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Department of Anthropology


Katherine (Kelly) Goldberg

Title: Clinical Assistant Professor
Director of USC Public Heritage Lab
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-6500
Office: Gambrell Hall 416
Dr. Kelly Goldberg


Dr. Goldberg is an Instructor for the Honors College at the University of South Carolina. She earned her
PhD in anthropology, with a focus on historical archaeology, here at UofSC in 2018. She had a one-year
teaching post doctoral fellowship in the department of Social Advocacy and Ethical Life. She came to
UofSC in 2011 after receiving her bachelors degree from Hofstra University in 2009, and working a
couple years at a laser-induced optics testing facility.


ANTH 161 Honors Introduction to Biological Anthropology

ANTH 161 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

ANTH 322/722 Archaeological Field School

SAEL 200 Social Advocacy and Ethical Life

SCHC 232 Complicated Histories: Community Archaeology, Public Heritage, and Social Justice

Independent mentoring of archaeological field methods in Guinea, Iceland, and the eastern US

Research Interests

African Diaspora, historical archaeology, public archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, museum studies, oral
history, memorialization and heritage, culture contact, identity, ceramics, West Africa, Caribbean,
Eastern United States. 


Dr. Goldberg is a historical archaeologist with research specialties in the African Diaspora in both West
Africa and the eastern US, public archaeology and stakeholder relations, and museum studies and
management. Her research methodologies employ a multidisciplinary approach, with a strong focus on
analyses of material culture, documentary evidence, oral histories, ethnoarchaeological accounts, and
geospatial data. Her earliest research sought to investigate the complexities of incorporating
interpretations of identity in the archaeological investigation of a nineteenth century Gullah occupation
of James Island. For her dissertation, she hopped across the ocean to Guinea, seeking to understand
how the newly emerging transnational network of nineteenth century trading families manipulated
perceptions of identity to maintain power and status during evolution of the abolition of the slave trade,
and such manipulations of identity affect contemporary notions of memorialization and heritage. To
investigate this issue, and with the help of a Fulbright research grant, she conducted 13 months of
excavations of slave trading ports in rural villages of coastal Guinea, while providing archaeological
training to local laborers and university students, and created an exhibit of archaeological finds to be
displayed in the Guinea's National Museum. In future research plans, Dr. Goldberg intends to return to
Guinea to investigate earlier slave trading sites in the region, in the hopes of gaining a better
understanding of political, economic, and social variation that fueled the development of such powerful
transnational trading networks.

Currently, Dr. Goldberg is conducting research at two US National Parks, the Booker T. Washington
National Monument in Hardy, Virginia, and the Cumberland National Seashore in Georgia, as part of the
park service's "Civil War to Civil Rights" initiative. At these NPS sites, she, along with co-PI Dr. Kevin
Fogle, is investigating how political history and academic ideologies have affected the production of
public heritage interpretation and memorialization. They are currently offering student research
opportunities to assist with project research for both of these sites. She has also recently expanded these investigations into heritage memorialization with excavations of late 19th/early 20th century tenant farming communities at the Sesquicentennial State Park in Columbia, SC.

Representative Publications

Goldberg, Kelly. 2022. "An Interview with Leland Ferguson." Historical Archaeology.

Ferguson, Leland and Kelly Goldberg. 2019 "From the Earth: Nature Spirits, Medicine Vessels, and
Consecrated Bowls as Responses to Slavery in the South Carolina Lowcountry." Journal of African
Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage 8 (3).

Goldberg, Kelly. 2018. “That Diabolical Traffic: Archaeological Explorations of the Nineteenth Century
Slave Trade in Coastal Guinea.” Doctoral Dissertation, University of South Carolina.

Goldberg, Kelly. 2017. "Une Session Archéologique au Rio Pongo." Temporary Exhibit curated at
the Musée Nationale in Conakry, Guinea. Exhibit opened March 31, 2017.

Goldberg, Kelly. 2017. "The Emergence of Gullah Identity in the South Carolina Lowcountry." In Black
Medicine/ White Bodies: An Investigation of Charleston's Yellow Fever Epidemics 1854-187. Exhibit Catalog.
McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina.

Goldberg, Kelly. 2016. "Preliminary Results from Excavations at Bakoro, an 'Illicit' Slave Trade Site on the
Rio Pongo, Guinea." Nyame Akuma. 86:43-50.

Kelly, Kenneth G., Kelly Goldberg, El Hadj Ibrahima Fall, Diane Wallman, and Vincent Rousseau. 2015.
"Archaeological Investigations of the 19th Century Illegal Slave Trade on the Rio Pongo, Guinea." Nyame
Akuma. 83: 11-22.

Smith, Karen Y., Tamara Wilson, and Kelly Goldberg. "By the Run of Colonel's Creek: Boundary
Delineation and National Register Evaluation of Sixteen Late 19th to Early 20th Century Rural Home
Sites, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Jackson, Richland County, South Carolina." Draft Report prepared under
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit Network Cooperative Agreements W9126G-12-2-0023 and W912G-
13-2-0028 for the Environmental Division, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Jackson.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Awarded McCausland Innovation Fund Grant to Establish a Public Heritage Lab
  • CAS Undergraduate Teaching Award Winner
  • Secured two grants (totaling over $117,000) through the National Park Service's "Civil War to Civil
    Rights" initiative at Booker T. Washington National Monument in Virginia and Cumberland Island
    National Seashore in Georgia.
  • Completed UofSC's certificate program Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence
  • Completed UofSC's Getting Started Teaching Online Course
  • Received a Bilinski Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.