[PAST EVENT] Nancy Phaup - Dissertation Defense - Anthropology

February 20, 2015
10am - 11:45am
Washington Hall, Room 101
241 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
This research examines strategies that allow scholars to better understand the lives and experiences of Anglo and African American children. Children have long been an inconsistent voice in the archaeological record. First, I show how research by scholars in the field of childhood studies offers a theoretical framework for this study which emphasizes that childhood varies culturally, over time, by gender and numerous other factors. I explore the nature of childhood at the James River plantation known as Flowerdew Hundred using analysis of architectural features and archaeological discoveries, as well as published and unpublished primary and secondary sources. Next, I present an analysis of The Diary of R. B. Willcox of Flowerdew Hundred 1890-1893. I trace the daily activities of four Willcox boys at the end of the 19th century, eliciting behaviors typical for male children and expectations of childhood during this period. After this contextual analysis of childhood within a later 19th century rural setting, I explore the experiences of childhood as they relate to household succession and landscape change. Following Groover (2004), I ague that the lives of children vary according to changes enacted over the 19th century to settlement patterns, dwellings, and house-lots by four separate Willcox households. In sum, I show that a focus on childhood adds an important dimension to understanding of the archaeological record.