Allison Mickel

Photo of Allison Mickel at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
31 Williams Drive rm. 295, Bethlehem, PA 18015


Ph.D. in Anthropology, Stanford University, 2016
Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, Labor, Middle East, Politics of Representation, Narrative, Public Archaeology, Tourism, Science and Technology Studies, Social Network Analysis
Allison Mickel is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, and a core faculty member in both Global Studies and the Center for Global Islamic Studies. She received her PhD in anthropology from Stanford University in 2016 and her BA from The College of William and Mary in 2011. 
Her research focuses on how local communities have impacted and been affected by the long history of archaeological work in the Middle East. By interviewing current and former site workers employed on archaeological projects, and utilizing statistical and visual methods like social network analysis, Allison Mickel maps, measures, illustrates, transcribes, outlines, and stipples the roles that local community members play in the processes of archaeological knowledge production. She has excavated in Jordan, Turkey, Kenya, and the United States, and is now undertaking an ethnographic project centering on two new private companies in Jordan advocating for the recognition of local expertise and fair labor conditions on archaeological excavations.
Allison Mickel has one book in print, Archaeologists as Authors and the Stories of Sites: Defending the Use of Fiction in Archaeological Writing, about the politics of representation and public engagement in publications about archaeology, and a second one coming out in the upcoming year focused on the history of labor practices in archaeology. She has also published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Archaeological Method & Theory, Journal of Field Archaeology, Archaeologies, Public Archaeology, World Archaeology, Antiquity, and Anthropology & Humanism.
In addition to her scholarly work advocating for more inclusive practices in archaeology, Allison Mickel is involved in local initiatives pushing for equity and inclusion in the Lehigh Valley, including POWER Lehigh Valley, the Allentown Coalition for Economic Dignity, and Women's March Pennsylvania. She has led film talkbacks at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, volunteers with the organization Skype a Scientist, and organizes annual outreach events with local public schools for Anthropology Day.
Courses Taught:
ANTH 012: Human Evolution and World Prehistory 
ANTH 106: Cultural Studies and Globalization
ANTH 108: Not-so-Lonely Planet: The Anthropology of Tourism
ANTH 173: Archaeology of the Middle East
ANTH 396: The Violence of Science
Recent Publications:
2020. "The Proximity of Communities to the Expanse of Big Data." Journal of Field Archaeology 45(sup1): S51-S60. doi: 10.1080/00934690.2020.1713284
2019. "Orientalism and Origins: The Search for Firsts in the ‘Cradle of Civilization’.” In Interrogating Human Origins: Decolonisation and the Deep Past, edited by J. Matthews and M. Porr. Routledge: London.
2019. "Essential Excavation Experts: Alienation and Agency in the History of Archaeological Labor." Archaeologies 15: 181-205. doi: 10.1007/s11759-019-09356-9
2018. "Authenticity in Archaeological Writing and Representation." In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, edited by C. Smith. 2nd ed. Springer Reference: Berline Heidelberg. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_1564-2
2016. “Tracing Teams, Texts, and Topics: Applying Social Network Analysis to Understand Archaeological Knowledge Production at Çatalhöyük.” Journal of Archaeological Method & Theory. 23(4): 1095-1126. doi:10.1007/s10816-015-9261-z
2015. “Reasons for Redundancy in Reflexivity: The Role of Diaries in Archaeological Epistemology.” Journal of Field Archaeology 40(3): 300-309. doi: 10.1179/2042458214Y.0000000002
2015. Allison Mickel & Alex R. Knodell. “We Wanted to Take Real Information: Public Engagement and Regional Survey at Petra, Jordan.” World Archaeology 47(2): 239-260. doi: 10.1080/00438243.2015.1017002
2015. Allison Mickel & Elijah Meeks. “Networking the Teams and Texts of Archaeological Research at Çatalhöyük.” In Assembling Çatalhöyük, edited by I. Hodder and A. Marciniak, pp. 25-42. European Association of Archaeologists: Praha.
2015. Åsa Berggren, Nicolo Dell’Unto, Maurizio Forte, Scott Haddow, Ian Hodder, Justine Issavi, Camilla Mazzucato, Allison Mickel & James Taylor. “Revisiting Reflexive Archaeology at Çatalhöyük: Integrating Digital and 3D Technologies at the Trowel’s Edge.” Antiquity 89(144): 433-448. doi: 10.15184/aqy.2014.43