Oct 8 Engaging Communities in the Heartland: Archaeology of a Multi-Racial Community


Engaging Communities in the Heartland: An Archaeology of a Multi-Racial Community with Paul Shackel  Thursday, October 8, 4 p.m., Crosby Seminar Room, 240 Northrop

New Philadelphia, a town founded in 1836 by a freed African American, no longer exists on the Illinois landscape. A collaborative archaeology project worked with descendant and local communities to help make the story part of the national public memory. We encouraged student, community, and descendant interaction while making all groups more aware of the historical issues related to race and racism in a region that has been known to be hostile toward African Americans. This work is helping to fostere an attitude of inclusion and diversity as we help preserve the memory of the place.

Paul Shackel is Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology at the University of Maryland and Director of the University’s Center for Heritage Resource Studies. Dr. Shackel joined the Department in 1996 after working for the National Park Service for 7-½ years. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1987.

His extensive work at Harpers Ferry delves into issues of class and labor in this early industrial town. He received a 3-year NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates award that allowed him to partner with other institutions to train undergraduates in archaeology and explore issues of race, class and ethnicity in the historic town of New Philadelphia, on the Illinois western frontier. He is now working with graduate and undergraduate students on a project that includes oral histories, documentary research, and archaeology in the anthracitre region of Pennsylvania. The project initially focused on the 1897 Lattimer Massacre. Now the research program, known as the Anthracite Heritage Program, is exploring issues related to immigration in the past as well as the present in the coal patch towns surrounding Hazleton, PA. The project has worked in Lattimer, Pardeesville, and most recently Eckley Miners’ Village, focusing on the the households of mining families.

This talk is cosponsored by the IAS Heritage Studies Collaborative, the MNHS/UMN Heritage Partnership, the Office for Public Engagement, and the Departments of History, Chicano and Latino Studies, Anthropology, and African American and African Studies. It is free and open to the public. Shackel will also speak on Friday, October 9, at 7pm at the Mill City Museum on Remembering the Lattimer Massacre.
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