Project Capstone: Re-writing Burien and White Center’s history with communicative narratives

 Re-writing Burien and White Center’s history with communicative narratives, and arming its people with resources to fight massive tenant evictions

After the amazing journey of having studied the differences between narrative community histories, and those official accounts, as well as looking at the wave of tenant evictions, these are the conclusions I’m taking with me, as well as the continuation of this project in collaboration with WCCDA and Future Wise:

  • We find ourselves in a smaller community on the outskirts of a larger metropolitan area that still harbors a predominantly old blue-collar, working class, white conservative population, which is similar to those earlier colonial settlers that started exploiting the land for timber.


  • This conservative community has clashed with the immigration waves from different corners of the world where the US started or collaborated on wars: According to some integration programs from WCCDA, even though POC and older white folks might get along when they live door to door, there is still a fear of being “erased” by those conservative folks: Leading to hate-motivated actions like the publishing of a list of “illegal and criminal immigrants” on a map that scared many people, where Hugo Garcia commented as well on several articles:
  • “After controversial flier, Burien neighbors fight back with ‘love letters’”


  • Negative stereotypes rooted in earlier late 1800’s days, still prevail, marking this area as “no the most desirable to live” and therefore, making prices low and habitable for these immigrant communities. However, I believe these stereotypes also give people in power the permission to remove them as gentrification advances.


  • These negative stereotypes could be used against targeted immigrant communities in times of Trump, following up to those hateful fliers depicting latinx people as “drug dealers, criminals etc”, and give more permission to “those in power” to displace people in larger numbers.


  • I believe that by collecting narrative accounts and putting all the different programs and resources that these associations do for the community in one single, attractive and easy to use website, people who are either moving in or afraid that they might be displaced, it will be beneficial!


45K1765/P9-13; Who used this medicinal bottle in (aprox) 1892?


Sitting on the cold, analytical table of our lab, stands (not too tall) a little glass bottle named ” 45K1765/P9-13″. It’s body mostly whole, it’s colorless but opaque glass showing the signs of having been dumped and sealed under mud for years near the waterfront…

Some could argue that bolder and more “alcoholic looking bottles” would be more interesting to look at, but in the midst of all these beer and wine containers that were found on what used to be a massive dump for local businesses at 6th ave S, which was sealed in 1929, I find bottles destined for different purposes than being drunk at the end of a long day.

Because as we’ve learned throughout this class (especially through feminist archaeology) is that regarding the whole story other than the mere stereotype is essential for holding knowledge as a constructed , shared value.

And where am I going with all of this, you might ask? Well, have heard of how Seattle “was like” at the sea line in “the olden days”… If I close my eyes,  I can see muddy streets, underground tunnels with gambling and prostitution, bars and hotels filled with people still on their way to the Yukon to test their luck, and mostly a lot of drinking and passing out happening.

This might be true, but can also attribute a single face to those working class people who would inhabit those neighborhoods. That is why, through the Lag analyze I did on the bottles of my group, and the specific study of this particular bottle, I will try to discern what it was used for (if it was medicinal at all) and who might have used it.

  • What type of bottle is it and what did it contain?

This is a small cylindrical bottle, with colorless and slightly opaque glass, machine made with wide mouth which we believe may have been of medicinal use or in other generations, of miscellaneous use. It most likely held medicine or medicinal plants/pharmaceutical elementary material, but we are not a 100% sure! that is why it is interesting to look at.

  • When and where was the item manufactured?

We believe it was manufactured between the 1880’s and 1930’s, which would give it a mean production date of 1905. We are not sure where it was manufactured since there were no specific signs that could give us a clue.

  • Can you find any information concerning how the product was marketed and/or consumed? 

There is a valve mark, and the opening of the bottle shows signs of having had a tap that would be screwed on (like a little jam bottle). The wide opening of the bottle with no neck visible, gives us the idea that it might not have been used for drinking directly from the bottle, but it must have used to store the content, and then pour it somewhere else.

  • Who might have used the bottle and what contexts of use would you expect 

I believe this bottle could have been used in any local business, (ranging from a bar to a pharmacy or a hotel.) Because we are not a 100% sure if it was medicinal or used for other household needs such as holding food, we could imagine that it might have belonged to a business that required a kitchen and perhaps hosting people over, with more equipment than a simple bar. I can’t imagine a single individual carrying it around, it must have been used in a more “touristy” setting!





All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

“The Hill”

WHERE are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley,
The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?
All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

One passed in a fever,
One was burned in a mine, 
One was killed in a brawl,
One died in a jail,
One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife—
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where are Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie and Edith, 
The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud, the happy one?—
All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

One died in shameful child-birth,
One of a thwarted love,
One at the hands of a brute in a brothel, 
One of a broken pride, in the search for heart’s desire,
One after life in far-away London and Paris
Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kate and Mag—
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily, 
And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton,
And Major Walker who had talked
With venerable men of the revolution?—
All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

They brought them dead sons from the war, 
And daughters whom life had crushed,
And their children fatherless, crying—
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where is Old Fiddler Jones
Who played with life all his ninety years, 
Braving the sleet with bared breast,
Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?
Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,
Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary’s Grove, 
Of what Abe Lincoln said
One time at Springfield.

