Archaeologies of Diaspora and Dispersal

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2018

Innovative theoretical, methodological, and interpretive approaches to archaeologies of diaspora and dispersal have gained considerable recognition in recent years. This session examines a variety of lived experiences related to forced exile, flight, exclusion and deportation, (re)settlement, globalization and transnationalism, deterritorialization, colonialist and imperialist dislocation, labor and trade motivated migration, and other kinds of movement and dispersal. Discussion will center around a comparison of sites associated with various communities including (but not limited to): African-American, Chinese, Caribbean, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Irish, and Portuguese populations. Participants will address slippages between various kinds of dispersal as a means of broadening our understandings of diasporic events. Further, the session will address shifts in modes of thinking about homogenization, constructions of home, collective memory/consciousness, marginalization, and systems of oppression.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-11 of 11)

  • Documents (11)

  • Between Continents, Between Cities: Chinese Diaspora Archaeology in Stanford, California (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher Lowman.

    Archaeology of the nineteenth century Chinese diaspora in the western United States has revealed networks of travel and trade between urban centers and rural living sites on both sides of the Pacific. Examining sites located between urban and rural settings highlights the frequent trade and travel made by individuals between dispersed communities. A combination of oral history and archaeology uncovers the ties between a late nineteenth-century Chinese community at Stanford, California, to...

  • Black Women and Post-Emancipation Diaspora: A Community of Army Laundresses at Fort Davis, Texas (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Katrina C. L. Eichner.

    This paper investigates the role black women at U.S. military forts took in post emancipation diasporic events and movement. Using materials related daily life at a late 19th century, multi-ethnoracial, Indian Wars military fort in Fort Davis, Texas, I show how army laundresses acted as cultural brokers, navigating often contentious social and physical landscapes. With their identity as citizens, women, care-takers, employees, and racialized individuals constantly in flux, these women balanced...

  • Casting a Net into the Chinese Diaspora of the Bay Area (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Laurie A. Wilkie.

    Until recently, the archaeology of Chinese immigrants and their descendants has been under-theorized and too often, consciously/unconsciously shaped by contemporary racialized discourses.  In this paper, following the lead of historical archaeologist Kelly Fong, this paper will draw upon bodies of theorizing developed in the fields of Ethnic and Critical Race studies to examine the experiences of diaspora among a community of Chinese and Chinese American shrimp fishermen who worked the waters of...

  • Colonial Impact on Kanaka Maoli Diaspora and Dispersal (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kirsten Vacca.

    Hawaiians were historically a mobile population. Their Polynesian ancestors crossed the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean to settle the Hawaiian archipelago, and the Kanaka Maoli descendants that worked and lived on the land continued this diasporic tradition. By the 17th century, Kanaka Maoli lived in or utilized the many varied ecosystems available to them. Within the moku political districts, the Kanaka Maoli remained highly mobile—moving between the highlands and the lowlands for resources....

  • Corkonians And Fardowners: Irish Activity And Identity In The Rural American South, 1850-1860 (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Amanda B Johnson.

    During the 1850s, the Blue Ridge Mountain Railroad Company recruited 2,000 Irish immigrants to work an area 20 miles west of Charlottesville, Virginia, carving out tunnels and cuts for an emerging rail line. The grueling and dangerous work transformed the physical landscape and turned a transient immigrant population into a vibrant semi-settled community. This paper explores the identities of the two groups of Irish laborers involved with the construction of the Blue Ridge Railroad Tunnel, the...

  • Cultural Landscapes in Exodus: The Natchez Fort in Central Louisiana (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David J Watt.

    This paper considers the Natchez, who in the mid-1700s, were disconnected from their traditional homeland in Western Mississippi. The Natchez shielded their community from the French in an ancestral landscape that is critical to understanding the processes of change and creation of place and cultural landscapes at the Natchez Fort site. The location of the fort in a well defended region was key for seclusion and military defense. But this tactical decision to entrench themselves on the bluffs...

  • Growing the Scorched Ground Green: Confronting the Past and Looking Towards the Future of California’s Ecology (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Shauna M. Mundt.

    In the last several years the topic of Native American land use and land rights has gained renewed interest in academic, political, and public discourse. This paper explores how late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century Euro-American discourse about the preservation and conservation of nature led to the creation of National Parks at the expense of the indigenous groups who inhabited it. Focusing primarily on California Indians, I examine historical, theoretical, and archaeological data...

  • "I Don't Know Where I'm a-Gonna Go When the Volcano Blow": Resettlement, Diaspora, and the Landscapes of Montserrat’s Volcanic Exclusion Zone (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Miriam A. W. Rothenberg.

    On July 18th, 1995, after centuries of relative quiet, Montserrat's Soufrière Hills volcano suddenly and violently sprang to life. The months that followed saw a series of evacuations of the southern portions of the island due to the volcanic threat, rendering this landscape—including the capital town of Plymouth—an abandoned 'Exclusion Zone'. By 2000, the majority of the island's population had left more or less permanently, many for the United Kingdom. Those who stayed faced the challenge of...

  • Immigration and Transformation in Central California: A Case Study from the Samuel Adams Limekiln Complex, Santa Cruz County, California (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David G. Hyde.

    The mid- to late-nineteenth century in California was marked by rapid and dramatic technological, economic, and social change. These transformations were spurred largely by the substantial influx of multiple diasporic communities from across the globe, being both pushed and pulled to the state by various factors. As a result, from their origin, many industries, places, and communities were multi-ethnic, with internal social and labor divisions being based on complex, fluid, and historically...

  • Sympathy For The Loss of a Comrade": Black Citizenship And The 1873 Fort Stockton "Mutiny (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nicholas J Eskow.

    In the 19th century, white elites saw African American literacy as a dangerous tool that would allow black communities to make claims for equality. This was certainly the case in 1873, when the majority of the Black Regulars at Fort Stockton, Texas organized and signed a petition calling for the formal censure of the post surgeon, arguing that the recent death of a fellow soldier was due to the doctor’s intentional and malicious neglect. As a result of this attempt to seek justice through...

  • The Weimar Joint Sanatorium: Memory, Movement, and Access (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alyssa R Scott.

    The towns of Colfax and Weimar in Placer County, California, were once the location of seven different tuberculosis sanatoriums, both privately-operated and government-operated. The Weimar Joint Sanatorium had patients from fifteen counties in California, and operated in collaboration with six nearby, privately owned sanatoriums. During the Vietnam War, the buildings and landscape housed Vietnamese refugees, and today it is used is a religious health institute. This paper explores memory and...