Smoke and Spirit: Exploring Bodily and Sensual Concerns at Early Harvard College

Author(s): Diana Loren

Year: 2018


Identity, a central concept in contemporary historical archaeology theory, has been enlivened by recent scholarship that is mindful of bodily experience. Some scholars emphasize embodiment, others explore further sensory dimensions of historical identities embodied in human and material interactions, including emotion, memory, sensuality, and nostalgia, to explore the sensing body in the material world through sound, smell, touch, sexuality, and emotion.  The intent in focusing on sensual concerns is not to set sensuality against materiality, but rather to seek balance between exploration of the material world and bodily experience and expression. The body is the central link between material culture and human existence, the corporeal space where identity is created, materialized, sexualized, and embodied, constituted with and through material culture. I discuss sensual approaches to the archaeology of colonial New England, focusing on small finds related to bodily care for corporeal and spiritual health from 17th- and 18th-century Harvard College.

Cite this Record

Smoke and Spirit: Exploring Bodily and Sensual Concerns at Early Harvard College. Diana Loren. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441812)

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Temporal Keywords
17th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 436