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Building (in) Black and White: landscape and the creation of racial identitiy in Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Author(s): Philippa Puzey-Broomhead

Year: 2014

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Shelburne in the late eighteenth century was a community in flux. Created out of the aftermath of the American Revolutionary War, its inhabitants were a disparate group with widely differing racial, class and geographical origins and having little in common other than a connection to the British which made it impossible or undesirable for them to remain in the United States. The process through which these individuals formed themselves into a community was chaotic and often painful, exacerbated by a climate unfamiliar to many, a landscape inimical to farming, an overstretched colonial bureaucracy, and an unstable local economy. This paper draws on archaeological and historical sources to discuss how the tensions and insecurities attendant on this situation were expressed through one particular aspect of identity, discussing how existing racial divisions were reified and recreated in and through the landscape of Shelburne and its surroundings. The ways in which this process was complicated by other facets of identity - class and religion in particular - are also considered.

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Building (in) Black and White: landscape and the creation of racial identitiy in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Philippa Puzey-Broomhead. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437305)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-73,09

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