A Diachronic Investigation of Labor Relations on a Plural Farmstead, Long Island, 1700-1885

Project: Research project

Project Details


This dissertation research explores the way diverse people working in different systems of labor created, altered, and occupied plural spaces in the past. The setting of my project is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century rural Northeast North America, a time when capitalist practices and free labor gradually supplanted the subsistence-first farming practices dividing work between family members and slaves. A plural, slave-owning farm in New York will provide the context. The continuously occupied house (ca. 1700-1885) transcends contexts of slavery and freedom, thereby providing a unique opportunity to conduct a diachronic analysis of the plural spaces created by two systems of labor on a single site. Evidence related to the organization of space, household activities, and consumption will be collected using anthropological and archaeological methods to determine how the system of free labor altered plural space and impacted the daily lives of farmers and laborers of African descent. This project will build on archaeologies of plural sites and communities by adapting and applying concepts developed in anthropological archaeologies of labor and households. In so doing, this project will make broad yet substantive contributions to ideas of plurality and identity in anthropological and archaeological theory. By applying rigorous methods and analyses, this dissertation research will supply a concrete framework for seeing and analyzing activities and associated deposits in plural space as practices of diverse people entangled in relations of work.
Effective start/end date7/2/147/1/15


  • Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (AGMT-05-13-14//GR.8854)


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