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Between consumption and extermination: archaeologies of modern imperialism

Author(s): Alfredo González-Ruibal

Year: 2013

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In this introduction to the session, an outline of the existing and possible archaeologies of imperialism will be sketched. Emphasis will be put on the potential of archaeology to construct alternative narratives on Western colonialism from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. It will be argued that this kind of archaeology has to take into account violence (both physical and symbolic), but also forms of hybridization, war as well as trade and exchange, open and subtle resistance, and hegemonic practices. Furthermore, an archaeology of imperialism has to look beyond the colonized nations and examine the effects of empire within the metropolis, both during the period of colonization and afterwards. Finally, archaeology is in a good position to undertake a long-term study of the phenomenon, as it can look at the roots of imperialism in previous colonial projects and examine present imperial or neoimperial material practices.

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Between consumption and extermination: archaeologies of modern imperialism. Alfredo González-Ruibal. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428461)


Temporal Keywords
19th and 20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.003; min lat: 27.731 ; max long: 4.276; max lat: 43.764 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 144

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America