Northwestern Events Calendar


Anthropology Colloquium: William A. White, III, University of California, Berkeley

When: Monday, March 8, 2021
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Nancy Hickey   (847) 467-1507

Group: Anthropology Department

Co-Sponsor: Anthropology Colloquia and Events

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Taking the First Steps: Illusory Truth and Anti-Racism Archaeology

The 2020 Race Uprisings prompted many archaeology organizations and anthropology departments in the United States, Canada, and Europe to articulate a stance against racism. Some of these public statements acknowledge the origins of archaeology in colonialism, racism, and inequality. Others also admit the nearly monoracial demographics in professional archaeology, followed by a commitment to increase “diversity.” All of them call upon us to do better. In response, a flurry of webinars, conferences, public talks, and work groups have been organized to help address inequity in archaeology. Nearly a year after George Floyd’s death, I have not yet heard a single archaeology organization acknowledge that we need to completely rethink the entire field if we are to turn American archaeology into an anti-racism practice; however, this is exactly what many BIPOC archaeologists realize is necessary. This talk warns archaeologists to not believe the illusory truth behind anti-racism rhetoric in archaeology— that we can become an anti-racist field simply by saying it enough times. I draw upon examples of archaeology organizations in the United States who are working to realizing the anti-racist institutions BIPOC communities need. An anti-racism archaeology can be one of the tools this country uses to heal from the intergenerational trauma we all have suffered.

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