The Personal is Political: Feminist research and the importance of exploring gendered experiences of the past and present
Author(s): Kim Christensen
While the Second Wave feminist saying ‘The Personal is Political’ may appear cliché, it nonetheless highlights the recursive nature of individual, microscale experience and macroscale cultural trends. In this paper, I discuss how I came to study the domestic contexts of female reformers that strove to change the gendered and racialized landscapes of late nineteenth and early twentieth century America, seeking linkages between the domestic and the political. In the process of conducting such research my own engendered experience changed through becoming a mother, which lent new appreciation to my research subjects’ historical efforts and drove home the significance of understanding gendered experience in the past for our interpretive ends. Ultimately, approaching household archaeology from a feminist standpoint has allowed me a greater understanding of the significance of gendered experience ‘ of both men and women ‘ in coming to an empirically adequate understanding of the past.
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The Personal is Political: Feminist research and the importance of exploring gendered experiences of the past and present. Kim Christensen. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437191)