Associate Professor
Undergraduate Coordinator

Contact Info

105J Baldwin Hall
Phone Number:
Curriculum Vitae:

My work is underpinned by the desire to understand the relationship between long-term processes of cultural change and the lived experience of individuals and communities. The major impacts of my research have been on understandings of the nature of organizational complexity and diversity in Pre-Columbian Eastern North America. I have accomplished this through reconstructing socio-cultural processes associated with the occupational histories of communities and regions, redefining inter- and intra-regional interaction networks, and reconstructing the dynamics associated with the realignment of discrete populations into chiefdoms and confederacies. The theoretical frameworks I employ draw upon concepts of historical process and contingency, theories of practice, and a broadly-conceived materialism. These perspectives necessitate multi-scalar research designs that interrogate the recursive interactions between top-down and bottom-up processes, structure and agency, institutions and individuals. My most current research projects employ a range of methodologies including integrative analyses of settlement data, geophysical prospection, social network analysis, and radiocarbon chronology-building.


PhD, Anthropology, McMaster University, 2010

Research Areas:
Research Interests:
  • Archaeology of eastern North America
  • Settlement patterns
  • Archaeology of households and communities
  • Organizational complexity
  • Archaeology of warfare
  • Multi-scalar analyses
  • Social network analysis
  • Radiocarbon dating and chronological modeling
  • Geophysics
  • Social theory
  • Heritage
  • Cultural resource management
Selected Publications:

Birch, J. (2015). Current Research on the Historical Development of Northern Iroquoian Societies. Journal of Archaeological Research, 23(3), 263-323. doi:10.1007/s10814-015-9082-3

Birch, J., & Hart, J. P. (2018). Social Networks and Northern Iroquoian Confederacy Dynamics. American Antiquity, 83(01), 13-33. doi:10.1017/aaq.2017.59

Birch, J. and V.D. Thompson, eds. (2018). The Archaeology of Village Societies in Eastern North America. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 211 pp.

Articles Featuring Jennifer Birch

Monday, October 14, 2019 - 1:01pm

Title: Dating Iroquoia in American Antiquity

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 11:11am

UGA’s Jennifer Birch and Cornell University’s Sturt Manning are investigators for a National Science Foundation grant, “Establishing a High-Resolution Framework for Age Determination.” A team including graduate assistant Megan Anne Conger works to date Northern Iroquoian sites…