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The Centre for the Archaeology of the Modern World: Aims, Objectives and Rationale

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Professor Marie Louise Stig Sørensen.


The Centre for the Archaeology of the Modern World focuses on global, national and local issues to advance our understanding of the modern world and the nature of the societies that have been created by it.

Our particular focus will be on the ‘long 19th century’ (given that our base is Australasia), but it is well understood that many of the global forces unleashed during that time had their genesis in the first great movements of people and capital from Europe to the Americas, Africa and Asia beginning in the 16th century, but gaining great momentum in the 17th and 18th centuries.

A core objective of the Centre is to provide a framework within which scholars can undertake collaborative comparative research across continents and across the last three centuries. A specific concern will be to explore the contexts within which settler colonies became established and then transformed into nations, during a period of intensifying globalisation. These historical archaeologies of transformation, diaspora and globalisation are about frontiers, blurred boundaries, and the refashioning of ethnicities and identities. The political context of transnational historical archaeologies is undeniable and pervasive, as postcolonial societies at once celebrate diversity and cultural and social possibilities deriving from an extraordinarily eclectic sampling of global ‘capital’, while also seeking to retain identities that have created the cohesion of nations.

This talk is part of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research series.

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