David Carlson, Ph.d. Student

My research concerns the intersections of material culture, immigration, race, and labor in United States history. I explore these topics through the careful application of principles and concepts from several fields, including: landscape archaeology; the archaeology of race, ethnicities, and labor; and the historiographies of specific migrant groups. My methodological interests include non-invasive archaeological survey techniques (e.g. geophysical survey, remote sensing), digital public archaeology, Geographic Information Systems/Science, and ceramic and glass analysis. I have also developed a strong interest in the analysis of archaeological rhetoric, argumentation, and epistemology.

Current Research

My current research examines the effects of American anti-Japanese racism on first-generation Japanese American (Issei) sawmill laborers in the Pacific Northwest and the strategies and tactics they used to survive and thrive therein. Through a synthesis of primary and secondary literature on hiring practices and archaeological investigation of worker domestic areas at the site of Barneston, Washington, I aim to demonstrate how anti-Japanese interpersonal and structural racism impacted the dining practices, foodways, and consumption strategies of laborers. In doing so, I hope to build a foundation for further comparative work on the intersection of race, immigration, and industrial labor while adding to a growing literature on immigrant lifeways and coping strategies.