TAG2019-UCL has ended
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is delighted to host the 41st annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference in December 2019. Founded in 1937, the Institute is one of the largest centres for world archaeology, archaeological sciences and heritage & museum studies in the UK, situated in the heart of the capital.

Venue: UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL
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Monday, December 16 • 1:30pm - 5:00pm
TAG31 | Archaeology and Heritage in Populist Nationalist Constructions, Projections, and Justifications of Otherness

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Populist nationalism divides an inside 'us' from an outside 'them', both vertically, separating 'the people' from 'the elite', and horizontally, marking a dichotomy between a perceived ‘native’ in-group and ‘foreign’ others. People, ideas, objects, practices and places from prehistoric and historic times are mobilised as part of simple myths that are aimed at legitimising narratives of national ancestry, development, or destiny (Coakley 2004). Concurrently, archaeological knowledge can be – and has been – deployed to deconstruct projected otherness, sometimes utilising similar schemes of narrative construction.This session invites papers that examine processes of appropriation of the past to generate, express or oppose populist nationalist ideologies. It will highlight the underlying dynamics through which archaeological knowledge enters political discourse, and will particularly reflect on the kinds of past that are drawn upon, and the myths they are moulded into. It is hoped that, by developing a better understanding of how the past, interpreted through archaeological approaches, is utilised politically, we can reflect on how archaeologists contribute or respond to situations where the past is weaponized. The session aims to encourage comparative and interdisciplinary discussion, drawing on case studies that focus on different periods and a range of geographical contexts. Papers concentrating on tangible and intangible heritage, and those addressing how representations of archaeology in pop-culture may contribute to the development of specific political discourses are particularly encouraged.

Organisers: Barbora Žiačková; University of Oxford • Ole F. Nordland; UCL • Chiara Bonacchi; University of Sterling

13:30 | Chiara Bonacchi, University of Sterling; Barbora Žiačková, University of Oxford; Ole F. Nordland, UCL | Intro

13:40 | Daniel Robert Hansen, University of Chicago | Archaeology as Dialogue: Hearing the many voices of the archaeology of ethnicity

13:55 | Frederika Tevebring, Warburg Institute | The Myth of the Matriarchy: Othering Scholarship

14:10 | Session organisers | Discussion

14:15 | David Farrell-Banks, Newcastle University | 1683 & The Identitarian Movement: Uses of the Siege of Vienna in right wing populist discourse

14:30 | Herdis Hølleland, Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research; Elisabeth Niklasson, Stanford University | Visions of division: far right imageries of Scandinavian pasts and presents

14:45 | Session organisers | Discussion

14:55 | Theodor Lothe Bruun, Independent Researcher | The Gustav Vasa statue

15:10 | Ida Lunde Jørgensen, Copenhagen Business School | Meet the Vikings: blending archaeological artefacts and a designer’s visualizations in uncertain

15:25 | Session organisers | Discussion

15:30 | - | BREAK

16:00 | Alasdair Chi, Nanyang Technological University | A Critical Examination of Historical Narratives and Founding Myths of Precolonial Singapore or: Will the Real Sang Nila Utama Please Stand Up?

16:15 | Emily Hanscam, Durham University | ‘We didn’t start the fire’: exploring reactions to heritage at risk

16:30 | Chiara Bonacchi, University of Sterling; Barbora Žiačková, University of Oxford; Ole F. Nordland, UCL | Discussion

17:00 | - | END


Chiara Bonacchi

University of Sterling

Barbora Žiačková

University of Oxford
avatar for Dan Hansen

Dan Hansen

PhD Student, University of Chicago Dept. of Anthropology
I am an archaeologist studying the interface of landscape and collective social identity in early medieval Scotland. I'm interested in how the experience of the landscape is mediated by semiotic social processes to construct and figurate aspects of social life. Further interests in... Read More →

Frederika Tevebring

Warburg Institute

David Farrell-Banks

Newcastle University

Herdis Hølleland

Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research

Elisabeth Niklasson

Stanford University
avatar for Theodor Lothe Bruun

Theodor Lothe Bruun

County archeologist, Vest-Agder county, Independent Researcher
Independent researcher, interesting in the political side of archeology and bigger picture archeology takes part in. Cultural heritage and feminism. As well as dance.

Ida Lunde Jørgensen

Copenhagen Business School

Alasdair Chi

Nanyang Technological University

Emily Hanscam

Durham University

Monday December 16, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm GMT
Room W3.05 (Level 3) 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL