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PhDebates session: On (Pre/Post)-Colonialism in Archaeology

Thursday 29 September 2016
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Coca Cola Welcome sign in a Mexican town (Photo: ecoosfera.com 2014)

In this PhDebates session, we examine the position of post-colonial praxis within contemporary archaeological approaches. Moving beyond individual research areas and nationalities, we  would like to critically consider how post-colonial our approaches actually are. Considering the diversity of socio-economic and political landscapes in which archaeological research is carried out, a re-evaluation of the basic assumptions of our discipline is increasingly important. Given the history of archaeology, we view (post)colonialism as an important methodological framework. Some of the questions we will raise in this debate are:

  • Is colonialism over in the countries where we carry out research?
  • How does archaeological research empirically separate itself from reproducing a colonialist practice?
  • How do we deal with contradictory or unvoiced opinions of the people living in “our” archaeological research areas?
  • How can archaeology promote post-colonialist thinking?
  • Does this debate even need to occur, or have we moved beyond our colonial past.
América invertida (Joaquín Torres García 1943)

Guest speaker

Dr. Andrzej Antczak - Can we ever be pre-colonial?

PhD speakers

Eduardo Herrera Malatesta – America is the name of the whole continent! On implicit and subtle colonialist thinking

Maria Patricia Ordoñez - Museums and the Postcolonial: clashes of thought and practice when addressing collections of human remains

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