SSHRC Postdoctoral Researcher in Archaeology
Area: World Cultures
Interests: historical archaeology, mobility and place-making, identities and communities, French and British colonialism in North America, Foodways, Zooarchaeology, Fur Trade
D.E.C Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, Montreal, Canada, History and Civilizations, 2001
B.A. Université du Québec À Montréal (UQÀM), Canada, Communication studies, 2004
B.A. Université Laval, Québec, Canada, Archaeology, 2007
M.A. University of Massachusetts Boston, Historical Archaeology, Spring 2010
Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Anthropology, August 2016
Amélie Allard joined the ROM in September 2017 as a two-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral researcher.
In a world where uprootedness, migration and displacement are increasingly part of people’s lived experiences, Amélie’s research broadly addresses the issues of how mobility has affected communities in the past, especially how it affected their senses of place and of identification with others. She takes a particular interest in understanding how these processes worked in colonial contexts, where intercultural encounters played a major role, not only in dictating relationships between people and the landscape, but also in shaping the racialized world we live in today. She is particularly attentive to the role of daily activities, especially those that relate to food, in the processes of inclusion and exclusion. Her master’s research for instance, examined the relationship between foodways and identity politics at an 18th-century Nipmuc farmstead in Massachusetts.
Expanding on these issues, her doctoral research on the late 18th-century fur trade in what is today Minnesota and Wisconsin used archaeological and documentary sources to examine the construction of social relationships and community in relation to place, both within a site known as Réaume’s Leaf River Post, and across the broader fur trade landscape of the Western Great Lakes. It considered the role of fur traders’ mobility in hindering or enabling particular practices, and in turn how such practices played into community-building.
At the ROM, her research on the rich fur trade-related collections examines questions such as: how does the material culture associated with Hudson’s Bay Company factories in Rupert’s Land compare with that of North West Company in the Lake Superior area? How did the different kinds of mobility associated with seasonal sailing and/or inland trading of the HBC crew affect the materiality of the posts? Starting with the premise that food-related practices are socially significant, how did foodways (procurement, consumption, discard of foodstuff) intersect with the creation and maintenance of social relationships in this context? What was the role of Amerindian peoples, in particular the Athinuwick (Cree) in the place-making activities of the various HBC personnel? What kinds of power dynamics were at play? What can we learn from historic-period Athinuwick sites located within HBC influence about their interactions with HBC personnel and the colonial ramifications of such encounters? What insight can material culture provide into these issues? These questions not only bring to the fore the rich and under-studied collections of fur trade objects at the ROM, but also aims to develop a socially just approach to a period of Canada’s past that is often glorified to the detriment of First Nations.
Amélie has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Fonds Québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants, the University of Minnesota Graduate School, and in 2017 her doctoral dissertation was the Department nominee for the University of Minnesota “Best Dissertation” Award.
2018 Allard. A. “Gendered Mobilities: Performing Masculinities in the Late Eighteenth-Century Mobile Fur Trade Community”. Ethnohistory, 65(1): in press.
2015 Allard A. “Foodways, Commensality and Nipmuc Identity: An Analysis of Faunal Remains from Sarah Boston’s Farmstead, Grafton, MA, 1790-1840.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 19(1): 208-231.