Heritage as Liberation?

Author(s): Tiffany C. Cain

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Reckoning with Violence" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

In this paper, I argue for heritage as liberation. I openly claim that some forms of heritage practice are inherently more meaningful and effective than others. Such practices include what I call substantive and coalitional archaeologies. I argue that although the Critical Heritage Studies Movement—to which many historical archaeologists subscribe—made important interventions in terms of how we understand the relationship of the past to the present, it often hides politely behind the veil of description rather than coming forward to make normative claims that force a reckoning with past violence. I apply heritage as liberation to one case study: the Legacy Museum & National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. I ask one simple question: where were we? Why weren’t archaeologists involved in the creation of this important site memorializing the thousands of black people who were lynched between Reconstruction and roughly 1950?

Cite this Record

Heritage as Liberation?. Tiffany C. Cain. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457479)

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Temporal Keywords
19th-20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 694