CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE PAST
Mary Lynne Gasaway Hill, working in the Historical Archaeology Lab at the University of Houston
section on Mary Lynne Hill is written in the third person
because she didn't write it but at some point,
when she takes a break from writing her dissertation,
teaching, and running around Texas with her wonderful
husband Andy, we hope these words will change to HER
Mary Lynne Hill has a Master's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Houston, and is presently a Ph.D. candidate at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her research there is in the field of "political linguistics" which involves a combination of anthropology, political science, linguistics, women's studies, and literary theory. In addition, she now teaches at St. Mary's University in San Antonio Texas.
Her research at the plantation involved looking at the diary of Sallie McNeill, a young woman who lived on the plantation in the middle of the nineteenth century. This diary was transcribed from the original by one of Sallie's descendants, Ginny Raska, and is a fascinating, moving account of the life of one young Texas woman, her family, and the plantation life she led. Following is an abstract of Mary Lynne's thesis:
"Boundaries of Discipline: Textual Analysis, Archaeology, and the Gender Typification of the 'Southern Lady'
In recent historical archaeological research, gender has emerged as an analytical tool that emphasizes both women and men as active participants as participants in past societies. In this paper, I employ Foucault's ideas of discipline to explore how gender organized antebellum lift for one particular "Southern Lady" for those who had power over her, and for those over whom she had power. To understand this organization, I analyze a textual artifact, the diary of Levi Jordan's granddaughter, Sallie McNeill, written between 1858-1867. Initially, I explore how the gender typification of the "Southern Lady" structured Sallie's individual life. Then, cognizant of a contextual postprocessual approach which utilizes the metaphor of the archaeological site as text, I examine how this gendered and raced individual life interacted with other gendered and raced members of the plantation community, and explore how this may be reflected archaeologically.
Go to Diary for excerpts from Sallie's Diary. Go to Mary Lynne's thesis for a chapter from Mary Lynn's thesis.
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‹ Carol McDavid 1998