Sarah Milledge Nelson '53

Alumnae Achievement Awards 2011

Sarah Milledge Nelson '53


Sarah Milledge Nelson '53 a distinguished scholar and pioneer in the study of gender in archaeology. She is an expert in a rare area of regional archaeology, having done pioneering work in Korea and northeast China where she has produced path-breaking fieldwork and original academic studies. She has authored nine books, edited 13 books, and altogether has approximately 150 publications. Her work led the way for the creation of the first texts on gender theory as it applied to archaeology. For example, her book Gender in Archaeology, Analyzing Power and Prestige is currently used by Wellesley’s anthropology department. Throughout her career, Sarah has supported the work of scholars. She was on the faculty of the University of Denver for 30 years where she was chair of the Department of Anthropology, Vice Provost for Research, Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research, Chair of Women’s Studies. In addition, Sarah was named John Evans Distinguished Professor at the University of Denver, the university’s most prestigious academic honor. She is considered a formidable, respected scholar who has contributed greatly to her field. She was also President of the Society for East Asian Archaeology. Sarah is an important role model for students who struggle with the work/life balance. Sarah followed her army physician husband around the world and then returned to graduate school a full decade after graduation, earning her Ph.D. by her 20th reunion.

Sarah was a biblical history major at Wellesley and then earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.


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