The Archivist, the Archaeologist, and Feminist Questing

Author(s): Joyce Clements

Year: 2014


More than a decade ago a knowledgeable archivist wished me luck conducting documentary research on a 17th-century Christian Indian village in southeastern Massachusetts. The archivist conceded that he had failed to ‘find much’ during his research on the community. Contrary to his experiences, my questing produced considerable information on southern New England Christian Indian villages and revealed how the colonization process transformed those communities. Particularly noteworthy was evidence of the subversion of women’s sexual autonomy as well as incidents of physical violence and sexual abuse within the community. My experiences were different to those of the archivist because I asked feminist questions and read the documentary record through a gendered lens. Here, I draw from those experiences to argue that feminist questions count because they reveal the interpretive power of gendered analysis and its utility to historical archaeology in the 21st century.

Cite this Record

The Archivist, the Archaeologist, and Feminist Questing. Joyce Clements. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437188)

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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-64,03