Teresa Wilkins, PhD


Dr. Teresa Wilkins taught Anthropology for over 19 years at UNM-Gallup and was a current faculty member at the time of her death. She received her bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and went on to earn her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Wilkins enjoyed outdoor activities like landscape and architectural photography, cooking and learning new languages. She practiced textile arts learned from childhood and loved to read and write. Her professional areas of interest included art and art markets. Dr. Wilkins’ award winning book Patterns of Exchange was published in 2008. Dr. Wilkins died on August 19, 2014, and a memorial service was held on the UNM-Gallup campus on August 31, 2014.


Teresa Wilkins


Patterns of Exchange

From the UNM-G Faculty Directory Archives

I enjoy outdoor activities like landscape and architectural photography and also cooking and learning languages. I practice some textile arts learned from childhood. Other activities overlap with my profession like a love for reading and writing in many forms. My professional areas of interest and expertise include art and art markets. Other specialties include political and cultural economies; space, place and cultural identities; cultural property issues; repatriation and reburial; expressive arts; cultural trauma; violence, memory and culture; museum studies and visual culture; textiles and other arts of the American Southwest; the American Southwest in a global world, and comparative indigenous studies.

  • Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1999
  • M.A. Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1993
  • B.S. Art Marketing and Production, Minor: Special Education: Gifted and Talented Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, 1980
  • Anthropology 101 Introduction to Anthropology
  • Anthropology 130 Cultures of the World
  • American Studies 186 Introduction to Southwest Studies

The majority of students at UNM-Gallup come from cultural backgrounds in which creating and maintaining relationships with people is the paramount value. I try to carry this knowledge into all aspects of my teaching whether it is course development, in-class methodologies, mentoring or other non-classroom activities. I also place an emphasis on culturally relevant curricula. I teach over 20 courses including Introduction to Anthropology, Cultures of the World, Digging Up Our Past, Indians of New Mexico, Cultures of the Southwest, The American Southwest: Senses of Place, Art and Culture in Southwest Marketplaces, Socio-cultural Theory, Principles of Cultural Anthropology, Native North American Cultures, Anthropology of the Southwest, Images of the Indian in American Culture, Current Topics in Cultural Anthropology: Violence, Memory, Trauma and Culture, The Politics of Culture and Property, Oral Narrative Traditions, Guided Study: From Spiderwoman to the Market Place, Developing Oral History Research Design for a Diverse Community Population, Introduction to Race, Class and Gender in the United States, Introduction to Southwest Studies, Exploring Non-Western Cultures: Hopi and Navajo Explorations in Anthropology: Intercultural Relationships in the American Southwest, Museum Practica and Independent Research, Southwestern Weaving, Appalachian Arts and Culture

  • 2013 - PATTERNS OF EXCHANGE: NAVAJO WEAVERS AND TRADERS paperback, University of Oklahoma Press
  • 2008 - PATTERNS OF EXCHANGE: NAVAJO WEAVERS AND TRADERS, University of Oklahoma Press, Spring 2008. Winner New Mexico Book Award, 2008. Pima County Library Best Read 2008.Positively reviewed in approximately 20 scholarly and popular venues including Heritage Management, Journal of American Ethnic History, American Anthropologist, Museum Anthropology, Western Historical Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Tribal College Journal, Gale Cengage Learning, Chronicle of Higher Education, Gallup Living, Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial Magazine, UNM Mirage Alumni Magazine, Digg, Albuquerque Journal, Choice, UNM Today, Arizona Daily Sun
  • 2004 - "Nineteenth Century Southwestern Textile Collectors." In Blanket Weaving of the Southwest by Joe Ben Wheat. Ann Lane Hedlund, editor. University of Arizona Press
  • 1999 - "The Creation of a Usable Past." In Proceedings of the Navajo Studies Conference. June-el Piper, editor. Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department
  • 1997 - “Brenda Spencer, Navajo Weaver.” Indian Artist Magazine
  • 1993 - "Unexpected Histories: The Cultural Biographies of Two Navajo Blankets." In Why Museums Collect: Selected Papers in Honor of Joe Ben Wheat. David Kirkpatrick and Meliha Duran, editors. Archaeological Society of New Mexico
  • 1990 - co-editor with Diana Leonard of book authored by Ann Lane Hedlund Beyond the Loom: Keys to Understanding Early Southwestern Weaving. Johnson Books, Boulder, Colorado

