Erika Hartley

Photo of Erika Hartley
Erika Hartley
Field School Director and Curatorial Fellow
1024 Moore Hall, Mail Stop 5494
Mailing address: 
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5494
  • MA, Anthropology, Western Michigan University
  • BA, Anthropology, University of Michigan
Research interests: 
  • Archaeology of colonialism, the fur trade, and identity
  • Public archaeology and service-learning
  • Material analysis, curation, and collection-based research

Erika Hartley is an instructor for the Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies at Western Michigan University. Her research interests include historical archaeology, colonialism, the fur trade, identity, material analysis, and public archaeology.

Since 2022, Erika has been the director of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, an interdisciplinary program in community service-learning that focuses on the eighteenth-century site of Fort St. Joseph in present-day Niles, Michigan. She joined the Project in 2015 as a graduate student and focused her research on examining the architectural remains of Fort St. Joseph so that insights could be gained on the types of structures present, the techniques and materials employed in their construction, and how the fort occupants were expressing their identity through architecture. Her master’s thesis, “Archaeological Evidence of Architectural Remains at Fort St. Joseph (20BE23), Niles, MI,” can be found through ScholarWorks at WMU. From 2017-2021, she served as field director for the Project assisting with the WMU archaeological field schools, numerous research projects, and even more outreach initiatives. Through this Project and her courses, she aims to help students understand the importance of academic and community collaborative research partnerships, demonstrating how each can learn and benefit from the other.

In 2019, she was selected as the Fort St. Joseph curatorial fellow through the Niles History Center. In this capacity, she is charged with inventorying, reorganizing, and improving the accessibility and visibility of the artifacts within the Fort St. Joseph collection held in Niles, Michigan. She also assists with research requests, outreach programs, and performing research on the collection’s artifacts.