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Mothers, Daughters, and Sisters: Thinking About Same-sex Familial Relationships and Resistance to Racism

Author(s): Teresa Dujnic Bulger

Year: 2014

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Summary

This paper will focus on rethinking how we consider family as part of the apparatus for combatting racism in 19th-century New England. This institution has been documented as a vital force for the survival of African American men and women who faced racial hostility throughout the United States, in both enslaved and free contexts. Inspired by black feminist theorists such as E.F. White and Gloria Joseph, this paper asks how same-sex relationships within families contributed to the strength of this institution. In what ways were female same-sex relationships between mothers and daughters, mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, and between sisters fostered through the material world in everyday domestic settings? How did these relationships help to reiterate or change family structure? How did women use these connections to combat ideologies of racial inequality? This paper takes as a case study the women of the multigenerational family that lived at the Seneca Boston-Florence Higginbotham House on Nantucket in the early-mid 19th century.


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Mothers, Daughters, and Sisters: Thinking About Same-sex Familial Relationships and Resistance to Racism. Teresa Dujnic Bulger. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436913)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-37,05

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