Decolonizing Archaeology and Equitable Practices: On the Right of Refusal - to be rescheduled for the Summer term
Decolonization is not just an historical process but rather an action that is political at its core. As global efforts to redefine archaeological practice are underway to ensure a more just and equitable practice, political historiographies of colonial archaeology in high income postcolonies, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), must also be investigated. Epistemic violence embedded within colonial archaeology maintains itself under the guise of ‘science,’ as archaeology continues to make demands upon bodies, landscapes, memories, histories, and heritage.
This paper investigates what refusing to work in inequitable conditions might look like and what sorts of alternative pathways exist for an equitable and decolonized archaeological praxis. This will include entering archaeology (as a discipline) into transdisciplinary dialog with contemporary art and design. Engagement is not limited to a human to human interaction but rather, this paper will consider conceptual engagement as a key facet to epistemic rearrangements. Utilizing over five years of work in and with collaborators in the UAE, in this paper, I will provide multiple formats through which ethical praxis emerged within frameworks of critical pedagogy, public engagement and archaeological practice.
Uzma Rizvi is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of International Studies at the American University of Sharjah, UAE. “My current research work is focused on Ancient Pakistan and UAE, both during the third millennium BCE. I utilize poetics as a mode through which to push the limits of archaeological theory. Additionally, my research focuses on ancient subjectivity and related to that, the idea of an intimate architecture; war and trauma in relationship to the urban fabric; and finally, epistemological critiques of archaeology in the service of decolonizing archaeology.”
Dates & times
If you are attending an event and need the College to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.