Professor Rosenswig investigates the development of political complexity and the origins of agriculture in Mesoamerica, a cultural area that includes the southern half of Mexico and northern country of Central America. At its most basic level, his research asks: how did our stratified world evolve from the egalitarian hunter-gatherers that constitute most of human history?
Professor Rosenswig received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2005 and began teaching at UAlbany for the 2006/2007 academic year after holding a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Montreal. Results from his dissertation research in the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico have been published in numerous journal articles and, in January 2010, his book The Beginnings of Mesoamerican Civilization: Inter-Regional Interaction and the Olmecwas published by Cambridge University Press. In this book, Dr. Rosenswig proposes that we understand Early Formative (1600-900 BCE) Mesoamerica as an archipelago of complex societies that interacted with one another over long distances and that were separated by less sedentary peoples.