Queer (Re)Collections: How Anatomical Collections Obscure Identities

Author(s): Adam Zimmer

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.

Anatomical skeletal collections have often been framed as encompassing "the poorest of the poor" or the most marginalized of a given society. This framework has shaped the way that these collections have been studied for decades. A queered understanding of how these collections were formed and who is actually encompassed within them reveals a much more nuanced understanding. These collections stand at the intersections of race, class, and gender and therefore an intersectional approach must be used in order to question the assumptions we hold about them. Using the George S. Huntington Anatomical Collection as an example, this paper takes a queerly-situated approach to understand the ways that anatomists, medical professionals, and now bioarchaeologists obscure the identities of the dead.

Cite this Record

Queer (Re)Collections: How Anatomical Collections Obscure Identities. Adam Zimmer. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451594)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23304