Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Applying the concepts of mimesis and "third space" to Virginia's early colonial settlements, this study presents a comparative examination of documentary, pictorial, cartographic, and material evidence surrounding City Point's Site 44PG102 and contemporary James River plantations. By considering archaeological site data that are possibly contemporaneous, but previously have been segregated by archaeologists into "prehistoric" (Native Virginian) and "historic" (European) categories, I investigate the evidence for interethnic interactions as well as the social conventions surrounding 17th-century object and landscape use. This thesis argues that people of European, West Central African, West African, and Algonquian-speaking Native Virginian backgrounds endowed shared objects, buildings, and places with different values and social functions, impairing the ability of colonial material culture to convey clear and consistent messages of status and intention across ethnic boundaries. I propose that mimetic landscapes and material culture with precolonial histories of use as signals of prestige became central to socially competent interethnic communication in colonial contexts.
© The Author
Sikes, Kathryn Lee McClure, "Peripheral Vision: Mimesis and Materiality along the James River, Virginia, 1619-1660" (2013). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539623364.