University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre of African Studies Michaelmas Seminars > Archaeology, Hybrid Knowledge and Community Engagement in Africa: Thoughts on Decolonizing Practice

Archaeology, Hybrid Knowledge and Community Engagement in Africa: Thoughts on Decolonizing Practice

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Over the last few decades there have been several calls for the decolonising of archaeological practice on the African continent and the promotion of indigenous archaeologies. These calls for change have been strengthened by events in the public sphere, especially the Rhodes Must Fall campaign, and by the revival of debate over the repatriation of museum objects from Africa that are held in museums in the West (as epitomised by publication of the Savoy-Sarr report in late 2018). While the sentiments behind these have been broadly similar, the strategies being proposed can be often be quite divergent and in some cases carry the risk of essentialising ethnic identities and reifying African uniqueness. In this talk, I explore some of these tensions through an examination of current approaches to community engagement on the continent, and offer a strategy for resolving some of these through the application of assemblage theory and Anna Tsing’s idea of ‘the moot’.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Michaelmas Seminars series.

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