Commemoration and Contestation: New methodologies in archaeological heritage interpretation at the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite
Author(s): Honora Sullivan-Chin
Today, the former homeplace of William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois is a National Historic Landmark administered by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which assumed stewardship of the property in 1987 after more than seventy years of relative abandonment. Nondescript and overgrown, the space appears to be little more than a vacant parking lot and accompanying sign alongside Route 23 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Indeed, ongoing efforts to commemorate Du Bois and to interpret the archaeological heritage associated with his maternal family and longtime occupants of the Homesite, the Burghardts have been met with varying hostility, apathy, and acceptance. In this paper, I emphasize the centrality of issues of race, identity, and memory to understanding the nearly four decades of attempts by various individuals, institutions, and communities to establish the Homesite as a space of collective remembrance and commemoration on Great Barrington’s contested landscape.
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Commemoration and Contestation: New methodologies in archaeological heritage interpretation at the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite . Honora Sullivan-Chin. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428653)
min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;