Kathrina Aben, archaeologists for the Bureau of Land Management-Las Vegas Field Office, shared with us some of her interests and previous research. Her presentation information is below.
Consuming Identities: Material Analysis of Mid-20th Century Filipino-American Food Practices in Agricultural Landscapes in San Joaquin County, California
In the early 20th century, the San Joaquin Delta in California served as a significant center of agricultural production in the U.S. Migrant laborers served as the backbone of the agriculture industry by following the seasonal rotation of crops to cultivate, harvest, and process food products to feed the country, often living in semi-permanent structures in farm work camps. Filipino-Americans and immigrants comprised a large percent of farmworkers in the region, resulting in Filipino communities with strong social networks and vibrant cultural traditions. This presentation explores the mid-20th century Filipino-American experience in agricultural work camps through the materiality of food practices in San Joaquin County, California. Food is a useful lens to explore the performance of cultural identities despite social, political, and economic challenges affecting food accessibility. Oral histories, archival records, and objects are used to discuss daily meals and celebratory feasts, exploring the meaningful interconnections between space, food, and practice. This research addresses the absence of Filipino-American archaeological studies in the discipline by exploring the materiality of food practices and their potential impact on the archaeological record.
A video of the zoom presentation can be seen on our YouTube Channel