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Queering the Heteronormal: Memorial Practices in the Historic Cemeteries of Erie County, Pennsylvania

Author(s): Lisa A Iadanza ; Mary Ann Owoc

Year: 2017

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This project determined, using a Queer Theory approach, to what extent burial pattern, grave marker, and accompanying text and images reflected and reproduced presumed dominant heteronormative ideologies. Grave marker styles and text have highlighted the constant change in familial ideologies from the colonial period to the present. Burial and marker attributes from over 4,000 adults in cemeteries in Erie County, PA between 1880-2015 were recorded and examined. The results indicate that the heteronormative has competed with other ideologies over time and, that different attribute categories uphold the heteronormative at different times and to different extents. After 1980 it appears that individuals have sought to make multiple statements about personhood beyond the heteronormative. This study presents a challenge, via material cultural analysis, to the long held belief in the exclusive dominance of a heteronormative in America, and expands Queer Theory discourse beyond LGBTQ critiques.

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Queering the Heteronormal: Memorial Practices in the Historic Cemeteries of Erie County, Pennsylvania. Lisa A Iadanza, Mary Ann Owoc. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435447)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 435

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