Sonja Dobroski

Sonja Dobroski


Personal profile


I am a sociocultural anthropologist with expertise in settler colonial theory, material culture, and Native American studies. My research focuses on how material culture functions in settler colonial societies, paying specific attention to how power is maintained via materiality. I am interested in interlinking historical, archaeological, and anthropological methods. My work combines oral history, ethnography, museum, and archival research.

I recevied my PhD from the Unviersity of St Andrews in June 2021. Prior to this I completed a master's degree in Archaeology at the University of Oxford and a master's degree in American Indian Studies at the University of California Los Angeles.

My current research takes a comparative approach by drawing on archaeological collections from Roman Britain and Gaul to examine how settler populations in the past and the present have used the material culture of Indigenous communities. My teaching reflects my interdisciplinary background by rooting anthropological research and practice in mixed methodological and theoretical approaches. 

I am an international research collaborator on the Kone Foundation funded project, Omia, lainata, varastaa? Alkuperäiskansakulttuurien käyttö Suomessa läpi 1900-luvun (Own, Borrow, Steal?: The Appropriation of Indigenous cultures in Finland throughout the 20th Century). 


Teaching 2023/24

SOCS10111 Engaging Social Research

SOAN10352 Regional Studies of Culture: Native North America 

SOAN20830 Anthropological Theory 

SOAN30610 Dissertation Seminar 


Research interests

settler colonial theory, material culture, nationalism, semiotics, myth of the American West, Native American studies, Indigenous futurisms, museums & heritage, social history & ethnography of the Western United States. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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