The construction of archaeological practice: Sex/gender and sexuality on the fringe

Author(s): Kirsten Vacca

Year: 2017


Archaeologists have incorporated sex/gender and sexuality research in projects for decades, yet such foci have failed to become widespread as they are largely considered a specialty or niche topic. This paper first looks at why the topics in question have remained on the fringe of archaeological research. The subsequent discussion analyzes ways in which contemporary practices can counteract deeply embedded ideas about the archaeology of sex/ gender and sexuality, making this approach to the record more accessible to a larger audience. The importance of examining the social constructs in daily life is brought into focus through a discussion of Hawaiian house complexes (kauhale). An analysis of the use of space in Hawaiian kauhale uses the integration of interpretive methods to answer the following questions: How do contemporary theories and methodologies address gender and sexuality archaeologically? How can we best implement interdisciplinary work in answering questions about sex/gender and sexuality constructs? How can we better communicate the legitimacy and importance of this type of research to our colleagues and the general public? The resulting discussion aims to move sex/gender and sexuality research from a niche to mainstream topic that is considered integral to any analysis of social life in the past.

Cite this Record

The construction of archaeological practice: Sex/gender and sexuality on the fringe. Kirsten Vacca. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431396)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16753