Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Susan Greenbaum, Ph.D.

Keywords

Anthropology, Archaeology, Urban anthropology, Urban archaeology, Applied anthropology, Historic preservation, Advocacy, Action research

Abstract

This research prioritized the identification and retention of African American cultural heritage in the face of dramatic landscape alteration associated with comprehensive redevelopment. As an approach aimed at providing the most comprehensive understanding of cultural phenomenon, the holistic tradition applied by anthropology asserts that it is productive to identify and apply as many sources of data toward engaging research as is possible. Consistent with this goal, this study applied several categories of data toward investigating material symbols of African American cultural heritage in Tampa, Florida. The holistic anthropological approach demonstrated the relevance and complementarity of research documenting cultural heritage and its relationship to Tampa's contemporary urban landscape, urban archaeology, participatory research, anthropological advocacy, and historic designation and preservation research in a community threatened by large-scale redevelopment.

Tampa represented a fruitful context for this research because for the second time in less than forty years, the urban landscape historically associated with African Americans in Tampa is slated to be impacted by wide-ranging demolition resulting from the actions of city and county planners. This research is particularly important in Tampa because urban policy carried out in this area of Tampa during the 1970's eradicated the vast majority of physical reminders of the African American cultural heritage in Tampa. This research proposes that even in the face of dramatic demolition resulting in comprehensive change in urban landscapes, anthropologists have an obligation to prioritize material symbols of cultural heritage which in this context represent enduring evidence of African American cultural heritage in Tampa.

Collectively the components of this study represent an anthropological model defined as an Urban Model of Applied Preservation (UMAP) designed to facilitate the anthropological engagement of evolving relationships between urban spaces and their cultural associations with urban populations. This model clarifies a set of complementary methods that might be applied toward investigation prioritizing the effects of urban change on cultural heritage.

Share

COinS