Of Monks and Mothers: Examining Privilege, Parenting, and Best Laid Plans

Author(s): Laura Seifert

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Women’s Work: Archaeology and Mothering" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Becoming a mother was a learning experience in misogyny and discrimination. From a radical lack of maternity leave to the second shift at home, exhausted does not begin to describe my condition. However, as anthropologists, we are also trained to see our privilege (in my case a private office for pumping breastmilk and a flexible work schedule). To explore ideas of modern mothers’ privilege and unmet needs, I turn to historic lives. What can we learn from the graves of Elcy Waters buried beside her son, Thomas? What wisdom is offered from Benedictine monks or the young Freedmen attending the monks’ boarding school? Finally, Virginia Kiah, who touched so many lives through her roles as teacher, artist, civil rights leader, and museum curator? I use these historic lives to gain perspective on the present, while presenting feminist actions and policies needed for archaeology’s future.

Cite this Record

Of Monks and Mothers: Examining Privilege, Parenting, and Best Laid Plans. Laura Seifert. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457595)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


#MeToo Ethics Motherhood

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

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): 268