Teaching Fellows

Sandy Hunter

Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences Sandy Hunter

Sandy Hunter

Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences

R. Alexander (Sandy) Hunter is an anthropological archaeologist who studies how agricultural production transforms in conjunction with social, political, and ecological change. Hunter’s dissertation research examined the creation of privatized landholding under Spanish colonialism at the town of Ollantaytambo in the first century following the 1532 Spanish invasion of the Andes. The resulting work, Colonial Agrarianism: A Historical Archaeology of Land and Labor in Cusco, Peru, used historical, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental methods to demonstrate how the creation of the hacienda system of land ownership altered Ollantaytambo socially and ecologically as colonialists and Andean people contested the values of agricultural fields that were increasingly used to produce grains for commercial sale in distant markets.

Hunter’s ongoing research investigates how the owners of Ollantaytambo’s landed estates and resident agricultural laborers on those estates levied contrasting claims to the region’s agricultural land in the decades preceding Peru’s agrarian reform of the mid-twentieth century. This project explores how peasant-driven land reform movements were anchored by the same fields and pastures that supported hacienda production for the preceding four centuries. Hunter’s broader research and teaching interests include political ecology, agricultural history, Andean archaeology, landscape studies, colonialism, the history of the Chicago region, and remote sensing and GIS applications in archaeology.