Paul R. Mullins

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Paul Mullins is a historical archaeologist who studies the intersection of materiality and the color line, focusing on the relationship between racism, consumption, and urban displacement. He is the author of Race and Affluence: An Archaeology of African America and Consumer Culture; Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut; and The Archaeology of Consumer Culture. Mullins' research has focused on urban displacement in Indianapolis, examining how a century-old, predominately African-American community was displaced and is now reconstructing its history. His scholarship has included archaeological excavations, documentary research, and oral history in Ransom Place, Flanner House Homes, the present-day IUPUI campus, and postwar African-American suburbs. The research on the history of the IUPUI campus has produced an oral history collection, The Price of Progress: IUPUI, the Color Line, and Urban Displacement, which was co-edited with community partner Glenn White. The book illuminates the legacy of urban renewal and the erasure of African-American life in the near-Westside.

During 2016-2017, Mullins, along with his Anthropology Department colleague Susan Hyatt, were named the inaugural Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellows. Their project, “Invisible Indianapolis: Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City,” examines the history and material culture in a series of Indianapolis neighborhoods that are currently effaced, ignored, or misrepresented in public discourse. The goal of the project is to use ethnographic interviews and documentary research to illuminate how otherwise “invisible” neighborhoods provide powerful insights into challenging the histories of the class, cultural, religious and racial inequalities that continue to shape our city.

Dr. Mullins work on the history and material culture of Indianapolis neighborhoods is another example of how IUPUI faculty are TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 23
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    Contexts of Time and Space
    (Indiana University, 2013-01-25) Kyrder-Reid, Elizabeth; Pierce, Richard; Mullins, Paul R.; Upton, Dell
    Panel including: Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, Introduction. Richard Pierce, “We’ve Been Trying To Tell You: African-American Protest in Indianapolis.” Paul Mullins “Racializing the City: An Archaeology of Urban Renewal and Black Indianapolis.” Dell Upton, “Dual Heritages: The New Face of White Supremacy in the Old South.”
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    Moderated Discussion
    (Indiana University, 2013-01-25) Duke, Linda; Taylor Ross, Mindy; Wilson, Fred; Doss, Erika; Cooks, Bridget; Upton, Dell; Ater, Renée; Pierce, Richard; Mullins, Paul R.
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    The Hoosier Story - Archaeology of Race
    (Awry Productions, 2022-05-26) Mullins, Paul R.; Anne, Shaw
    IUPUI Anthropology Professor Paul Mullins sits down with The Hoosier Story host, Anne Shaw, to discuss the expansion of IUPUI's campus and the historically Black neighborhood its expansion displaced. Professor Mullins also shares his research and discusses how historical archaeology can teach us about the relationship between racism and material culture.
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    The Late Medieval Church and Graveyard at Ii Hamina, Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland – Pollen and macro remains from graves
    (Universtiy of Helsinki, 2020) Trandberg, Annemari; Alenius, Teija Helena; Kallio-Seppä, T.; Philip, Buckland; Mullins, Paul R.; Ylimaunu, Timo; Anthropology, School of Liberal Arts
    The historical Ostrobothnian (Finland) burial tradition is poorly known, particularly when discussed from the environmental archaeological viewpoint. This article examines Late Medieval burial methods in Ii Hamina village using both micro- and macrofossil analyses incorporated into archaeological work. This research provides information on the continuity of burial methods that were sustained through the medieval period and into modern times. Burial tradition patterns in the Northern Ostrobothnia region exhibit widely recognised characteristics, but also contain some local features.
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    Race and the Water: Swimming, Sewers, and Structural Violence in African America
    (University of New Mexico Press, 2020) Mullins, Paul R.; Huskins, Kyle; Hyatt, Susan B.; Anthropology, School of Liberal Arts
    Violence is rampant in today’s society. From state-sanctioned violence and the brutality of war and genocide to interpersonal fighting and the ways in which social lives are structured and symbolized by and through violence, people enact terrible things on other human beings almost every day. In Archaeologies of Violence and Privilege, archaeologists Christopher N. Matthews and Bradley D. Phillippi bring together a collection of authors who document the ways in which past social formations rested on violent acts and reproduced violent social and cultural structures. The contributors present a series of archaeological case studies that range from the mercury mines of colonial Huancavelica (AD 1564–1824) to the polluted waterways of Indianapolis, Indiana, at the turn of the twentieth century—a problem that disproportionally impacted African American neighborhoods. The individual chapters in this volume collectively argue that positions of power and privilege are fully dependent on forms of violence for their existence and sustenance.
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    Public Memory, National Heritage, and Memorialization of the 1918 Finnish Civil War
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019) Seitsonen, Oula; Mullins, Paul R.; Ylimaunu, Timo; Anthropology, School of Liberal Arts
    The Finnish Civil War in 1918 left the newly independent country (1917) scarred for decades. In this paper, we assess the difficult public memory, national narrative and memorialization of the war. We take as our starting point a public crowdsourcing organized by the State-broadcasting company about the material traces of conflicts in Finland. Themes raised by the public in the crowdsourcing are used as foundation to map heritage perspectives. Special attention is paid to the memorial landscapes of the war. In the past century, the remembrance of the war has gone through several stages, from the complete denial of memorializing the defeated side and the associated clandestine remembrance practices based on folk religion, to today’s situation where the war is largely seen as a shared national tragedy. We outline the current status and importance of Civil War heritage based on public perceptions and stake out some directions for future research.
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    Using Campus Ethnography to Reveal Social Inequality
    (American Anthropological Association, 2019) Hyatt, Susan B.; Mullins, Paul R.; Anthropology, School of Liberal Arts
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    Book Review: Broken Chains and Subverted Plans: Ethnicity, Race, and Commodities
    (University of Chicago, 2018) Mullins, Paul R.; Anthropology, School of Liberal Arts
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    Medieval and Early Modern Marketplaces: Sites of Contacts, Trade and Religious Activities
    (Cambridge, 2017) Ylimaunu, Timo; Haggrén, Georg; Nurmi, Risto; Mullins, Paul R.