AAA Annual Meeting Program

AAA Annual Meeting Program Details


View Session Details
Paper Information:
This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges   
Type: Paper
Paper Title: THE CONSTRUCTION OF FRENCH IDENTITY ON AMERICA'S WESTERN FRONTIER
Author: ELIZABETH SCOTT   
Date/Time: Sat., 5:15 PM
Co-Author(s): ELIZABETH SCOTT 
Abstract: Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, was first established in the 1750s, part of a vast French colonial system that was connected by the Mississippi River from Canada to Louisiana and the Caribbean. People, goods, and ideas circulated throughout this region, resulting in the intermingling of several cultural traditions: French, Native American, and African. However, this circulation, it is argued, also allowed the construction and maintenance of a French colonial and post-colonial identity long after the end of French colonial rule. Although under Spanish colonial rule after 1763 and including ever more Anglo-Americans, especially after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the town remained overwhelmingly French in character and population well into the 1830s. A persistence of French cultural traditions may be seen in its vernacular architecture, legal practices, language, and religion. This paper first looks at the circulation of French vernacular architecture through the arc of French settlement in the Mississippi Valley. Archaeological excavations at two town lots in Ste. Genevieve, dating between 1780 and 1835, are then used to explore ways in which we can see French identity as it was constructed through material culture. Archaeological evidence of the cultural landscape of town lots and the activities occurring there reveals zones of encounter between French settlers and Native Americans and between the French and enslaved Africans and free people of color. It is clear that the social processes of exclusion and incorporation engaged in at Ste. Genevieve made and re-made French identity in changing social, political, and economic contexts.

Program Number: 4-0775
Session Title: THE ARCHITECTURE OF IDENTITY
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Sat., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): KATHRYN SAMPECK (Illinois State University) 
Chair(s): ELIZABETH SCOTT  
View Session Details


Schedule-at-a-Glance

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the AAA Meetings Department at aaameetings@aaanet.org.