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Friday, September 27, 2019 at 3:00pm to 4:30pm
McGraw Hall, 215
740-750 University Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Autoarchaeology at Christiansborg Castle (Ghana): Decolonizing knowledge, pedagogy and praxis.
In the African postcolony, archaeological research and fieldwork engage with a variety of communities of connection. Therefore, a decolonizing archaeological heritage inquiry seeks a deeper engagement with an archaeological site’s living direct descendant constituencies. Privileging Danish-Ga direct descendant communities in a collaborative archaeological heritage project at Christiansborg Castle in Osu, Accra, Ghana, this talk introduces the experimental, work-in-progress approach I term ‘autoarchaeology’. This is an analytical approach whereby the roles and subject positions of researcher, practitioner, and descendant are held by the same person, and foreground the Self. Autoarchaeology at the castle attempts to challenge current dominant Western archaeological heritage orthodoxy concerning the study, use, and management of the past, and in so doing, offer possibilities for a decolonizing praxis.
This event is co-sponsored by History and CIAMS. Thank you.
Rachel Ama Assa Engmann is a scholar and practitioner of archaeological ethnography whose work combines sites, monuments, objects, texts, oral narratives and ethnography in search of revisionist historical and contemporary approaches to the study of Africa, with a focus on Ghana. She is also interested in engaged critical heritage work, collaborating with local and direct descendant communities as a decolonized approach to research and praxis.