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950), Spoon River Anthology. 1916.


For this assignment, my group and I were assigned section 1 of the Cemetery, ” Saint Gabriel”. We distributed the area between the different members of the group, and I was happy of realizing that I had been destined to observe some of the oldest gravestones.

Out of the 16- 20 that I studied, I paid close attention to the material and decoration elements  throughout the decades from the 1870’s all the way until few of the most recent ones, from 1997 until 2015; And I did observe, indeed, that as years passed we seem to have less “monumental” style graves (where personalized sculptures are present, such as lambs for children, angels and columns made out of limestone or hand-cult marble) and gravestones become more uniformed, with similar polished marble, and smaller inscribed decorations.

Some of the  earliest graves belong to very young people as well; Then it seems as if people’s lives stabilize as  the new settler colony establishes it’s roots in the environment. Marie Dizard, passed away in 1904 at 41. Ira S. Mehegan passed away in 1908 at 42. Stella Schoenerr in 1910 at 11 years old, and C.M Columbus at 1916 as an infant. As I stated before in other assignments, it could be due the fact that they were the first or second generation of settler colonials living of this land, in possibly very harsh conditions and not too many resources. Then as we move on through the decades, we could say that the economic crack of 1929 didn’t have any good effect on the health of people, and especially from 1918 – 1919 we have the Spanish Flu pandemic that claimed almost 2,000 lives in a short period of time.

Soldiers coming home from 1st world war had a great impact in everyone’s lives, directly and in an indirect way, bringing diseases that their immune systems couldn’t combat.

When it comes to gender and what kind of gender roles must have been played in those years according to the existence of epitaph, and the kind of vocabulary that is left behind for people to perceive  who they were, I see an overall very strong patriarchal dominance in words: If graves are shared by husband and wife, the husband’s name always goes on top of the wife, and her family name is not noted. Even though I might have found slightly more personalized epitaphs of men versus womxn, I still found a pretty evenly distributed adjectives of each individual playing a role in each family: Wife, brother, husband, mother, grandmother, grandfather.

Garbology as a first introduction to hands-on archaeological analysis of material remains


I was first introduced to the concept of “garbology” on my first year of college, at my Anthropology 101 class in Bellevue College. We read an article of a professor in Arizona who was trying to paint a more complete picture of the population that was crossing the U.S Border at the desert, by analyzing all the items that had been left behind in the bushes, and it immediately opened my eyes to the immense  treasure that our disposal means for anybody trying to construct a context of who you are without your presence itself, only through your trail of used materials.

This is what Archaeology really seems to aim at, right? Building a strong context with the multiple layers of realities that compose our human existences. And this is what I’ve seen during this lab exercise. When I started seeing patterns emerging beyond the apparent frenetic disposal of random objects of the individual the case that I analyzed, it really motivated me to keep on trying to discern the micro-fibers of this complex tapestry:

Could I tell if the person was going through more unstable mental periods because of the rate of food disposal and the types of food been consumed? Could I tell if the person is experiencing the collapse of the middle class by the fact that instead of buying food in bulks they had kept buying them individually, even though the number of household members was great enough to qualify for deals found in larger purchases?

This is definitely something I will bring with me, into my practical analysis of material data. That is why it’s so important to seek inter-sectional approaches to such data!

Blogging Archaeology; Blogging styles across different cultures

  • Tribuna d’Arqueologia

This highly didactic blog is listed as one of the services that the community of archaeologists and paleontologists of Catalonia offers to the wider public and for people of the same field, to share updates on research projects, stream live conferences of the sector and share news on a uniform website.

While it is not immediately apparent who the exact authors of this blog are (since it’s the fruit of a collective work of archaeologists and paleontologists of government of Catalonia), I still believe that the authority they have on the writing of research advancement and news of the filed is still very palpable.

We are talking about a scientific journal that is accessible by everybody. They belong to the government, so of course their objective will be to inform the population of Catalonia on their archaeological records and where they can bring us as a nation.  They organize their content through categories such as articles, papers and they also upload their conferences in video format.

The tone is very formal, and I believe it’s more oriented towards people from the same field. That is where I would use more advertising and more media to attract a wider range of readers.

  • Archaeological Fantasies


On the contrary of the previous blog I wrote about, I believe this one is much more oriented to a broader audience, and specifically to an audience that might not necessarily be from the archaeological academic world.

The author doesn’t give away her own name and keeps it as “ArchaeologicalFantasies”,  even thou she does identify as female as one of her blog sections is dedicated to women that have had great impact in the field since the late XVIII century, calling them “Mothers of the field”. I am not sure if you can give full authority on the quality of the content based on someone who doesn’t display their real name, but this assumption could be very colonialist of mine. She has a B.A  in Anthropology and a Masters of Science certificate in GIS/Remote Sensing focusing in archaeology, and is currently finishing her masters in CRM Archaeology.

