Queering Colonization in Early Colonial Belize

Author(s): Brenda Arjona; Chelsea Blackmore

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Future Is Fluid...and So Was the Past: Challenging the 'Normative' in Archaeological Interpretations" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Archaeological narratives of colonial contact have dramatically shifted from a focus on colonizer/colonized dichotomies to discussions about plurality, ethnogenesis, and hybridity. However, much of the work in Mesoamerica continues to define the practice of colonization through a largely white and male lens. Colonial Belize came to existence through the daily interactions and struggles of diverse groups of people, including British Baymen, pirates, smugglers, runaway slaves, and free people of color. This history has led to the distinct creole identity that forms the basis of much of Belize’s modern national identity. Although this colonization is often described through the narratives of European actors (e.g. the fight between British and Spanish Crowns over the region), its history is better understood through the role and impact that subaltern peoples had in its construction. Using a queer intersectional approach, this paper examines the racial and gendered dynamics of colonial settlements in 18th and 19th century Southern Belize. Specifically, how did the influx of slaves, free people of color, and immigrants from other parts of the Bay of Honduras and Caribbean shape the colonial process? How do these historical processes compare to other British and Spanish settlements throughout Latin America?

Cite this Record

Queering Colonization in Early Colonial Belize. Brenda Arjona, Chelsea Blackmore. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451588)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 26005