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Modernity and Community Change in Lattimer No. 2: the American 20th Century seen through the archaeology of a Pennsylvania Anthracite shanty town

Author(s): Michael Roller

Year: 2014

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Summary

The shanty town of Lattimer No. 2, in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeast Pennsylvania, began as an ephemeral settlement of new immigrant workers. Italian families coming to the US between about 1880 and 1900 created a community on the periphery of a company town. The 20th century brought changes in identities, wrought in material ways. Giorgio Agamben proposes that the dominant paradigm of modernist biopolitics is that of ‘the camp’, a paradoxical space in which individuals exist within ‘a constant state of exception’. Today this landscape is no longer material, but an ideological notion in which ‘law and fact’ have become indistinguishable’. The archaeology at Lattimer No. 2, viewed through the long duration of the 20th century, illuminates this formation in the intersection of materiality and ideology, law and identity and boundaries and difference. In short, the implications of modernity can be understood through the microhistory of this place.


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Modernity and Community Change in Lattimer No. 2: the American 20th Century seen through the archaeology of a Pennsylvania Anthracite shanty town. Michael Roller. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437121)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-58,07

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