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Faculty and Staff Profiles

Diana diZerega Wall



Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership




NAC 7/108

p: 212-650-7361

f: 212-650-6607


  • Profile

    Diana diZerega Wall, an historical archaeologist, is a professor of anthropology at
    City and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received
    her B.A. from City College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. She
    studies American culture, specializing in the archaeology of New York City, and has
    examined gender, class, race and ethnicity in the city from the colonial period through the
    development of the megalopolis in the later 19th century.

    Wall's earlier research focused on the construction of gender and domestic life among
    the middle class in 19th-century New York. Now, she is now expanding that study to
    include comparisons across the classes and among different cultural groups. One on-
    going project involves working with scholars from other institutions as well as with City
    College students in studying Seneca Village, an early 19th-century African-American and
    Irish community that was located in today's Central Park. After conducting soil borings
    and ground penetrating radar to confirm that archaeological traces of the site remained
    intact in the ground, they performed archaeological excavations at the site in the summer
    of 2011. Now, they are interpreting the results of the excavations.

    Wall is currently working on two books. One, In Hudson’s Wake, focuses on the
    archaeology of New Netherland, the 17th-century Dutch colony that extended from the
    Delaware to the Connecticut Rivers and included Fort Orange and New Amsterdam (on
    the sites of today’s Albany and New York City, respectively). This book, co-authored
    with Anne-Marie Cantwell and under contract to Yale University Press, focuses on the
    roles of the Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans in creating the Dutch colony.
    The other, undertaken with Nan Rothschild, is on urban archaeology in the United States,
    and is under contract to the University of Florida Press. In addition to numerous articles
    and several edited volumes, Wall has written The Archaeology of Gender: Separating the
    Spheres in Urban America (Plenum 1994), as well as (with Anne-Marie Cantwell) the
    award winning Unearthing Gotham, the Archaeology of New York City (Yale 2001) and
    Touring Gotham’s Archaeological Past (Yale, 2004).

    Over the past few years, Wall has prepared many articles and presentations on urban
    archaeology, Dutch New Netherland, and Seneca Village for professional audiences. She
    is also deeply committed to public outreach, consulting with museums for exhibitions and
    giving talks on the archaeology of New York City to general audiences.
  • Education

    B.A. The City College of New York, M.A., Ph.D New York University

  • Research Interests

    The archaeological study of gender, class, race and ethnicity in New York City, from the colonial period through the post-Revolutionary rise of commercial capitalism to the development of the megalopolis, material culture

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