Excavating Slow Violence Across the Modern/Premodern Divide

Author(s): Amanda Logan

Year: 2015


Archaeology as a technique allows us to make visible processes of "slow violence" (Nixon 2011) that unfold over time, providing a critical temporal dimension to understanding how and why modern inequalities come to be. In this paper I attempt to reconcile why "prehistory" matters to understanding structural violence in recent times. While archaeologists of the contemporary and recent past have long used archaeology to make visible the experiences of structural violence among subaltern groups, their gaze rarely extends into deeper pasts. Yet comparison of pasts and presents can coax alternate potentialities to the surface, such as the economic potential of various regions in very different economic settings. For example, in Banda, Ghana, archaeology reveals a greater degree of food security and economic well-being prior to European expansion, suggesting a much higher potential standard of living than observed at present. This comparative project sets the stage for an archaeology of slow violence that embraces the study of long-term processes across the modern/premodern divide.

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Cite this Record

Excavating Slow Violence Across the Modern/Premodern Divide. Amanda Logan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395536)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;