Personally, while I believe she does a good job at attracting more people to the field, I find some of her topics based on a much more colonial-classic tone. There is little mention in new decolonizing- feminist methodologies. But interesting to read still!

  • Publishing Archaeology

I believe this blog has a much more academic content and intention, and it includes the opinion of the author, on technical and field methods as well as publications from across the field. The audience could be undergraduate students of his own, as well as colleagues and other publishing researchers from different fields.

On the authority of his writings, he is an archaeologist and university professor since many years ago: His name is Michael E. Smith and he is an archaeologist who works on Aztec sites and Teotihuacan. He is currently a professor in the School of Human Evolution & Social Change at Arizona State University.

He writes in a journalistic style, and I found his dedication to the undergraduate professor that motivated him to research in his field very moving. There are multiple sections where we comments and gives his opinion on main topics and definitions within anthropology such as “are we living in the Anthropocene”? where mostly, he asks of anthropologists and archaeologists to publish in journals of other disciplines to be better critiqued.

I like how instructional the content is, and at first I couldn’t help but think that his research in the big “gory rituals of ancient Meso American societies” was lacking the study of the daily lives of its inhabitants as we talked in class, but he has done some research on urban lives as well.



My name is Clàudia with an accent on the “a”

Hello! my name is Clàudia Esplugas Masvidal, and I am an (intending) anthropology senior here at the University of Washington, all along with a minor in DXARTS, as well as  GWSS. If I were to clarify a couple of things to better explain the so necessary context that surrounds my persona, I would say that:

1) My name is Clàudia with an open accent on the “a” as my parent’s little form of Catalan resilience: I was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, where for a long time we were not allowed to speak our fist language (Catalan). As language was re-incorporated in the academic curriculum when my parents were young, they found it very important to give me that accent as a variation of the Spanish/Latin version (which has no accent.) As a child I wouldn’t really understand such need, but nowadays with our Catalan parliament shut down by a coup from the Spanish government because of our independence referendum, I find it more important than ever.


2)  I say “intending” because I have traveled a long road cruising this unexpected world of the undergraduate, with “ups and downs” if we look at my strictly academic record, but ultimately happy to say that I have explored the multiple intersections of those areas of study that I was always passionate about, and that altogether with my finished and in-progress projects and research, by the time I graduate this June I will definitely, most surely know where my passion, skills and values meet, and what activities I should keep on doing so I lead a fulfilling and happy live in this midst of capitalistic-induced climate change-era we have been born to.

Those activities and skills are: Writing poetry, short fiction, investigative journalism, documentary, photo journalism,  reading anthropology, contemporary ethnography, social activism, de-colonization, researching what sovereignty means in all its faces, non-violence, civil-disobedience, singing and performing contemporary arts, experimental art film.

On 2016 I transferred to this university thanks to the student disability resources at Bellevue College , The Daily and started following Standing Rock and interviewing AIS faculty and students to understand Settler Colonialism resilience locally as well: Catalonia was about to hold a referendum and I needed to see different forms of resilience to take with me. My favorite anthropology classes were with professor  Radhika Govindrajan, never had I seen what contemporary ethnography and anthropology of decolonization look like, and how I can apply them to myself as an individual.

In 2017 I started experiencing what it means to work and study full-time while having a learning  disability in this country. I worked as a legal assistant and Spanish interpreter for an

Immigration Law office downtown Seattle, and I saw with my own eyes the devastating affects of the Trump administration on refugee families being detained at the Tacoma center: I saw how justice is a bureaucratic system invented by the same ones who incarcerate you and who release you by finding loops and wholes, which you can fill with money and your own blood. I feel very identified with Valeria Luiselli’s book Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, and would like to write down my experiences as well before I forget them.


I tried to keep up with the research project lead by professor Walter Andrews, the Svoboda Diaries Project where historical transcription and technology meet, and I started a small documentary mentored by Holly Barker, where I followed Pacific Islander students and their events as The Burke museum explores what it means to decolonize its structure and give back materials to their communities so they can use them for their events. It’s still on editing process.


Over the course of this summer, while also working, I have explored my voice, contemporary dance and visual poetry through a video collaboration with several artists, which we showed on our first art show on Capitol Hill early this month, and which I will keep on developing as I present it in future festivals if possible. It has been liberating to find creativity to be the most healing way of living, and as I focus on graduate school and other life adventures, it must keep on being explored.


This year, thanks to family friends and great professors who have supported my journey all these years, I am the director of the Womxn’s Action Commission (ASUW) and I will be incorporating aspects of decolonization, resilience, and will seek to partner with all the other diversity student commissions to put on programs and events that represent all of us and our struggles as womxn on the 21st century. I am partnering with the Intellectual House and with Dr. Luana Ross to put on an Indigenous Feminisms event on Spring, and I cannot wait to see what wonderful fruits come out of our new team, as I seek the intersectionality of my fields of interest, my creativity and our team’s passion.

I have been in love with several archaeological projects all my live, and I’ve been following Professor Gonzalez’s work for some time since I transferred in this university: I can’t wait to see how my view on community based archaeology shape my understanding of the discipline!