Julia Prince-Buitenhuys is a current doctoral student and Presidential Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. She received her M.A. in Anthropology at California State University, Chico, and her B.A. in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology at University of California, San Diego. Her master’s thesis investigated ethnic dietary variation and the influences of socioeconomic status and local agriculture on food ways in late 19th/ early 20th century Santa Clara County, California, using stable isotopic and skeletal analysis. She has also done research on the occurrence of injury recidivism in the homeless and transient population in Northern California, and has participated in work helping identify region of origin of missing peoples from international contexts.
Julia employs bioarchaeological, forensic anthropological, and stable isotopic methods to research the embodiment of structural violence and social inequality in historic and modern populations. She is also interested in how social structures and theory, epistemology, and ontology influence the interpretations of osteological and stable isotopic data and methods themselves. Her current work is focused on how socioeconomic pressures and racist structures may influence the shape of the human skeleton through differences in diet, nutrition, and metabolic stress and disease.
My research examines the biological costs of structural violence against social minorities and those of low socioeconomic status in both historical and modern populations by studying the human skeleton through a bioarchaeological and forensic anthropological lens. I primarily focus on the treatment of groups with recent migration histories to the United States in the 19th and early 20th century and archaeological collections with comparably international contexts to develop models of how structural violence and social inequality literally shape the skeleton and influence the experience of metabolic stress and disease. The goal of this work is to help identify the different effects of socioeconomic status, racism, and gender on the human body and how these intersect in creating significant consequences to health and the likelihood of a person being identified after death, especially for those who are recent migrants to an area or in extreme poverty without a strong support network.