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Journal of Archaeological Research

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1–35 | Cite as

Studies of Gender in the Prehispanic Americas

  • Traci Ardren
Article

Abstract

In the past ten years archaeologists have produced a vast literature on the study of gender in the prehispanic New World. This review defines key concepts, identifies three major themes within this tradition—gender in native cosmologies, intersections of gender and the body, and studies of work and specialization—and explores the significant contributions of engendered archaeology to the broader field. Final suggestions for linkages with queer studies and indigenous feminism point the way to where this field might develop productive new avenues of research.

Keywords

Gender Prehispanic Americas Identity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I thank Gary Feinman and Douglas Price for the invitation to contribute this study and for their generous patience. Tamara Bray, Scott Hutson, T. Kam Manahan, Jill Neitzel, Kenneth E. Sassaman, Melissa Vogel, and two anonymous referees made comments on an earlier version of this paper that greatly improved the final publication. I thank Charlene Levy for introducing me to the field of gender studies, and Marty Ardren for urging me to start reading Ms. magazine when I was about ten years old. I thank Kelley Hays-Gilpin for her astounding bibliographic assistance, Barbara L. Voss for help with references on archaeologists using queer theory, and my research assistant Bryn Elizabeth Hafemeister for her initial research toward the global bibliography. I am profoundly indebted to the work of all the scholars cited here and in the accompanying bibliography. I thank them for their passion and commitment and apologize in advance for any simplification of their arguments I have made for the sake of brevity. This research was supported in part by a James W. McLamore Summer Research Award from the University of Miami.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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