Leading Each Other to Water: Queer Archaeology and Consciousness Raising in New York’s Adirondacks
Author(s): Megan Springate
In 1903, white middle-class women founded Wiawaka Holiday House in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains for "working girls" to have an affordable vacation away from unhealthy factories and cities. In 2013 and 2014, I and dozens of community volunteers (ages 18 to 70) excavated on the grounds of the still-operating Wiawaka Holiday House (now the Wiawaka Center for Women). Underpinning all of the conversations and instruction about interpretation and excavation at the site were the queer archaeological approaches of challenging assumptions and recognizing the deeply intersectional nature of identity. For many participants, the idea of identities not being fixed characteristics was transformative, and they readily engaged with examining how gender, class, and race were (and continue to be) created and enforced, often using their own life histories as examples. In this paper, I discuss how the project was structured to facilitate these conversations; give examples of how participants (and myself) were changed by the experience; and present how the excavations at Wiawaka continue to challenge the status quo.
Cite this Record
Leading Each Other to Water: Queer Archaeology and Consciousness Raising in New York’s Adirondacks. Megan Springate. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431730)
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min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15254