Traveling While Black in 1900s USA

UPDATE (10/29/2015) – Scroll to the bottom of this post for an interactive map.

The recent announcement that the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has digitized their Green Book collection is exciting news. Published between 1936 and 1966, these books provided a growing African American middle class with useful guides for navigating Jim Crow America. The digitization of these books reminds me of a 1942 Afro-American Travel Map that I came across a few weeks ago. This map conveys much of the same information as the Green Books. (more…)

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Anarchy, Archaeology, and Collaborative Heritage (SAA 2015)

I returned to the annual Society for American Archaeology (SAA) meetings this year to discuss something I haven’t thought about for some time; mainly, the intersections of anarchy, archaeology, and collaboration. The paper was part of a large session on the intersections of archaeology and anarchism. You can read my title and abstract below. Update: this and other papers in the session form a considerable portion of this forum in the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology. (more…)

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One Artifact, Multiple Interpretations (SHA 2015)

For those of you following along with this blog, you’ll know that 2014 was a crazy year for me conference-wise. I attended four different conferences in addition to teaching an international field school in Nevis last summer. So, this year’s participation at the annual Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) conference was more subdued. I organized a session titled “Historical Archaeologies of Diaspora: Moving Between and Beyond Boundaries and Peripheries.” It featured archaeologists theorizing the concept of diaspora through working with different groups. (more…)

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IQ-GIS and Historical Archaeology

This post relates some thoughts on the combination of GIS and game engines for historical archaeology. This approach examines virtual world environments as a type of 3D GIS allowing users to move through space while simultaneously interacting with various data. This immersive, qualitative GIS (IQ-GIS) supports the display and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data. While a complete prototype is still some months away, here’s a sneak peak! This post also forces me to cogently express my thoughts for a few upcoming grant proposals. (more…)

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Using Virtual Archaeology to Teach Historical Archaeology

The use of digital technologies for visualizing past environments is experiencing something of a renaissance. This is due to dropping costs of hardware and an increase in the intuitive usability of 3D/virtual environments. The ability to deliver interactive content via the internet (a.k.a. Web 2.0) provides new ways of sharing research wider audiences. These developments also provide exciting pedagogical potentials. This post discusses how my teaching of historical archaeology benefits from these emerging technologies. Specifically, the use of a virtual world environment to explore historical architecture as described in James Deetz’s In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life. (more…)

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So Much Archaeology, So Little Time! (SHA 2014)

To say I had my hands full at the 2014 Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) annual meetings is the definition of an understatement. I’m not even sure how I was allowed to do so much! I was first or second author on three separate papers, and served as the discussant for a session titled “Archaeologies of Removal” organized by Terrance Weik of the University of South Carolina. You can read the various titles and abstracts below. (more…)

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Pedagogy, Engaged Anthropology, and Zombies

I love zombies! Not only are zombies popular, but in the immortal words of Levi-Strauss, zombies “are good to think with.” Zombies stand (stagger?) as powerful metaphors supporting everything from emergency preparedness to invasive species education. Scholars draw on zombies as part of an engaged pedagogy to spark student interest. This includes Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies and Harman’s Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx. I have also joined the horde by using the zombie apocalypse to teach geospatial analysis. Anthropologists have studied zombies for decades and I draw on this rich tradition as part of my freshman seminar to introduce students to anthropology with an exploration of zombies past, present, and future. (more…)

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Archaeologies of Intersectionality (AAA 2013)

It was my great pleasure to bring a session I originally organized for the SHA meetings to the AAA meeting, with my co-organizer Whitney Battle-Baptiste (UMass). I delivered a paper representing a theoretical updating of my earlier ideas on Rosewood as part of this session, in a paper titled “The Archaeology of Intersectional Violence: The 1923 Rosewood Pogrom in Historical Perspective.” Update: it was presentations like this that helped me frame my book, “The Rosewood Massacre: An Archaeology and History of Intersectional Violence.” (more…)

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