Academic and Professional Portfolio


Praise for Choctaw-Apache Foodways

Choctaw-Apache Foodways explores the rich and complex food history and culture of the Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb in western Louisiana. The book is published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press and distributed by Texas A&M Press/ Texas Book Consortium. The publication was made possible in part by a publications grant from the Cane River National Heritage Area. The book is available online at , at Barnes and Noble, or from Texas A&M Press/Texas book consortium.


Choctaw-Apache Foodways provides a fascinating look at the distinctive history, culture, and foods of one of Louisiana’s Native peoples.  Robert Caldwell seamlessly incorporates his tribe’s culinary traditions within an absorbing ethnohistorical narrative that feeds your intellectual hunger, but leaves you craving some of that delicious food.  Luckily, there are recipes included—for food and for food sovereignty. -Brian Klopotek, author of Recognition Odysseys: Indigeneity, Race, and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities

Robert Caldwell’s book Choctaw-Apache Foodways fills in a gap in the documentation of Louisiana traditional cultures. From the garden to the table, it explores the importance of foodways as an ethnic marker for this cultural enclave.       -Maida Owens, Louisiana Folklife Program Director.

Robert Caldwell offers an insightful and delightful look at how foodways have dynamically contributed to survival and identity among the Choctaw-Apache people of Louisiana.  In a book written both to serve his own community and to inform a wider readership, he also demonstrates what can be achieved when comprehensive research methods of the scholar are skillfully blended with personal experiences and connections of the insider.  – Daniel H. Usner, Vanderbilt University.

ISBN-13: 978-1622880997

Welcome to my portfolio

Robert Caldwell is a student in the Transatlantic History Doctoral Program at the University of Texas at Arlington.

His academic interests include American Indian studies, history of cartography, ethnohistory, political economy, foodways, colonialism and imperialism, labor and working-class history, socio-cultural theory, cultural diffusion, religious studies and aesthetics; borderlands and frontiers, global labor migration, ethnicity and labor market segmentation, South Asia, the Czech Republic and Central Europe.

For more details about Mr. Caldwell, see the ABOUT section of this portfolio. Thank you for visiting.

UT Arlington U.T. Arlington Robert Caldwell Robert B. Caldwell, Jr. University of Texas at Arlington UT Arlington U.T. Arlington Transatlantic History UT Arlington Robert Caldwell U.T. Arlington UT Arlington  Robert Caldwell

Museums and Sites Interpretation

Los Adaes

Los Adaes was the capital of Spanish Tejas on the northeastern frontier of New Spain from 1729 to 1770. It included a mission, San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes, and a presidio, Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Los Adaes.

As part of a previous summer internship with the Cane River National Heritage Area, I performed personal on-site interpretation at the visitors center and on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark site. I am in the process of creating a web portal to consolidate existing electronic resources on Los Adaes.

Above, right: extemporaneous interpretation at Los Adaes visitors center during geophysical investigations, Summer 2010

Williamson Museum

The Williamson Museum, located on Northwestern State University campus, includes a large collection of colonial and prehistoric pottery from northern and central Louisiana. Most notably, the museum houses the artifact collection for the Los Adaes archaeological site and the Clarence H. Webb collection of  prehistoric Caddoan archaeological sequence in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is also a state and federal repository for archaeological collections for the region. The ethnological collection efforts have concentrated on baskets and other crafts of the southeastern tribes.

I currently serve as docent under the direction of Hiram F. “Pete” Gregory on an as-needed basis. In addition to welcoming visitors, I participate in interpretive planning and exhibition development, cataloging  collections and curating artifacts.

New Orleans Neighborhoods

As a former resident of the Bywater, Marigny, and Mid City communities, and a student at the University of New Orleans,  I am familiar with the history and geomorphology of the Greater New Orleans Region. I have led numerous informal walking tours to all downtown neighborhoods and cemeteries using the Preservation Resource Center’s neighborhood brochures:

French Quarter

Faubourg Tremé

Faubourg Marigny


St. Roch

New Marigny

Ethnography & Oral History

My project-thesis “Choctaw-Apache Foodways” depends on ethnographic fieldwork and oral history among the Choctaw-Apache of Ebarb community.

Gourds drying

Pepper Soup and Biscuits

Mr. Dick Sepulvado making tamales

I have written short, unpublished ethnographic papers on the following:

– Czech Cowboy culture

-Archaeologists and their relationship to the descendants of the people they study

-Native born American Buddhists

-Islamophobia in France, U.K., and Germany: What about the Czech Republic?

-French Market of New Orleans: A case of Continuity or Adaptive Reuse?

-Theravada Buddhism and Ethnic Identity in Texas

My hope is to continue researching the intersections of food and culture. I plan on writing a short article on the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta and ethnic identity in Sabine Parish. I have a research plan on a book on the relationship between grits and culture in the U.S. South, tentatively entitled, “How d’ you take your grits?”

I follow the ethical standards of the American Anthropology Association requiring informed consent, and the practices embodied in the Principles and Best Practices of the Oral History Association and the follow University requirements for Oral History under Human Subjects Institutional Review Board.


Archeology is not my specialty, but I have always been drawn to the discipline.  I am comfortable cataloguing  collections and curating artifacts. I have done  limited fieldwork as a crew member or volunteer at the direction of experienced archaeologists. I am not afraid to get dirty. I have the ability to read field maps and complete  field documentation and site maps.  I have a particular interest in NAGPRA repatriation.


2010. Presidio Nuestra Señora del Pilar de los Adaes (16NA16). I coordinated volunteers doing wet screening, bagging and labeling of artifacts.

1998. Public Archeaology in the Treme (16OR148). I participated with excavation and dry screening.

Lab & Curation

2010.  Graduate Assistant, Williamson Museum under direction of Hiram F. “Pete” Gregory. Curating and inventory of  Williamson Museum’s permanent collections.

1999. Student summer curator for the Greater New Orleans Archaeology Program under guidance of Christopher N. Matthews. Sorting, labeling, photographing artifacs and assisting with editing archaeological reports.

Theory and Additional Skills

In Fall 2009 I  had a refresher on mapping, shovel testing, grid graphing, and the use of geophysical testing and GPS systems with Dr. Tommy Haley at Ft. Jesup archaeological site as part of his methods course. Also as part of this course I completed an archaeological proposal, “Rediscovering Willow Plantation” based on archival research and lidar maps.

Interpretation of Archaeological Reports

I am comfortable reading archaeological reports and integrating  archaeological data into my research projects.

Rediscovering old connections: Nacogdoches, Tx

A Summer 2010 trip to Nacogdoches to do research on descendants of Los Adaes brought me to the East Texas Research Center where I met with Peggy Jasso, a Texas genealogist specializing in old Spanish and mestizo families.I searched land records and poured through old Spanish documents translated in the E.B. Blake Collection.


I visited  rural communities and a number the older cemeteries.  In the course of visiting these communities with Dr. George Avery, an archaeologist at Stephen F. Austin University, we had the pleasure of meeting good contacts for follow up ethnographic fieldwork regarding life along the old  El Camino Real. Dr. Avery introduced me to the pre-historic and historic archaeology of the area. Before returning home, I  saw Old Stone Fort, Mission Delores and stopped for inspiration at  El Lobanillo, the site of Gil Ybarbo’s ranch on the Texas side of the Sabine River.