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The 1839 Parker Academy: On the Frontier of Transformative Resistance and Social Justice

Author(s): Peggy Brunache ; Sharyn Jones

Year: 2017

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The Parker Academy, founded in 1839 in southern Ohio, was the first secondary school in the country to house multiracial, coeducational classrooms. Furthermore, several primary sources suggest it was also a participatory component of the Underground Railroad network. This paper highlights our findings of recent excavations and continuing archival research to explore how the school was a site of everyday resistance under a framework of transformative change through education for a multi-racial community. With the ideology of the Academy founded on anti-racism and gender inequality resistance, this paper also explores various objects of material culture that were created, modified, and utilized by the people (students, teachers, and family members) at the Parker Academy which may symbolize this space as one of resistance. Finally, the paper addresses the broader implications of our work for activism and how historical archaeology may be utilized as a tool for social justice today.


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The 1839 Parker Academy: On the Frontier of Transformative Resistance and Social Justice. Peggy Brunache, Sharyn Jones. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435402)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 280

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America