Finding Solace in the Soil: The Archaeology of the Amache Gardens and Gardeners (online talk)

Monday, April 11, 2022

Finding Solace in the Soil: The Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Colorado’s Japanese American Incarceration Camp

The Garden is pleased to host Dr. Bonnie J. Clark, University of Denver, for this lunchtime virtual talk.

During World War II, Americans of Japanese ancestry were removed from their homes and placed into confinement camps throughout the western US. This presentation overviews the methods and results of six seasons of landscape archaeology at one of those sites—Amache—located in southeastern Colorado. The site contains an incredibly well-preserved record of how the people incarcerated there transformed a hostile landscape through strategy and skill. By integrating a program of historical research, community engagement, and intensive garden archaeology, the University of Denver Amache project is expanding the view of what incarceree gardens are, how they were created, and their import, both to those who made them and us today.

This is an online lecture via Zoom.

About the presenter:
Dr. Bonnie Clark is committed to using tangible history – objects, sites, and landscapes—to broaden understanding of our diverse past. She began her career as a professional archaeologist and now serves as a Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Denver (DU), as well as the Curator for Archaeology of the DU Museum of Anthropology. She is the author or editor of numerous publications including Finding Solace in the Soil: An Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache and On the Edge of Purgatory: An Archaeology of Place in Hispanic Colorado. Dr. Clark leads the DU Amache Project, a community collaboration committed to researching, preserving, and interpreting the physical history of Amache, Colorado’s WWII-era Japanese American internment camp. That work has been highlighted in numerous venues including Archaeology and American Archaeology magazines. In 2011, Dr. Clark’s work was recognized by her peers with the University of Denver’s Teacher/Scholar of the Year award.