What Makes Us Squirm—A Critical Assessment of Community-Oriented Archaeology

Read our new article What Makes Us Squirm—A Critical Assessment of Community-Oriented Archaeology (Canadian Journal of Archaeology 40[1]:164-180) here:

Here is the abstract (French below):

We provide a critical response to Andrew Martindale and Natasha Lyons’ 2014 special section on Community-Oriented Archaeology (Canadian Journal of Archaeology Volume 38, Issue 2), discussing the authors’ definitions, interpretations, and motivations around archaeology and community. By not defining archaeology in terms of how it is most commonly practiced, we argue the collective work misses the mark, with serious consequences for descendent communities. We show how Community-Oriented Archaeology appropriates the challenge posed to archaeologists to make their discipline relevant and responsive to Indigenous communities; instead, the authors foreground archaeology itself and reaffirm the privilege of non-Indigenous archaeologists, especially academic archaeologists. By considering what is excluded and taken-for-granted, we examine the special section in terms of selection bias and revisionist history. We suggest Community-Oriented Archaeology coopts aspects of Indigenous, critical, and radical discourses to legitimize the institution and practice, in the process forgetting what is at stake for Indigenous peoples. Rather than focusing on the needs of archaeology and archaeologists, we emphasize the interests of Indigenous communities and address uncomfortable truths about institutional racism and systemic inequality. As the editors had hoped, Community-Oriented Archaeology makes us “squirm,” but not for the reasons they intended.

Nous offrons une réponse critique à Andrew Martindale et Natasha Lyons sur leur section spéciale de 2014 concernant l’archéologie axée sur la communauté (Journal canadien d’archéologie volume 38, numéro 2) en évaluant les définitions, interprétations et motivations des auteurs à propos de l’archéologie et la notion de communauté. En évitant de définir l’archéologie par la façon dont elle est la plus souvent pratiquée, nous soutenons que le travail collectif manque la cible, non sans conséquences pour les communautés descendantes autochtones. Nous démontrons comment l’archéologie axée sur la communauté s’approprie le défi lancé aux archéologues de rendre leur discipline pertinente et sensible aux communautés autochtones; à la place, les auteurs mettent à l’avant-plan l’archéologie elle-même et réaffirme le privilège des archéologues non-autochtones, particulièrement des archéologues académiques. En considérant ce qui est exclus et pris pour acquis, nous examinons cette section spéciale sous les plans du biais en sélection et d’histoire révisionniste. Nous suggérons que l’archéologie axée sur la communauté combine des éléments de discours autochtones, critiques et radicaux pour légitimer l’institution et sa pratique, en oubliant dans le processus ce qui est en jeu pour les peuples autochtones. Plutôt que de se concentrer sur les besoins de l’archéologie et des archéologues, nous mettons l’emphase sur les communautés autochtones et adressons les inconfortables vérités sur le racisme institutionnel et l’inégalité systémique. Comme les éditeurs l’avaient espéré, l’archéologie axée sur la communauté nous met dans l’embarras, mais pas pour les raisons dont ils en avaient l’intention.

EDRA48Madison—Voices of Place: Empower, Engage, Energize

Environmental Design Research Association 48th Annual Conference

EDRA’s mission is to advance and disseminate behavior, design, and conservation research toward improving understanding of the relationships between people and their environments. In its four decades of existence, its annual conference has always featured the work of researchers that use social science methods to understand the unique relationship people have with the historic environment. EDRA’s Historic Environment Knowledge Network, created in 2008, helps to promote the work of interdisciplinary social science researchers and practitioners who focus on architectural, urban, and landscape conservation.

The theme for the 2017 conference, which will take place in Madison, Wisconsin (USA), May 31 to June 3, 2017,  is “Voices of Place: Empower, Engage, Energize.”

The deadline for submission of Pre-Conference Intensives, Individual or Group Presentations, and Mobile Sessions is Friday, September 23, 2016.

Heritage, Tourism and Climate Change

NEW SPECIAL ISSUE:

Heritage, Tourism and Climate Change

Journal of Heritage Tourism | Volume 11, Issue 1, 2016

Guest Ed: C. Michael Hall

Here are the titles and abstracts of the first two contributions:

Heritage, Heritage Tourism and Climate Change
C. Michael Hall
Abstract
Climate change is increasingly recognised as a major threat to the sustainability of tourism, including heritage tourism. Yet, despite growth in literature on climate change and heritage, there is little specific literature on the relationship between climate change and heritage tourism. The paper introduces a special issue on heritage tourism and climate change. It briefly outlines the future challenges of climate change before commenting on tourism’s role in climate change and the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Using UNWTO tourism estimates, a tentative figure of half of all emissions of tourism could be ascribed to heritage-related tourism.

Climate Change and Cultural Heritage: Conservation and Heritage Tourism in the Anthropocene
C. Michael Hall, Tim Baird, Michael James, and Yael Ram
Abstract
This paper reviews some of the actual and potential effects of climate change on cultural heritage and its management with special reference to heritage tourism. This analysis will help to identify knowledge gaps and issues in relation to different types of heritage, management strategies and policy-making, as well as enabling an understanding of the potential significance of climate change impacts in a regional, national and international setting. The analysis is also relevant to understanding the broader pressures of environmental and global change on the management of heritage tourism sites, and cultural heritage in particular, in the Anthropocene.

The entire special issue can be viewed here:
http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjht20/11/1

World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate

NEW UN REPORT:

World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate

Executive Summary

Climate change is fast becoming one of the most significant risks for World Heritage sites worldwide. Unequivocal scientific evidence shows that concentrations of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere are greater now than at any time in the past 800 000 years and that global temperatures have increased by 1ºC since 1880. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some recent changes, including warming of the oceans and atmosphere, rising sea levels and diminished snow and ice, are unprecedented over decades to millennia. As temperatures continue to rise, heat waves will worsen, extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent, oceans will continue to warm and acidify, and the rate of sea-level rise will increase.

At many World Heritage sites, the direct and indirect impacts of climate change may present a threat to their outstanding universal value (OUV), integrity and authenticity. Climate change is a threat multiplier, and will increase vulnerability and exacerbate other stresses including, but not limited to, pollution, conflict over resources, urbanization, habitat fragmentation, loss of intangible cultural heritage and the impacts of unplanned or poorly managed tourism.

Most World Heritage sites are tourist destinations, and some are among the most iconic places on the planet. Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economic sectors, responsible for 9 per cent of gross domestic product globally and providing 1 in 11 jobs. Tourism is heavily reliant on energy-intensive modes of transport including aeroplanes and automobiles. Currently contributing approximately 5 per cent of the global total, carbon emissions from tourism are predicted to more than double within 25 years.

Sustainable tourism can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and promote the preservation of natural and cultural heritage. If unplanned, uncontrolled or poorly managed, however, tourism can have a wide range of negative consequences for World Heritage sites and their local communities.

The tourism sector itself is vulnerable to climate change. Threats include more extreme weather events, increasing insurance costs and safety concerns, water shortages, and loss and damage to assets and attractions at destinations. Continued climate-driven degradation and disruption to cultural and natural heritage at World Heritage sites will negatively affect the tourism sector, reduce the attractiveness of destinations and lessen economic opportunities for local communities.

This report and its case studies demonstrate the urgent need to better understand, monitor and address climate change threats to World Heritage sites. Policy guidance that could steer efforts already exists – including the binding Policy Document on the Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Properties (http://whc.unesco.org/uploads/activities/documents/activity-397-2.pdf) adopted by the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention at its 16th session in 2007; sustainable tourism policy orientations that define the relationship between World Heritage and sustainable tourism, adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010 (http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4240/); the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Charter Principles; and the 2006 Strategy to Assist States Parties to the Convention to Implement Appropriate Management Responses. Additional measures also need to be taken to increase the resilience of cultural and natural heritage, reduce the impacts of both climate change and unsustainable tourism and increase financing and resources for managing protected areas.

The report’s full suite of recommendations can be found on pages 27–32.

Online:

More information about the report:
http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/global-warming-impacts/world-heritage-tourism-sites-climate-change-risks?_ga=1.44724260.1651551686.1464271967#.V0cEjPkrKJA

The report (PDF):
http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2016/05/world-heritage-and-tourism-in-a-changing-climate.pdf

Reference

Markham, A., Osipova, E., Lafrenz Samuels, K. and Caldas, A.
2016    World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, France.

CFP: Neoliberal Heritage Statecraft

A call for papers for the 2016 American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting, November 16-20 in Minneapolis, MN. Deadline Soon! Email contacts if interested.

Neoliberal Heritage Statecraft—Exploring the Heritage/Extractive Industries Nexus

Gertjan Plets – Stanford University – gplets@stanford.edu
Melissa Baird – Michigan Technological University – mfbaird@mtu.edu
Discussant: Douglas Rogers, Yale University

Abstract

The emergence of ‘critical heritage’ scholarship has drawn anthropologists into the highly diverse and politically charged field of cultural heritage. An arena where the geopolitical contexts of ‘managing’ the past intersect with socio-political interests and concerns. Within most sociocultural analyses to date, heritage has been conceptualized as an intimate bedfellow of nationalism, where quintessential state actors such as political elites and bureaucracies are the main protagonists authorizing certain pasts to the detriment of others. Papers in this session wish to break with this popular modernist understanding of heritage, culture and the state. By drawing on case studies from across the world, presenters ethnographically map the changing nature of heritage in the 21st century.

Nowhere is this transformation more evident than in the nexus of heritage and extractive industries. As presenters in this session will explore, by funding cash strapped art and history museums, constructing interpretation centers, negotiating repatriation of indigenous remains, historicizing mineral extraction and competitive grants for archaeological fieldwork, energy corporations have positioned themselves as cultural policy ‘producers.’ Multinationals have especially become key players in the heritage arena in contexts where mining and hydrocarbon extraction considerably contributes economic rewards to both the regional and national economy. Industries have developed statements of engagement that seek to actively shape heritage negotiations. From engaging with stakeholders, local—often indigenous—heritage interests, to interconnected identities, cultural heritage initiatives, and engagements with international NGOs such as ICOMOS and IUCN, these industries have positioned themselves to negotiate corporate security and build bridges with unconventional partners.

Clearly, by funding heritage and memory initiatives, corporate players have not only successfully raised their image and secured their concessions, they have also drastically reformulated local subjectivities and redefined the regimes of truth prescribing the actions of heritage practitioners, local groups and political elites. As such this session will not only be of interest to those anthropologists and archaeologists interested in cultural heritage, but also scholars interested in cultural policy. By spotlighting how major international corporate players are engaged in statecraft, this session also directly contributes ethnographic perspectives to neoliberalism, globalization and the state. Papers in this session will trace how traditional state actors are not the only players involved in reifying the state as a meaningful polity through cultural policy. In a neoliberal setting defined by the global flow of capital and ideas, increasingly corporate players are involved in statecraft, defining the state’s political economy and institutional landscape.

Details on 2016 AAA meetings:

http://www.americananthro.org/AttendEvents/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=1578

Truth, Lies, and Manufacturing Memory

Humber Liberal Arts @ IFOA Conference

October 28 & 29, 2016

Harbourfront Centre, Toronto

Humber College’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences of Toronto, Canada in association with the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) will be presenting its third annual interdisciplinary conference Truth, Lies, and Manufacturing Memory. The International Festival of Authors (IFOA), one of the most celebrated literary festivals in the world, is located at the Harbourfront Centre, one of downtown Toronto’s major cultural and artistic venues.

The conference aims to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussion among scholars and researchers who study topics on the themes of truth and lies. Some emergent themes to be explored include, but are not limited to:

  • contested meaning
  • repressed truth
  • testimony studies
  • trauma, victimhood
  • distortion
  • “lies that tell the truth”
  • revisionism
  • selective memory
  • gaslighting

Call for Proposals (by April 30 2016):

https://www.humber.ca/liberalarts-ifoa/call-proposals

2016 SfAA Heritage and Tourism Sessions

The Society for Applied Anthropology’s Tourism and Heritage Topical Interest Group has compiled a list of all the heritage and tourism sessions taking place at this year’s SfAA conference in Vancouver, Canada. Included are ICHT’s three Critical Heritage and Tourism sessions, detailed here.

Here are the 2016 SfAA heritage and tourism sessions:

(W-133) WEDNESDAY 3:30-5:20 Cypress 2
Exploring Intersections of the Past and Present: Ethnographic Analyses of National Park Service Landscapes and Narratives

(W-163) WEDNESDAY 5:30-7:20 Cypress 2
Commodifying Heritage: Intersections of Tourism, Politics, and Preservation

(TH-05) THURSDAY 8:00-9:50 Salon E
Intersections of Travel and Culture: The Winning Papers of the 2016 Tourism and Heritage Student Paper Competition, Part I

(TH-35) THURSDAY 10:00-11:50 Salon E
Intersections of Travel and Culture: The Winning Papers of the 2016 Tourism and Heritage Student Paper Competition, Part II

(TH-125) THURSDAY 3:30-5:20 Salon E
Student Posters (Valene Smith Tourism Poster Competition)

(F-55) FRIDAY 10:00-11:50 Thompson
The Business of Leisure: The Political Economy of Tourism Discourse and Practice (PESO

(F-79) FRIDAY 12:00-1:20 Fir
Touring Something Different

(S-22) SATURDAY 8:00-9:50 President
The Intersectionality of Tourism, Conservation, and Development

(S-31) SATURDAY 10:00-11:50 Salon A
Touring for the Greater Good: Service and Volunteer Tourism

(S-63) SATURDAY 12:00-1:20 Salon C
Critical Heritage and Tourism, Part I

(S-93) SATURDAY 1:30-3:20 Salon C
Critical Heritage and Tourism, Part II

(S-96) SATURDAY 1:30-3:20 Salon F
Gender, Music, Education, Evangelical Healing and Intersectionality in Maya Communities of Lake Atitlán Guatemala: Reports from the Ethnographic Field School of North Carolina State University, Part I

(S-123) SATURDAY 3:30-5:20 Salon C
Critical Heritage and Tourism, Part III

(S-126) SATURDAY 3:30-5:20 Salon F
Gender, Music, Education, Evangelical Healing and Intersectionality in Maya Communities of Lake Atitlán Guatemala: Reports from the Ethnographic Field School of North Carolina State University, Part II

ICHT Bulletin 2016-2 | Canada’s Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve as Economic Development and Colonial Placemaking

“In the Name of Profit” (ICHT Bulletin 2016-1) (PDF) deconstructs the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve/Region (MABR), a UNESCO biosphere reserve located on the populated east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. From a critical heritage perspective, MABR is seen as late modern colonialism and placemaking.

Abstract

Taking a critical heritage approach to naming and placemaking in contemporary Canada, we discuss how the power to name reflects the power to control people, their land, their past, and ultimately their future. Our case study is the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve (MABR), a recently invented place on Vancouver Island, southwest British Columbia. Through analysis of representations and landscape, we explore MABR as state-sanctioned branding, where a dehumanized nature is packaged for and marketed to wealthy ecotourists. Greenwashed by a feel-good “sustainability” discourse, MABR constitutes colonial placemaking and economic development, representing no break with past practices.

More ICHT publications can be found here.