Exhibitions Curated

  • 2012-2014 Advisory Board member, Navajo textile events at Center for Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College, Durango and Train Station Art Museum (to be named) Winslow, Arizona
  • 2006 - Guest Curator, The Legacy From Navajo Looms University of Colorado Museum, Boulder
  • 2004 - Guest Curator, Three Centuries of Master Weavers University of Colorado Museum, Boulder
  • 2004 - Guest Curator, Permanent Textile Installation, Private Collection University of Utah Cancer Center
  • 1998 - Advisory Board Member, Here, Now and Always, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe
  • 1997 - Adjunct Curator Transforming Images: A Sense of Place University of Colorado Museum exhibition, 1996-1997 Museum of International Folk Art exhibition, 1998-1999
  • 1989 - Curator Beyond the Loom: Keys to Understanding Early Southwestern Weaving. University of Colorado Museum Exhibition, 1989-1992
  • 1989 - Curator Beyond the Loom: Keys to Understanding Early Southwestern Weaving. University of Colorado Museum Traveling Exhibition, 1989 – present

Ethnographic Film Projects

  • 2013 - Consulting Anthropologist. “Sadie Curtis, Navajo Weaver” being shown in exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • 2006 - Consulting Anthropologist with Videographer Laurie McDonald “Sadie Curtis, Navajo Weaver” available on youtube.com
  • 2006 - Consulting Anthropologist with videographer Laurie McDonald video (not edited) ethnographic interviews with artists and performers at Gallup’s Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial

Technical Reports

  • 2004 - Textile analysis for Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department Associated funerary objects (NAGPRA)
  • 2000 - Completed Oral History Translation and Transcription Project for Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
  • 1999 - Trade Behind and Across the Counter: An Ethnographic Overview of Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. National Park Service
  • 1998 - “Historic Farming and Contemporary Collaboration at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site." Southwest Parks and Monuments Association (unpublished manuscript in author files)
  • 2013 - UNM published authors – Patterns of Exchange paperback
  • 2008 - New Mexico Book Award for PATTERNS OF EXCHANGE: NAVAJO WEAVERS AND TRADERS – Best Multi-Cultural Subject
  • 2008 - University of New Mexico, Gallup Annual Faculty Senate Award for Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Work.
  • 2008 - Pima County Arizona’s best read of the year
  • 2007 to 2010 - State of New Mexico Legislative Appropriation to fund Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial Archive project. $50,000
  • 2006 - NIH Pilot Project Grant $5,000 “Five Generations of Master Weavers from Curved Dam, Arizona”
  • 2006 - Nineteenth century southwestern textile research with Navajo weavers Sadie Curtis and Christine Curtis including University of Colorado Museum collection
  • 2002-2003 - University of New Mexico, Gallup. Strategic Planning Mini-grant $2,500. “An Oral History of the Gallup Ceremonial”
  • 1999 - University of New Mexico, Gallup Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year
  • 1998 - University of New Mexico, Gallup Strategic Planning Mini-Grant, "Promoting Anthropology in Native Communities" $2,500
  • 1997 - University of Colorado, Graduate Student Creative Research Award $2,000
  • 1997 - Southwest Parks and Monuments Association Research Program Ethnographic Research at Hubbell Trading Post $5,000
  • 1996 - National Park Service Ethnography Program Contracting Ethnographer, Hubbell Trading Post Ethnographic Overview and Assessment $12,000
  • 1996 - University of Colorado, Graduate School Dissertation Support Grant $2,000
  • 1995 - National Park Service, Hubbell Trading Post Ethno-history Project

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