BA (Oberlin College); MA (Durham University); ScM (Brown University); PhD (Brown University)

Academic background

I received my BA in Anthropology, Archaeological Studies, and Geology (minor) from Oberlin College (2012), followed by an MA in Archaeology from Durham University (2014). While pursuing my PhD in Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University, I was granted a place in Brown's prestigious 'Open Graduate Education Program' which supported my study for a concurrent ScM in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. My research and fieldwork have taken me all around the world. While my MA focused on ancient Roman landscapes, my doctoral studies were deliberately comparative between the ancient Mediterranean and the contemporary and historical Caribbean.

The final year of my PhD research was supported by a J.M. Stuart Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library (2020-2021). Following receipt of my degree, I held a one-year visiting assistant professorship at Brown University via a Dean's Faculty Fellowship (2021–22).

Research interests

My research focuses on environmental disasters, landscape, memory, and trauma; more specifically, my current work looks at how the small, largely Afro-Caribbean community of Montserrat has been affected by and responded to 25 years of volcanic crisis, and how these responses relate to the Caribbean’s enduring legacy of slavery and colonialism. I place the Montserratian situation into dialogue with other geological and meteorological disasters in the Caribbean as well as with other examples of communities affected by volcanic eruptions, specifically in the ancient Mediterranean.

My broader interests include landscape archaeology, GIS, and spatial analysis; memory, trauma, dark heritage, and ruination; geoarchaeology; social volcanology; digital archaeology; and the intersections between temporality and materiality. My recent fieldwork has included projects in Montserrat, Martinique, the United States (Rhode Island and New York), Sudan, and Greece.

Featured publications

Rothenberg, M. (Forthcoming). "Framing Settler Colonialism as Environmental Injustice in Disaster-Ridden Montserrat." The SAA Archaeological Record, 23(1).

Scarlett, J., M. Rothenberg, F. Riede, and K. Holmberg. (Forthcoming). "Dark Heritage: Landscape, Hazard, and Heritage." In Handbook on Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Management, edited by R. Jigyasu and K. Chmutina. London: Routledge.

Rothenberg, M. (Forthcoming). “‘Come Well or Woe’: Ruination and Heritage in Montserrat’s Volcanic Exclusion Zone.” In Proceedings of the 28th Congress of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology. Bridgetown, Barbados, 21–27 July 2019. Barbados: International Association for Caribbean Archaeology.

Cherry, J., and M. Rothenberg. 2021. “Costly Signaling and Windmill-Building: Inter-Island Technological Variability on Eighteenth-Century Sugar Estates in the Lesser Antilles.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology, online first. DOI: 10.1007/s10761-021-00623-6

Rothenberg, M. 2021. “Wind-powered Sugar Mills as Constructions of Control in Colonial Montserrat.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 25(1): 144–69. DOI: 10.1007/s10761-020-00553-9

Levine, E., M. Rothenberg, O. Siegel, C. Knoblauch, L. Bestock, and L. Klein. 2019. “The Uronarti Regional Archaeological Project: Second Cataract Fortresses and the Western Desert of Sudan.” Antiquity 93(372): online. DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2019.183

Reilly, M., and M. Rothenberg. 2019. “Postcolonial Material Melancholia: Toward a Contemporary Archaeology of the Caribbean.” In Proceedings of the 27th Congress of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology. St. Croix, USVI, 24–28 July 2017, edited by J.M. Torres and A.B. Persons, pp. 581–92. St. Croix: International Association for Caribbean Archaeology.

Ducady, G., M. Lefas-Tetenes, S. Sharpe, and Rothenberg, M. 2016. “Archaeology and the Common Core: Using Objects and Methodology to Teach 21st-Century Skills in Middle School.” Advances in Archaeological Practice 4(4): 517-536. DOI: 10.7183/2326–3768.4.4.517