Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

John W. Hoopes

Richard E. Greenleaf Distinguished Visiting Professor

Contact Info


  • B.A., Archaeology, Yale University, 1980
  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Harvard University, 1987

Academic Experience

  • Visiting Professor, Tulane University, 2017-
  • Professor, Anthropology, University of Kansas, 1989-
  • Chair, Anthropology, University of Kansas, 2015-2017
  • Director, Indigenous Studies, University of Kansas, 2008-2011
  • Associate Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Kansas, 2001-2008, 2013-2015
  • Acting Director, Center of Latin American Studies, University of Kansas, 1997-1998

Research & Teaching Specializations: Archaeology. Central America. Chibchan Culture.

Related Experience

  • Adjunct Research Associate, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, 2008-
  • Director, Golfito Archaeological Project, University of Kansas, 1990-1993
  • Ceramic Specialist and Excavation Supervisor, Proyecto Prihistorico Arenal, Costa Rica, 1984-1987


  • KU-UCR Partnership Award, Office of International Programs, University of Kansas, 2010
  • Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, 2009
  • KU-UCR Partnership Award, Office of International Programs, University of Kansas, 2007-2008
  • Fulbright Senior Research Grant, Council for the International Exchange of Scholars of Latin American Republics Program, Universidad de Costa Rica, 1996


  • Spanish
  • French (reading)

Overseas Experience

  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Ecuador
  • Mexico
  • Peru

Selected Publications

  • 2017. “Magical Substances in the Land Between the Seas.” In Golden Kingdoms: Luxury Arts in the Ancient Americas (Joanne Pillsbury, Timothy Potts, and Kim N. Richter, eds.) Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute.
  • 2014. Undressing the Formative. In Wearing Culture: Dress and Regalia in Early Mesoamerica and Central America (Heather Orr & Matthew Looper, eds.) Boulder: University Press of Colorado, pp. 447-477.
  • 2012. “Seventies Dreams and 21st Century Realities: The Emergence of 2012 Mythology” (with Kevin Whitesides). Zeitschrift für Anomalistik. 12: 50-74.
  • 2011. Imagining Human Alteration of Ancient Landscapes in Central and South America. In The Ethics of Anthropology and Amerindian Research: Reporting on Environmental Degradation and Warfare (Richard J. Chacon and Rubén G. Mendoza, eds.), New York: Springer, pp. 235-237.
  • 2011. Culturas Chibchas del Litoral Caribe: Explorando Conexiones Precolombinas entre Colombia y Costa Rica. In La Arqueología del Área Intermedia (Cristóbal Gnecco and Victor González, eds.), Bogota: Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e História, pp. 367-412.
  • 2011. New Age Sympathies and Scholarly Complicities: The History and Promotion of 2012 Mythology. Archaeoastronomy:The Journal of Astronomy and Culture 24: 180-201.
  • 2011. “Conquest, Imagination, and the Dawn of the Modern Age.” In To Capture the Sun: Gold of Ancient Panama. 11-43. Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum.
  • 2009. “Violent Acts of Curing: Precolumbian Metaphors of Birth and Sacrifice in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Illness ‘Writ Large’ (with David Mora-Marín).” In Blood and Beauty: Organized Violence in the Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica and Central America. Heather Orr and Rex Koontz, eds. 291-330. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA.
  • 2009. “From Tiwanaku to Machu Picchu: Ushnus and the Architecture of Creation.” In Tiwanaku: Papers from the 2005 Mayer Center Symposium at the Denver Art Museum. Margaret Young-Sánchez, ed. 247-272. Denver Art Museum.
  • 2007. “Sorcery and the Taking of Trophy Heads in Ancient Costa Rica.” In The Taking and Displaying of Human Body Parts as Trophies by Amerindians. Richard J. Chacon and David H. Dye, eds. 444-480. New York: Springer.
  • 2005. “The Emergence of Social Complexity in the Chibchan World of Southern Central America and Northern Colombia, AD 300-600.” Journal of Archaeological Research. 13(1):1-47.
  • 2004. “Atravesando Fronteras y Explorando la Iconografía Sagrada de los Antiguos Chibchas en Centroamérica Meridional y Colombia Septentrional.” Arqueología del Área Intermedia. No. 6, pp. 129-166.
  • 2003. Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia (co-editor with Jeffrey Quilter). Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
  • 2003. “Goldwork and Chibchan Identity: Endogenous Change and Diffuse Unity in the Isthmo-Colombian Area” (principal author with Oscar Fonseca Z.) In Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia (Jeffrey Quilter and John Hoopes, eds.). Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., pp. 49-89.

For access to Professor Hoopes’ full CV and other information please click on the following link.