Exploring Foodways Practices, Conversion, and Identity in Colonial Senegal

The Division of the Social Sciences Short-Term Research Grant supported a preliminary archaeological field season at my dissertation site in Ngazobil, Senegal. My project targets the archaeology and history of the Saint Joseph de Ngazobil Catholic mission, founded by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (known as Spiritans) in the mid-nineteenth century. My research examines the relationship between foodways (the cultivation, production, and consumption of food and drink) and the performance of identity in the context of colonialism and conversion in French West Africa.

A glimpse of the nineteenth century in the British Caribbean

The familiar din of a trowel’s edge on hitherto buried masonry, the contours of a wall coming into focus with precise yet feverish work, the satisfaction of seeing one’s hypothesis confirmed: May 25th was a good day.  We had been working at the Betty’s Hope Plantation site in Antigua for a few short days only, following up on fieldwork I had undertaken there in 2012, and already we were hitting some significant strides towards achieving my research goals for the summer.  I was hoping to better understand how the kitchen yard associated with the plantation’s Dwelling House was transformed du