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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Tuesday, December 17 • 9:30am - 1:00pm
TAG45 | The Decolonisation of Archaeology and Archaeological Collections within museums

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The work we undertake as archaeologists and curators of archaeological collections has the potential to be of great social value. Archaeology can have a positive effect on individual and collective wellbeing, contributing to the construction of identity, social connectivity, a sense of belonging and collective empowerment. However, these wellbeing effects vary between demographic groups. Up until the mid-20th century, Archaeology played an important role in the justification of colonial conquest by state and religious actors, the enactment of violent control, and the appropriation of the past of other countries. Through discourse of civilization and origins, Archaeology was used in the construction of European identity and of superiority. Colonial ideas continue to persist within academia (content and pedagogy), within the wider profession, and in museum practices. They are used to justify archaeological projects abroad, and they influence research frameworks and project designs in the UK. Cobb’s Digging Diversity research (2012; 2015) highlights the lack diversity within academia and the profession. As such, diverse perspectives and interpretations of archaeological evidence are excluded, and there is a distinct lack of representation within the stories we tell publicly.This session will discuss and explore: how the histories of colonialism and empire are reflected in archaeology, academia, archaeological practice, and museum collections and archives; diverse perspectives and re/interpretations of archaeological evidence; new approaches and examples of good practice.

Cobb, H. L. 2012. ‘Digging diversity? A preliminary examination of disciplinary diversity in UK archaeology’, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.
Cobb, H. L. 2015. ‘A diverse profession? Challenging inequalities and diversifying involvement in British archaeology’, in P. Everill and P. Irving (eds.) Rescue Archaeology: Foundations for the Future, 226-245. Hereford: RESCUE.

Organisers: Benjamina Dadzie; Independent Researcher • Laura Hampden; Museum Detox • Laura Hampden; Historic England, Museum Detox, CIfA Equality and Diversity Group

9:30 | Laura Hampden, Museum Detox; Laura Hampden, Historic England, Museum Detox, CIfA Equality and Diversity Group | Introduction

9:35 | Louise Fowler, MOLA | Where does archaeology take place?

9:55 | Cathie Draycott, Durham University | Investigating Intersections of Race and Public Perceptions of Archaeology: a pilot survey run in Bermuda, 2019

10:15 | Gert Huskens, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Ghent University | A ‘Belgian compromise’ of Science and Empire along the Nile

10:35 | Zena Kamash, Royal Holloway University; Cathie Draycott, Durham University; Niall Finneran, University of Winchester; Christina Welch, University of Winchester | Panel

11:05 | Dan Hicks, University of Oxford | Seeing the Pace of Violence in Theoretical Archaeology

11:25 | - | BREAK

11:55 | Elizabeth Marlowe, Colgate University | How to Say Nothing: A Case Study of the Museum Labels on Some Looted Bronzes

12:10 | Danika Parikh, University of Cambridge | From accession to access: decolonising archaeological collections through critical tours and audience engagement

12:25 | Subhadra Das, UCL & Museum Detox Member; Korantema Anyimadu, Arts Emergency Museum Detox Member; Jenny Williams, Take the Space; Ebony Francis, Diary of a Black Tree | Panel Discussion

13:00 | - | END


Laura Hampden

Museum Detox

Cathie Draycott

Durham University

Gert Huskens

Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Ghent University

Zena Kamash

Royal Holloway University

Niall Finneran

University of Winchester

Christina Welch

University of Winchester

Elizabeth Marlowe

Assoc. Prof., Colgate University

Danika Parikh

University of Cambridge

Subhadra Das

UCL & Museum Detox Member

Korantema Anyimadu

Arts Emergency Museum Detox Member

Jenny Williams

Take the Space

Ebony Francis

Diary of a Black Tree

Benjamina Dadzie

Independent Researcher

Tuesday December 17, 2019 9:30am - 1:00pm GMT
Room 826 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL