Universiteit Leiden

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Michael Aird

The interplay of cultures and technologies investigated in successful Lorentz Workshop

In the week of 14 to 18 January the Lorentz workshop 'Intersecting Worlds. The Interplay of Cultures and Technology' took place at the Lorentz Center in Leiden. Attracting many scholars from across the world, the workshop explored the transformations and responses of indigenous societies around the world to changing cultural, social, economic, and political environments triggered by European invasion and colonialism.

Indigenous perspectives

The archaeological record is perfectly suited to provide completely novel insights into these infamous histories by uncovering the indigenous perspectives hitherto biased by still dominant Eurocentric viewpoints. In the Americas, the Caribbean indigenous were the first to experience European invasion and colonization. At the beginning of the 16th century, they also experienced the influx of African slaves, contributing to the formation of the present-day, multi-ethnic Caribbean society.

In Asia and the Pacific Rim, Australia, and New Zealand the European invasions represented equally varied contacts and cultural intersections. Such colonial invasions were the principal cause of widespread social, political, and economic change, causing catastrophic demographic collapse as a result of the introduction of exotic diseases to which Europeans were tolerant, but to which local populations had no resistance.

Researchers with expertise on the Caribbean, (West) Africa, and Southeast Asia/Pacific, as well as local stakeholders came together during the workshop to discuss topics related to these histories,  focusing specifically on landscapes in transformation, lifeways and deathways, and mobility and exchange.

Organisers

This workshop was supported by The Lorentz Center as part of the Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship (DLF) awarded to Prof. dr. Corinne L. Hofman in 2018 and the ERC-synergy project NEXUS1492. Prof. dr. Hofman organized this workshop together with distinguished academics and colleagues Prof. Ian Lilley (Archeological Heritage Management, University of Queensland) and Prof. Christopher DeCorse (African Archaeology and History, Syracuse University).

Read more

See the conference report on the Nexus 1492 website.

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