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Dr. Robert P. Connolly
connolly    Dr. Robert Connolly  
  Associate Professor; Director, C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa  

300 B Manning Hall

  (901) 678-3331  
   Curriculum Vitae  

Expertise and Interests

Museum studies; applied archaeology; community service learning; Native American cultures of the Eastern Woodlands from 2000 B.C. to the present; New World prehistoric monumental architecture


Dr. Connolly received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996.  Prior to coming to The University of Memphis, he conducted long-term research projects at the Hopewell Fort Ancient hilltop enclosure in southwest Ohio and at the Poverty Point earthwork complex in northeast Louisiana.  At both sites he specialized in the analysis of previously excavated but unreported museum collections and their associated records as a to limit the need for modern field excavations in addressing research questions.  

Dr. Connolly serves on the Advisory Board of the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program at the University of Memphis.  In conjunction with his role as Director of the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa, he facilitates and supervises undergraduate and graduate internships at Chucalissa and area museums.  He is the Chairperson of the Public Education Committee at the Society for American Archaeology and is on the Small Museum Board of the American Association of State and Local History. Connolly blogs at Archaeology, Museums & Outreach.



Research Projects

Dr. Connolly’s current research is at the intersection of Museum Studies and Applied Archaeology. In Memphis, he works collaboratively with community partners to develop cultural heritage programs. Most recently he has worked to implement a model where the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa serves as a hub for community service and community service learning projects in Southwest Memphis. He also collaborates with  Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológico Regional Ancash on developing a sustainable eco-tourism and cultural heritage base in the Andean village at Hualcayán.

blog mags peru chuc chuc

Selected Publications

2014    Connolly, Robert P. and Ana M. Rea.  Making African American History Relevant through Co-Creation and Community Service Learning. In Interpreting African American History and Culture edited by Max Balgooy. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

2012    Connolly, Robert P., Samantha Gibbs, and Mallory Bador. The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa Community Engagement at an Archaeological Site. Museums & Social Issues 7(2): 227–243. 

2012    Connolly, Robert P. Scratching the Surface: Resolving the "Mystery" of Poverty Point. Louisiana Archaeology 35: 79-115.

2011    Connolly, Robert P. and Natalye Tate. Volunteers as Mission. Collections 7(3). Alta Mira Press. 

2011    Connolly, Robert P. Moving from Actors to Directors: Evolving Voices of Native Americans in Museum Presentations.  Practicing Anthropology 33(2).

2010    Connolly, Robert P. and Keri V. Brondo. Incarnate Theology and the Social Gospel: Exploring the Mississippi Model of Episcopal Medical Missions to Panama. In Developing Community/Development People: Intersections of Faith and Development in Local-Global Contexts, Keri Vacanti Brondo and Tara Hefferan’s (eds.). NAPA Bulletin.

1998     Connolly, Robert P. The Architectural Grammar of Middle Woodland Hilltop Enclosures: Fort Ancient as a Case Study. In Ancient Earthen Enclosures of the Eastern Woodlands, Lynne Sullivan and Robert Mainfort (eds.). University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Selected Awards

  • 2013 Sponsor of the Year, AmeriCorps NCCC, Southern Region
  • 2012 New Sponsor of the Year, AmeriCorps NCCC, Southern Region
  • 2011 Green Fee Allocation Grant Award, University of Memphis ($12,750)
  • 2010 – 13 Museum Assessment Program, Community, Collections, and Institutional Components, American Alliance of Museums
  • 2010 Travel Enrichment Fund Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Memphis ($500)
  • 2009-2010 Exhibiting African American Cultural Heritage in Southwest Memphis, Strengthening Communities Grant ($18,000) (co-PI with Dedra Macklin, Westwood Indian Hill Neighborhood Development)


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Department of Anthropology | 316 Manning Hall | Memphis, TN | 38152-3530 | Phone: 901-678-2080 | Fax: 901-678-2069
Last Updated: 12/2/14