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Mark Hauser

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 27, 2014. 05:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Archaeology Center (building 500, 488 Escondido Mall)
Meeting Description: 

Mark W. Hauser (Northwestern University)

"Things in the Landscape: Archaeologies of Other Views and Other Boats in the Colonial Caribbean"

 

Bernard Cohn described empire as a view from the boat. Enseng Ho described diaspora as the view from the other boat. Yet how do such views materialize in colonial landscapes, and how can they be distinguished? This paper focuses on the relatively powerless, including the Kalinago, enslaved Africans and their children, who lived in Dominica between 1740 and 1830. I discuss the houses they lived in, and what the things that have been found there can tell us about power, mobility, and empire in the last half of the eighteenth century. Elites in late eighteenth century Great Britain held great expectations for their newly acquired territory of Dominica. For the relatively powerless it would mean their realignment into emergent social categories of empire based on race and emplacement into particular landscapes. The use of land, the normative view of the powerless, and the image of the grand estate, are all contradicted by what we see in the archaeological record. This archaeological record provides an irregular and erratic picture of local idioms, mobility, and expedience rather than domination and resistance. Ultimately I suggest, a focus on things in this colonial landscape, their spatial patterning, and change might reflect tensions and anxieties about what might seem invisible from the respective boats.

 

Mark W. Hauser is an archaeologist and historical anthropologist. He is primarily concerned with inequality in political context through things typical overlooked and left out of the documentary record. Specifically, he has focused on the ways in which enslaved and freed peoples of African descent created and transformed social and economic landscapes within the context of Caribbean plantation societies. He is a specialist in ceramic analysis and material culture of the African Diaspora. He has directed multidisciplinary archaeological research with major grant funding, written or edited four books and a special issue journal, authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University.

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