Johanna Pacyga

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Chicago, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9427

Approve Date

April 18, 2017

Project Title

Pacyga, Johanna A., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Consuming Catholicism: Foodways, Practice, and the 'Civilizing Mission' in Colonial Senegal, ca 1860-1930,' supervised by Dr. Francois G. Richard

JOHANNA ALAIMO PACYGA, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in June 2017 to aid in research for ‘Cultivating Catholicism: Gender, Practice, and the ‘Civilizing Mission’ in Colonial Senegal, ca. 1860-1930,’ supervised by Dr. Fran’ois G. Richard. This dissertation investigates the history of the Mission of Saint Joseph in Ngazobil’one of the first and largest missions in Senegal’and the role it played in the cultivation and dissemination of Catholicism through the labor and conversion of mission women. This was done through an historical archaeology of the lives of French and West African sisters, as well as laywomen and girls living at the convent and in the village of Saint-Joseph. Funding supported research in five archives across Senegal and France, as well as the archaeological analysis of excavated materials. Beyond illuminating the forgotten narratives of female life in colonial Senegal, this research has clarified 1) the relationship between missionary and colonial projects; 2) the significance of everyday practices (culinary, sartorial, hygienic) to conversion as a process that goes beyond belief and into the realm of daily life; 3) the role of women in reproducing Catholicism through the domestic and intellectual education of girls.