About Dr. Connolly
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.
He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Advances in Archaeological Practices and blogs at Archaeology, Museums & Outreach.
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’s current research is at the intersection of Museum Studies and Applied Archaeology. He works collaboratively with community partners to develop cultural heritage programs. 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.
2016 Museums as Critical Community Assets (co-edited with Elizabeth Bollwerk) Rowman and Littlefield Press.
2015 Avocational Archaeologists and the Designation of a World Heritage Site. In The Archaeological Record. Society for American Archaeology.
2015 Co-creation as a Twenty-First Century Archaeology Museum Practice. In Advances in Archaeological Practice. Society for American Archaeology, Washington D.C.
2015 (co-author with Rebecca E. Bria and Elizabeth Cruzado Carranza) Co-creating With Indigenous Communities in Huaylas, Peru. Innovative Approaches for Museums, edited by Juilee Decker. AltaMira Press.
2015 (co-editor with Elizabeth Bollwerk) Co-creation in the Archaeological Record. Advances in Archaeological Practices. Society for American Archaeology, Washington D.C.
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.
- 2015 Engaged Scholarship Research Grant
- 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)