Current Institutional Affiliation
Archeologist, Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2012
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Chicago
Taste and Plantation Life in Antigua, ca. 1700-1900

"Taste and Plantation Life in Antigua, ca. 1700-1900" examines the intersection of imperialism and the politics of taste in British Caribbean plantation contexts. It proposes to trace taste-making practices on the Betty's Hope Plantation archaeological site in order to better understand how the inhabitants of the plantation, free and enslaved, negotiated their social relationships through food consumption and hospitality. The project deploys an innovative conceptual framework that builds from the rich heritage of consumption studies and plantation archaeology. It employs a robust methodology combining archaeological excavation, archival research and archaeobotany (the analysis of ancient plant remains). The goal is to unsettle the primacy of British metropolitan models and canons in scholarship about colonial consumption, and thus complicate existing accounts of the flow of commodities, practices and food consumption preferences within the British Empire. By shedding light on how taste was made in colonial Antigua, this project will contribute an innovative archaeological insight into colonial entanglements and the social efficacy of British imperial materiality. In particular, the project hypothesizes that colonial influence on metropolitan taste may occur through the circulation of domestic intimacies formed on the plantation. The research will contribute empirically to the corpus of data on Antiguan history and plantation archaeology; conceptually, it will add to broader debates in the social sciences about the relation between consumption, colonialism and material sociality.