Link

2011. Interview with the Leiden-Stanford Heritage Network. Link

2007. (with S. De Vivo and D. Totten) Proceedings of 'Cultures of Contact: Archaeology, Ethics, and Globalization.' Stanford Journal of Archaeology vol. 5. Link

Areas of Interest:
  • Cultural heritage, transnational heritage, heritage development, heritage ethnography, environmental anthropology, climate change, energy resources, political anthropology, democracy, ethnographic writing, Middle East and North Africa, and the Arctic

Courses offered:

Method and Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology (ANTH 360)

Anthropology of Cultural Heritage (ANTH 464/664)

Critical Heritage (449A/649A)

Development of Social/Cultural Theory (ANTH 760)


Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
ANTH360 Method and Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology Fall 2017



Current Students
Former Students
  • Amber Cohen
    Peace Corps
Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)
  • Lafrenz Samuels
0107 Woods Hall
Department of Anthropology
Phone: (301) 405-1439
Email: lafrenzs@umd.edu