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Professor Emeritus

Email: crumley(@)



Le Chatelot
149 Route du Mont Dardon
71130 Uxeau



Area of Interest:

Epistemology of complex adaptive systems, especially as regards human societies; “Two Cultures” (science/humanities) problems in inter- and transdisciplinary research; integrated global- to local-scale historical ecology; historic and future climate change; evolution of landscapes and regional planning; social inequality; heterarchy; social memory


B.A. (1966) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), in anthropology, minors in geology and classics.

M.A. (1967) University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada), in archaeology. Thesis title: The Kantzler Site: A Multicomponent Manifestation of the Woodland Pattern. Advisor: Richard S. MacNeish. Thesis published, 1973.

Ph.D. (1972) University of Wisconsin (Madison), in anthropology, minor in ecology. Dissertation title: Celtic Social Structure: The Generation of Archaeologically Testable Hypotheses from Literary Evidence. Advisor: Chester S. Chard. Dissertation published, 1974.

Professional Background:

Current Affiliations:

Research Director, Integrated History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE)
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Professor Emerita, Centre for Biodiversity, Swedish Agricultural University (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden

Research & Activities:

My first work in anthropology was in museology and Native North American archaeology and ethnohistory, with fieldwork in the Great Lakes region. My doctoral work and subsequent research and fieldwork in Europe reflect a keen interest in the diversity of societies’ sociopolitical configurations and governance.

I have theoretical interests in dialectical and community-based approaches to human/environment relations, and in using historical ecology to formulate regional plans that can mitigate climate change. I continue to expand my work in heterarchy, a critique of hierarchy that calls attention to viable alternatives to top-down governance, with the added advantage of being more responsive to environmental constraints.

Europe (especially France) offers a particularly rich archaeological, environmental, and ethnographic resource, and I concentrate research efforts there. My pan-European interests are in landscape history, the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, European efforts to preserve cultural heritage, and the importance of regional-scale approaches to sustainable urbanism. In 2011 I received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and the Wahlberg Gold Medal from the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography.

A focus for my work in Europe is as Executive Director of the Integrated History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE), a global network of researchers and research projects using integrative frameworks to study human and Earth system history and our species’ future. IHOPE’s long-term, human-scale, complex systems perspective unites Earth system science with the social sciences, the humanities, and communities of practice. The IHOPE project office is hosted by Uppsala University in Sweden. Visit IHOPE here:

With colleagues at the Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala, we published Issues and Concepts in Historical Ecology: The Past and Future of Landscapes and Regions in 2018 with Cambridge University Press. I am Co-editor (with William Balée) of the Routledge series Frontiers in Historical Ecology. In 2021, edited together with John T. Murphy, we will publish If the Past Teaches, What does the Future Learn? Ancient Urban Regions and the Durable Future, in the Research in Urbanism Series, Delft (NL) School of Architecture.