Profile on Joyce White

Archaeologist Joyce White. Source: Wall Street Journal 20160510

A Wall Street Journal article on people who changed career paths features one of our own, Joyce White of the Institute of Southeast Asian Archaeology!

Archaeologist Joyce White. Source: Wall Street Journal 20160510
Archaeologist Joyce White. Source: Wall Street Journal 20160510

When You’re Called to Your Life’s Work
Wall Street Journal, 10 May 2016

Joyce White was an atheist as a graduate student and intent on being an archaeologist in Europe, something she decided when she was about 15 and saw cemetery excavations at medieval churches in England.

During a slide presentation of a professor’s excavation in Thailand, one image captivated her for reasons she still can’t quite explain. The photo was of a field he crossed en route to the site. Pack animals carrying his equipment rested in the field, which ended in a dark tropical forest.

“It was a vivid experience. I saw myself in that slide,” she says. “There was a compelling aesthetic draw of some sort.” She abandoned plans to work in Europe in favor of Southeast Asia. It was a leap. Her professor discouraged her, citing huge cultural and physical obstacles for a woman archaeologist in Thailand.

Full story here.

Related Posts

Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *