Northwestern Events Calendar


LACS | Archaeology & Heritage | Anti-Racist Archaeology with Afro-Ecuadorian Maroon Women

When: Tuesday, May 16, 2023
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM CT

Where: Online
Webcast Link

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

Cost: free and open to the public

Contact: Margaret Sagan   (847) 467-1131

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Sponsor: Evanston Public Library

Category: Academic, Social, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


This presentation is part of the virtual lecture series Archaeology & Heritage from Northwestern University's Latin American & Caribbean Studies department and Evanston Public Library.

In the Andean region of South America, archaeological research has prioritized the study and protection of pre-contact sites. Meanwhile, the history and heritage of African-descendent populations have received little attention. In addition, the historical record of anti-slavery strategies that African descent people developed and practiced since their forced arrival to the Americas is still a terrain of exploration. In this presentation, I focus on the analysis of junctures generated by the historical construction of maroon societies in the Northern Andes of Ecuador, in the context of racial and gender formations under the impact of slavery, colonialism, and the formation of the state/nation. This examination is based on the historical archaeology that takes place in the Afro-Ecuadorian Ancestral Territory of Imbabura and Carchi (Ecuador) in collaboration with Afro-descendent women leaders. Furthermore, this anti-racist research fosters a collaborative, and community-based ethical approach to historical reparations for Afro-Latin American maroon societies.  

Daniela Balanzátegui is an assistant professor in the area of historical and collaborative archaeology of the African Diaspora in Latin America at UMASS-Boston. Her research is mainly focused on Afro-Ecuadorian historical strategies to survive slavery, structural racism, and gender discrimination. Her investigation is based on the examination of material culture, ancestral territories, historical narratives, and oral traditions of African-descendant populations. Since 2012, she has developed a community-based archaeological project in collaboration with Afro-Ecuadorian communities from a feminist standing point of view. The project that takes place in the Chota-Mira Valley (Provinces of Carchi-Imbabura) provides a space for ethical and respectful work in heritage management, public and community archaeology. She obtained her doctoral and master's degrees from the Department of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby-Canada). Dr. Balanzátegui served on the Blue Ribbon Commission, “Engaging Africans and their Descendants in Andean Studies” for the Institute of Andean Studies (IAS) (2020-2021). In 2022, Daniela was elected as part of the Board of Directors of the IAS.  She has been part of the Executive Committee of the Nineth Meeting of Archaeological Theory of South America (TAAS)-Ibarra (Ecuador), and International Committee of the Tenth Meeting of Archaeological Theory of South America (TAAS)-Oaxaca (Mexico). 

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