Queering Historical Archaeology: Methods, Theory, and Practice

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  • Documents (9)

  • All The Single Ladies: Queering Race In The 19th Century Through The Materiality of African-American Female-Headed Households (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Laurie A. Wilkie. Annelise E. Morris.

    Unspoken in discussions of heteronormativity is not only the assumption that couples are straight, but also that they are white and middle class. Thus, by definition. as non-heteronormative households, black families can be considered queer. In this paper, we explore the ways that queer theory offers new intellectual opportunities and frameworks to explore archaeologies of race and racialization. Using case studies from 19th century Louisiana and Illinois, we will examine the households and...

  • Blurred Lines: Queering the divide between pre-historic and historic archaeology (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kirsten Vacca.

    The infamous divide between historic and pre-historic archaeology in the North American tradition often rests on the introduction of written texts or the arrival of Europeans to a region. With the division comes methodology that is considered acceptable by each group. Well-renowned archaeologists have discussed this divide in detail, yet we continue to maintain the boundaries due to lack of implementation of new theoretical/methodological paradigms. This paper discusses the queering of...

  • Feeling Queer(ed) (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ann E. Danis.

    Is sensory archaeology queer archaeology? This paper uses examples from the historic archaeology of confinement and enculturation to explore the potential of a sensory approach as a queer methodology. The primacy of vision has been challenged by both sensory archaeologists and queer theorists, and both acknowledge a multiplicity and fluidity of the senses. Envisioning a multi-sensorial subject allows archaeologists to approach the queerness of individual and group experience outside the confines...

  • Making Women: Gender, Sexuality, and Class at an Early Twentieth Century Women’s Retreat (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Megan Springate.

    The intimacy of guest artifacts like toiletries, cosmetics, and corset hooks from an early twentieth century privy deposit are compared with the contemporary assemblage recovered from the yard of the male caretaker of a women’s retreat located on the shores of Lake George, New York. Founded in 1903, Wiawaka Holiday House provided affordable vacations for "Girl Guests" (single women who worked in the garment factories around nearby Albany) free from the potentially corrupting presence of men....

  • A Multiplicity of Voices: Towards a Queer Field School Pedagogy (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Erin C. Rodriguez.

    A queer theory inspired perspective is valuable not only for broadening the scope of archaeological interpretation and our understanding of past lived experiences, but also for informing an archaeological pedagogy which expands the diversity of authoritative viewpoints in the discipline. Field schools, as one of the most central aspects of archaeological training, have the potential to either reaffirm heteronormative structures which obscure non-conforming persons and viewpoints or to promote...

  • Queer Animacies: Disorienting Materialities in Archaeology (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jamie Arjona.

      This essay draws from contemporary strands of affect and materiality in queer theory to discuss a network of queer animacies in the historic record.  Using examples of late 19th and early 20th century jook joints , I explore a range of affective material relationships that threaten heteronormative ideals.  This attempts to move beyond privileging sexual acts and orientations as defining queerness, towards a queer historical framework attuned to the vast network of human and material...

  • Queering the Household Group: Challenging the Boundaries of an Archaeological Unit (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David G. Hyde.

    The use of queer theory in archaeology aims to challenge static social structures. This paper focuses on how traditional assumptions of family and the household can be problematized through an investigation of non-household ‘households’ – such as saloons and other non-domestic residential spaces. In deconstructing the family, queer theory has elucidated the Western and modern biases that underlie the traditional definition of this social group. By challenging normative social constructions of...

  • Queering the Norm: Reinterpreting the Heterosexual Ideal (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Katrina C. L. Eichner.

    This paper aims to problematize the concept of heteronormativity through a queer perspective. Too often, heterosexuality is posited as a universal norm against which queer identities can be examined. Through a look at archaeological deposits associated with heterosexual relationships and practices - such as courtship, marriage, and prostitution- this discussion queers the 'normalness' of heterosexuality by showing that an ideal heterosexuality is rarely, if ever, truly performed. Using examples...

  • Queerness is for White People: The Effects of the Idea of African American Sexual Deviancy among 19th Century Buffalo Soldiers (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Naphtalie Jeanty.

    This paper investigates male identified homosociality within black communities by tracing male relationships within 19th century gendered labor spaces. Using examples from Fort Davis, Texas, this study analyzes Buffalo Soldier troops stationed there from 1867-1891. A queer perspective allows this research to focus on the bonds and relationships amongst African American soldiers that do not subscribe to traditional heteronormative practice. Because so often these relationships are obscured within...