Schoolhouse Rock! 400 Years of Race, Gender, and Class in Boston Area Educational Institutions

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2018

This symposium examines five school sites in the Boston area spanning nearly 400 years of active use: Boston Latin School (1635), Harvard College (1636), The African School on Nantucket (1827), The Abiel Smith School (1835), and The Dorchester Industrial School for Girls (1859). These regulated educational institutions provide ideal opportunities to study issues of race, class, gender, identity, and agency through the lens of a community’s youth. This session combines recent analysis of newly excavated sites as well as re-analysis of sites that were excavated decades ago. Archaeology provides valuable insight into the lives of children who often are deliberetely absent from the historic record. Additionally, presenters will explore the intersectionality of these individual institutions as they overlap in time, educational goals, and the communities they served.


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