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International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 477–491 | Cite as

Feminist Theorizing of Patriarchal Colonialism, Power Dynamics, and Social Agency Materialized in Colonial Institutions

  • Suzanne M. Spencer-WoodEmail author
Article

Abstract

In the twenty-first century historical archaeologists have increasingly drawn on post-colonial theory to analyze the European conquest and colonization of the Americas, Australasia, and Africa. However, few have employed feminist theories to gain insights into the patriarchal power dynamics that were fundamental to institutionalized colonial ideologies and practices. This paper provides feminist theorizing of new concepts and a heterarchical model of multiple interacting powers that increase understanding of complex gender and sexual power dynamics between colonizers and colonized.

Keywords

Gender Sex Power Feminist theories Patriarchy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Russell Palmer and Laura McAtackney for organizing the 2014 SHA symposium on Colonial Institutions and Their Enduring Material Aftermaths and editing this resulting special issue of IJHA. My thanks to Russ and Laura for including my feminist discussion of materializations of colonial institutions even though their invitation for me to be a discussant in their symposium didn’t work out due to conference scheduling of my symposium at the same time. And I greatly appreciate Russ and Laura’s comments that led me to further strengthen my article.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal JusticeOakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Peabody Museum of Archaeology and EthnologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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