Nelson, Sarah Milledge

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Nelson, Sarah Milledge

PERSONAL: Born in Coral Gables, FL; daughter of Stanley (a judge) and Sarah Woodman (a television announcer and programmer) Milledge; married Harold Stanley Nelson (an allergist), 1953; children: Erik Harold, Mark Milledge, Stanley Franklin. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Wellesley College, B.A., 1953; University of Michigan, M.A., 1969, Ph.D., 1973. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening.

ADDRESSES: Home—Greenwood Village, CO. Office—Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, 2000 E. Asbury, Denver, CO 80208; fax: 303-871-2437. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: University of Maryland, Far East Division, Seoul, Korea, instructor, 1970–71; University of Colorado, Boulder, visiting assistant professor, 1974; University of Denver, Denver, CO, John Evans Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology, 1996–, vice provost for research, 1998–2004.

MEMBER: American Anthropological Association (fellow), Society for East Asian Anthropology (president), Society for American Archaeology, Association for Asian Studies.

AWARDS, HONORS: Citation for outstanding academic book, Choice, 1999, for Spirit Bird Journey.


Han River Chulmuntogi: A Study of Early Neolithic Korea, Program in East Asian Studies, Western Washington State College (Bellingham, WA), 1975.

(Organizer and editor with James J. Hester) Studies in Bella Bella Prehistory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada), 1978.

(Editor, with Alice B. Kehoe) Powers of Observation: Alternative Views in Archeology, American Anthropological Association (Arlington, VA), 1990.

Archaeology of Korea, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(Coeditor) Equity Issues for Women in Archeology, American Anthropological Association (Arlington, VA), 1994.

Archaeology of Northeast China, Routledge (New York, NY), 1995.

Gender in Archaeology, AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA), 1997, revised edition, 2003.

Spirit Bird Journey (novel), RKLOG Press (Littleton, CO), 1999.

(With others) Denver: An Archaeological History, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

(Editor, with Myriam Rosen-Ayalon) In Pursuit of Gender: Worldwide Archaeological Approaches, AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA), 2002.

(Editor) Ancient Queens: Archaeological Explorations, AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA), 2003.

Jade Dragon (novel), RKLOG Press (Littleton, CO), 2004.

(Coeditor) Archaeology of the Russian Far East, British Archaeological Reports (Cambridge, England), 2006.

(Editor) Handbook of Genre in Archaeology, AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA), 2006.

(Coeditor) Celebrating Diversity in Archaeology, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2006.

(Editor) Women in Antiquity: Theoretical Approaches to Gender and Archaeology, AltaMira Press (Lanham, MD), 2007.

(Editor) Worlds of Gender: The Archaeology of Women's Lives around the Globe, AltaMira Press (Lanham, MD), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS: Sarah Milledge Nelson once told CA: "I am an archaeologist working primarily in Korea and China. Archaeology is interesting and demanding work, but archaeological reports tend to be descriptive and dry. To counter this I wrote a novel about the people in the past, especially in Korea, which is so little known by anyone except East Asian specialists. I also wanted to write about South Korea in the present, so I created Clara Alden, an adopted Korean who is culturally American but born Korean, to mediate between the two stories. Both Clara's story in present-day Korea and her visions of the past have a 'nature/nurture' theme. I wanted Clara to be active in the past story, but not able to interfere. Thus she is seen in the past as a yellow bird, perceived by the people of the Golden clan as the spirit familiar of Golden Flyingbird, who is named for Clara's appearance as a bird at her birth. Thus the book is called Spirit Bird Journey, both Clara's journey to find herself in Korea and the journeys of Flyingbird."

Nelson later added: "Jade Dragon continues Clara's story in China, featuring the sites of my own research and the looting of Chinese archaeological sites. I am working on a new archaeological novel, Tiger Queen, based on the only intact burial yet found in Shang China (c. 1600 BC). At the same time I am writing a nonfiction book called Shamanism and Leadership in Ancient East Asia."