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Contributions of Marjorie F. Lambert to Southwest Archaeology – Shelby Tisdale

September 18, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm MST


CHOOSE HOW YOU WILL ATTEND Join us in person University of Arizona Environmental Resources Bldg. # 2  Room 107, Agnese Nelms Haury Lecture Hall, 1064 E Lowell St, Tucson, AZ 85719  No registration is required 

Parking is easy!  The 6th Street Parking Garage is right next to ENR2 on the east. There is also a surface lot just across 6th Street from ENR2.  (See Map)

Join By Zoom Registration is Required through the following link: 

In the first half of the twentieth century, the canyons and mesas of the Southwest beckoned and the burgeoning field of archaeology thrived. Among those who heeded the call, Marjorie Ferguson Lambert became one of only a handful of women who not only left their imprint on the study of southwestern archaeology and anthropology but flourished. Award-winning author, Dr. Shelby Tisdale, will present a lecture on the contributions Marjorie F. Lambert made to the early development of southwest archaeology based on her new book No Place for a Lady: The Life Story of Archaeologist Marjorie F. Lambert (The University of Arizona Press 2023). Through this brief biographical sketch, you will gain insight into a time when there were few women establishing full-time careers in anthropology, archaeology, or museums. Dr. Tisdale will take us on a thought-provoking journey into how Lambert created a successful and satisfying professional career and personal life in a place she loved (the American Southwest) while doing what she loved.  After spending time in the University of New Mexico/School of American Research archaeology field schools she became the supervisor of several archaeological projects and ran her own field school before becoming one of the first women to become a curator of archaeology in a major southwest museum. She was known for her collaborative work with Native Americans and her meticulous fieldwork techniques. In addition to archaeology, Lambert was interested in the history and ethnology of the Southwest.  Through Lambert’s life story we gain new insight into the intricacies and politics involved in the development of archaeology and museums in New Mexico and the greater Southwest. We also learn about the obstacles that young women had to maneuver around in the early years of the development of southwest archaeology as a profession. Tisdale brings into focus one of the long-neglected voices of women in the intellectual history of anthropology and archaeology and highlights how gender roles played out in the past in determining the career paths of young women. Women’s voices have long been absent throughout history, and Marjorie Lambert’s story adds to the growing literature on feminist archaeology.

Dr. Shelby Tisdale, retired Director of the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, has over forty years of combined experience in museum administration; anthropological, tribal museum and cultural resource management consulting; and university teaching. She is the former Director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos. She also served as the Vice President of Curatorial and Exhibitions at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles. Dr. Tisdale received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1997. Her B.A. is from the University of Colorado-Boulder where she studied anthropology and southwestern archaeology, and her M.A. is from the University of Washington where she majored in social anthropology and museum studies.  

She has curated numerous exhibitions on Native American and Hispano arts, culture and history. Dr. Tisdale has published forty-five articles and book chapters relating to American Indian art and culture, repatriation, and women in the West. She contributed to and directed the publication of the Oklahoma Book Award-winning Woven Worlds: Basketry from the Clark Field Collection, for the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma (2001). Her book, Fine Indian Jewelry of the Southwest: The Millicent Rogers Museum Collection (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2006) received the Ralph Emerson Twitchell Book Award from the Historical Society of New Mexico and the Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association.  She edited Spider Woman’s Gift: Nineteenth Century Diné Textiles (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2011). Her book, Pablita Velarde: In Her Own Words (Little Standing Spruce Publishing, 2012), is a full-length biography of this famous American Indian painter. She recently edited Federico: One Man’s Remarkable Journey from Tututepec to L.A. by Federico Jimenez Caballero (University of Arizona Press, 2021), which received an Honorable Mention for Non-Fiction Biography in English from the International Latino Book Awards in 2021. Her most recent book, No Place for a Lady: The Life Story of Marjorie F. Lambert, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2023.

She currently calls Tucson, Arizona her home. 



September 18, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm MST
Event Category:


University of Arizona ENR2 Room 107, 1064 E Lowell St, Tucson
1064 E Lowell St.
Tucson, AZ United States


Fran Maiuri