Recipes of Resistance: An Archaeology of the Past and Present


ACLS Fellowship Program




Recipes of Resistance: An Archaeology of the Past and Present centers foodways as the often-surreptitious archive of counternarratives, with recipes representing knowledge about land, community, and well-being. Yet, for archaeologists trained within 21st century industrialized societies, imagining worlds outside of capitalism and colonialism requires intentional intervention and cross-cultural collaborations. Recipes of Resistance centers the language of food to understand the roots of community resistance and resilience across archaeological and contemporary Tlaxcala, Mexico. In the Late Postclassic (1300-1519 CE), the Tlaxcalteca of Tepeticpac resisted the Aztec Empire as it blanketed Central Mexico. Through analyses of ancient diets, this book explores the role of foodways in maintaining local sovereignty. To contextualize bioarchaeological data within living food traditions and localized knowledge about the landscape, this book weaves dietary isotope analyses with oral histories from contemporary Tlaxcalteca campesino-led food sovereignty movements. Within both emerge systems of resource sharing and land stewardship, emphasizing the deep connection between past worldviews and current Indigenous realities. Modeling a community based research framework, Recipes of Resistance reconceptualizes the act of “doing archaeology” as a mechanism for imagining and creating alternative futures, particularly futures aimed at healing relationships to land.