Archaeology and the Postcolonial Critique by Matthew Liebmann, Uzma Z. Rizvi, Greg Borgstede, Craig N.

By Matthew Liebmann, Uzma Z. Rizvi, Greg Borgstede, Craig N. Cipolla, Praveena Gullapalli, Ian Lilley, Jaime R. Pagán Jiménez, Thomas C. Patterson, Robert W. Preucel, Reniel Rodriguez Ramos, Sandra Scham, Sudharshan Seneviratne, Jason Yaeger

Archaeology and the Postcolonial Critique represents a synthesis of postcolonial archaeological reviews from the outdated and New Worlds. This quantity addresses the techniques of postcolonialism in mild of latest paradigms in modern academia that have an effect on the perform of archaeology.

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Chakrabarty 1992; Guha 1982; Guha and Spivak 1988; Inden 1986, 1990; Mathur 2000; Pandey 1995, 1999; Prakash 1990; Said 1978; Spivak 1996). A consistent critique has been that colonial European investigations into the past and present were fundamentally shaped by the exigencies of rationalizing and maintaining power. Consequently, the historical and anthropological narratives created under those circumstances cannot be divorced from issues of power and domination and were, in many cases, in the service of reinforcing those power relations in favor of the colonizers.

Peter Pels (1997) argues the anthropology of colonialism is always an anthropology of anthropology, in that the discipline emerged from, and in opposition to, late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century colonialisms. Like history, anthropology was re-creating the colonial processes that it was critiquing. This led to emphasizing a contextualization “that implies reading ethnographic texts and colonial archives as sites of struggle, and setting them against the practical conditions of the encounter that produced these texts and archives” (Pels 1997:166).

The fact of this fundamental identity between disciplinary tenets of history (and archaeology) and European standards of academic legitimacy has important implications for scholars attempting to rethink, rewrite, and reframe these disciplines. These methodologies also implicitly and explicitly delineated frameworks of legitimacy, so that certain groups were (and are) effectively denied the space to speak (Spivak 1988a, 1999:269–81). Attempting to recover or HETEROGENEOUS ENCOUNTERS 39 identify the voices of the subaltern means engaging with a colonial archive that by its very nature favors and supports analysis of the colonizer at the expense of the colonized and of the elite at the expense of the subaltern.

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