Kitchen Things: Material Entanglement and Modernity in 19th- Century Iceland

Author(s): Ágústa Edwald Maxwell

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Working on the 19th-Century" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

This paper will look at the material culture of the kitchen in 19th-century Iceland through probate inventories and ceramic assemblages. It hypothesizes that changes in kitchen assemblages had an active role in the modernization process. Rather than simply being the effects of increased consumerism and global capitalism the things had an active influence on women’s routines. While the theory of the separation of gendered spheres suggests that through modernity the female sphere became more private, I suggest that there was a parallel push for the private to become public. The new kitchen assemblages afforded a standardization in routines and although the demand for the consumption of the correct material culture and a right way of doing things created sharp class boundaries it also encouraged the professionalization of housework and illuminated the work of women. Through the establishment of housewife-schools and the publication of books on housework the private became public.

Cite this Record

Kitchen Things: Material Entanglement and Modernity in 19th- Century Iceland. Ágústa Edwald Maxwell. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449088)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Gender Household Material Culture

Geographic Keywords

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -24.538; min lat: 63.391 ; max long: -13.499; max lat: 66.536 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 233