Tonics, Bitters, and Other Curatives: An Intersectional Archaeology of Health and Inequality in Rural Arkansas

Author(s): Jodi Barnes

Year: 2019

Summary

This is an abstract from the "Health and Inequality in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Excavations at Hollywood Plantation, a 19th century plantation in southeast Arkansas, resulted in thousands of fragments of medicine bottles. From tonics increasingly marketed to women to bitters and syrups produced to treat all types of ailments, patent medicine bottles provide a lens into changing ideas about health and healing and access to medical care in rural areas. Intersectionality, with its roots in Black feminist theory, is used as an analytical tool to uncover the intersecting power relations, such as gender, class, and whiteness, as they emerged in the late 19th century and the ways these power relations enabled or circumscribed the types of medical care the Taylor family received. At the same time, by examining the intersections, this archaeological research has the potential to help inform contemporary discussions of rural health care.

Cite this Record

Tonics, Bitters, and Other Curatives: An Intersectional Archaeology of Health and Inequality in Rural Arkansas. Jodi Barnes. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449024)

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Keywords

Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 272