Placemaking Within (the) Diaspora: Creating and Living Novel Landscapes and Places

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2018

This session will look at how distinctive cultural landscapes and places are created by diaspora peoples. All people, through their daily lives and ordinary/common practices, create places. This session will examine how archaeology can get at the creation of place and the relationships between people and locales. More specifically, we will discuss what those relationships look like for people who have experienced displacement, kidnapping, or other forces that caused them to leave their homeland; and how the creation of new places in turn shapes meaning, practice, and people themselves. The session offers a common ground for people at various stages of research, a forum for for cross-cultural comparison, and an opportunity to reflect on how we interpret the making and living of place. Some themes may include placemaking within borderlands, power and resistance in placemaking, and creation of places that reinforce ancestral or traditional ties.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-8 of 8)

  • Documents (8)

  • "The Awakening Came with the Railroad": The history and archaeology of Southern Oregon’s Chinese Railroad Workers (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chelsea E. Rose.

    On December 17, 1887, the final spike connecting the railroad between Oregon and California was driven in Ashland, Oregon.  Like earlier railroads, this track was largely constructed by Chinese workers.  However, due to experience and expertise, these men were able to demand better pay and working conditions than their earlier counterparts. Upon completion, the railroad continued to provide economic opportunities for Chinese residents in Southern Oregon. The Wah Chung Company supplied goods,...

  • Burying the Sons of Israel in America: Jewish Cemeteries as the Focal Point of Diasporic Community Development (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Simon Goldstone. David M Markus.

    Cemeteries are a means of tethering a community to a geographic location. Often this process of placemaking results in the development of a community comprised of a meshwork of individuals from throughout a diaspora. In the case of Jewish populations the establishment of burial grounds are often the first in creating a community that comes together as a result of outside force or lack of a homeland. The commonalities of their religion and shared experiences, both real and imagined, make the...

  • Carving out Niches for Rest and Resistance: Landscape Adaptation Writ Small at the Slave Cabins of Kingsley Plantation (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Amber J Grafft-Weiss.

    Historians and archaeologists alike have noted the structural repression imposed by the plantation landscape. The organization of spaces and various structures on plantations allowed for optimal surveillance through the establishment of clearly delineated areas suggesting prescribed labor or activity. Personal spaces associated with enslaved Africans or African Americans were often easily visible from parts of the plantation that were typically occupied by white authority figures. Archaeological...

  • Finding a Home in the Global Shtetl: The Archaeology of Jewish Placemaking in the Diaspora (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David M Markus.

    Jews in the 17th - 19th Centuries lived perpetual ‘others,’ their lives typified by displacement, often through forced exile or social and economic ostracization. These individuals exemplified life in the Diaspora, defining their experience in juxtaposition to the regions where they lived. They marked their identity as being members of a global Jewish community all the while assimilating to the societal norms of their temporary homelands. The archaeology of the Jewish communities in North...

  • Freedom in Florida: Maroons Making Do in the Colonial Borderland (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mary Elizabeth Ibarrola.

    We define Maroons by their overt resistance; theirs was one of the most extreme forms of anti-slavery resistance in the Americas and for many scholars is representative of the human desire to be free. Maroons removed themselves from the places in which they were enslaved and created new places apart from this brutal existence. However, reducing our understanding of Maroon life to a history of domination and resistance limits the scope of Maroon agency and values certain forms of action, such as...

  • A "Little Alsace" for the Lone Star State: Alsatian Migration and the Construction of Place, Narrative, and Identity on the Texas Frontier (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Patricia G. Markert.

    This paper examines placemaking and identity in the Alsatian colonies of Texas. On the eve of Texas statehood, Alsatian migrants settled lands to the west of San Antonio. Displaced or disenfranchised by the turmoil of 19th century Europe, Alsatian families, often farmers, responded to advertisements by empresarios touting free passage, land, and opportunity in a "land of milk and honey." They arrived unprepared for the harsh realities of the Texas landscape, particularly life on the Republic’s...

  • Poaching Pots and Making Places: Slavery and Ceramic Consumption in the Shenandoah Valley (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew C. Greer.

    The Shenandoah Valley, with its German / Scots-Irish heritage and its focus on small-scale mixed farming, formed a distinctive region within early 19th century Virginia. Here, unique ways of interacting with global markets emerged as residents profited off the sale of agricultural products while simultaneously choosing to purchase locally made earthenwares over imported wares, practices which reproduced local ethnic identities. However, many of the region’s White residents owed Black Virginians,...

  • Seneca Village: The Making and Un-making of a Distinctive 19th-Century Place on the Periphery of New York City (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Meredith B. Linn. Nan A. Rothschild. Diana Wall.

    In the late 1820s and in the shadow of emancipation in New York State, several African Americans purchased land in what is now Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Pushed by racial oppression and unsanitary conditions downtown and pulled by the prospects of a healthier, freer life and property ownership, they were joined by other members of the African diaspora and built an important Black middle-class community, likely active in the abolitionist movement. The city removed the villagers from their land...