M.A. (Maritime Archaeology), University of Southern Denmark / Syddansk Universitet, 2015
B.A. (Archaeology), Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2011
Community Archaeology; Contemporary Archaeology; Heritage Preservation; Newfoundland culture; Crafting; Textiles; Craft Commodification.
My project explores how the transformation of crafted goods into objects for sale (aka commodification) plays a role in cultural preservation in Newfoundland and Labrador. I am combining archaeological theory with broader methodological techniques in qualitative research to create a project that benefits the community being studied and shows the archaeological discipline's potential capabilities beyond its standard practices. This project investigates contemporary craft commodification and cultural preservation by researching the connection local textile artists have with Newfoundland and Labrador's cultural heritage. This project focuses specifically on textile-crafted goods because the existing critiques within the fashion and textile industries allow for assessing the intersection of heritage preservation and economics. Crafters often have a historical knowledge of their craft and the development of techniques, including tools, methods, and material. Crafters' knowledge is essential information that should be added to the archaeological understanding of textiles. This project provides crafters the space to discuss their connection to material goods they create and sell and the culture that has shaped them. These discussions can impact how crafters engage in their work, how organizations understand crafters' engagement with their work and the local culture, and how archaeologists can improve their engagement with the communities they work in through material culture. To adequately understand how craftspeople perceive their work, this project will rely on interviews, archival records, and visual renderings to interpret craft authenticity. I anticipate the research will provide narrative snapshots of individual craftspeople and how they visualize the role of their goods in cultural preservation, which will present new means for archaeology to engage with research.