Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Louann Wurst

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Third Advisor

Dr. Sharon Carlson


archaeology, asylum, control, autonomy, Michigan

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This project is designed to look into mechanisms of control and patient autonomy in institutional confinement, using Colony Farm in Kalamazoo, Michigan as a case study. I have chosen to specifically examine landscape, architecture, foodways, and personal goods/dress as avenues in which to parse out information regarding control and autonomy. The main themes throughout this paper are work as a cure, patient labor, and the blurring of roles between patients, staff members, and paid hired workers. These themes are intertwined with landscape, architecture, foodways, and personal goods/dress and highlight the contradictions inherent in institutional confinement, especially in the context of Colony Farm. These themes are also important in trying to understand not only daily life, but how mechanisms of control and autonomy played out in this more informal institutional environment.

Included in

Anthropology Commons