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John K. Chance
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1974

SHESC Themes: Global Dynamics and Regional Interactions

Field specializations: early states, ethnohistory, political economy, sociocultural anthropology

Regional focus: Mesoamerica


Professor John K. Chance is a cultural anthropologist and ethnohistorian. He received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania (1967) and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1974). He has been at ASU since 1987, having taught previously at Lawrence University, the University of Denver, the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His teaching interests include the history of anthropological theory, anthropological approaches to political economy, social inequality, and the ethnography and ethnohistory of Mesoamerica, especially Mexico. His research concerns the place of the Indian in colonial Mexico (1519-1821), and he has worked in a variety of civil and church archives in Mexico and Spain.

Chance has conducted major research projects on race and class in the colonial city of Oaxaca; colonial Zapotec, Chinantec, and Mixe villages of Oaxaca’s northern sierra; and the native nobility of the colonial Nahua town of Santiago Tecali in the Valley of Puebla. His current work focuses on the status of the colonial Mixtec nobility in the states of Oaxaca and Puebla. His work has been funded by the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and most recently by the Fulbright-Hays program of the U.S. Department of Education. He served as President of the American Society for Ethnohistory in 1994-1995 and as Chair of the Department of Anthropology at ASU in 1999-2003.

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Select Publications
Chance, John K. (1978)
Race and Class in Colonial Oaxaca. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Chance, John K. (1989)
Conquest of the Sierra: Spaniards and Indians in Colonial Oaxaca. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Chance, John K. (1996)
"The Barrios of Colonial Tecali: Patronage, Kinship, and Territorial Relations in a Central Mexican Community," Ethnology 35(2):107-39.

Chance, John K. (1996)
"The Caciques of Tecali: Class and Ethnic Identity in Late Colonial Mexico," Hispanic American Historical Review 76(3):475-502.

Chance, John K. (1996)
"Mesoamerica's Ethnographic Past," Ethnohistory 43(3):379-403.

Chance, John K. (2000)
"The Noble House in Colonial Puebla, Mexico: Descent, Inheritance, and the Nahua Tradition." American Anthropologist 102(3):485-502.

Chance, John K. (2003)
"Haciendas, Ranchos, and Indian Towns: A Case from the Late Colonial Valley of Puebla," Ethnohistory 50(1):15-45.

Chance, John K. (1977)
"Estate and Class in a Colonial City: Oaxaca in 1792," Comparative Studies in Society and History 19(4): 454-87.

Chance, John K. (1985)
"Cofradías and Cargos: An Historical Perspective on the Mesoamerican Civil-Religious Hierarchy," American Ethnologist 12(1): 1-26.

Contact: John K. Chance