Véronique Bélisle

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Véronique Bélisle serves as an Associate Professor of Anthropology and as the Director of International Education at Millsaps College.

Contact Me


Associate Professor of Anthropology
Director of International Education

I am an anthropological archaeologist interested in ancient state expansion. My work takes place in the Cusco region of southern Peru, where I examine the expansion of the Wari state (600-1000 CE). While top-down models continue to shape our thinking on state expansion by encouraging scenarios of profound local change and the loss of autonomy, my research adopts a bottom-up approach to investigate the degree of penetration of early states into the affairs of local communities. I center the discussion of colonization on the populations who met with state colonists and on the nature of the encounters between the two groups. Using a combination of large-scale excavations and regional systematic surveys, I document how local communities experienced colonial presence and how they co-existed in symbiotic and complex ways with expanding polities. My research therefore engages in debates on the intersection of state power and local agency. I work closely with Peruvian archaeologists, students and community members in all steps of my projects. I have published the results of my research in journals and edited volumes in English and Spanish, and I am currently working on a book on Wari state impact in Cusco.


  • B.S. Université de Montréal
  • M.S. Université de Montréal
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan


  • Archaeology
  • States
  • Empires
  • Colonialism
  • Household archaeology
  • Political economy
  • Social inequality
  • Exchange
  • Latin America
  • Andes, Peru