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  • 1. Brück, Joanna
    et al.
    Nilsson Stutz, Liv
    Emory University, USA.
    Is Archaeology Still a Project for the Nation State? An editorial Comment2016In: Archaeological Dialogues, ISSN 1380-2038, E-ISSN 1478-2294, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 1-3Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The European Association of Archaeologists has long fostered critical analysis of the relationship between archaeology and politics, particularly the politics of national, regional and supra-regional identities. Although the role of nationalism in the birth of archaeology as a discipline is well recognized, the events of the past few years – from the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, to the movement for secession in eastern Ukraine, and the rise of explicitly nationalist political movements across the continent – suggest that the (re)formulation of national identities is likely to continue to have major implications both for our interpretation of the past and for the practice of archaeology in the present. In light of this, the Archaeological dialogues editorial board organized a round table at the EAA meeting in Glasgow in September 2015 to explore the extent to which institutional, legislative and funding structures as well as political and cultural imperatives continue to bind our discipline into the construction of nationalist narratives, and this more or less in spite of long-standing critical debates within the discipline itself that for decades have problematized the relationship. Are we caught in a ‘can't-live-with-and-can't-live-without’ situation? While explicitly nationalist archaeologies have become almost obsolete in the European academies, we rarely contemplate the impact of nationalism on funding or the definition and protection of cultural heritage, for example. Several of the following papers suggest that without the nation state's involvement, the vicissitudes of global capitalism would result in a situation where it would be extremely difficult to adequately protect our ‘heritage’, however that is defined.

  • 2.
    Holtorf, Cornelius
    University of Kalmar, School of Human Sciences.
    Archaeology - from usefulness to value2009In: Archaeological Dialogues, ISSN 1380-2038, E-ISSN 1478-2294, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 182-186Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    I have much sympathy for Shannon Dawdy’s eloquent argument in favour of reorienting archaeology away from reconstructions of the past and towards problems of the present (p. 140). The topic is timely, her argument sharp, and the discussion of the issues at hand benefits from them being put on the spot in rather dramatic fashion. I do not agree with those who might argue that such calls for more social relevance in a humanities subject are merely the symptom of an unhelpful but prevalent insecurity and demonstrate a lack of confidence in one’s own academic abilities. At the same time, Dawdy’s passionate and courageous argument would have benefited from additional analysis of the subject matter at hand. As it stands, I have two main reservations to her paper.

  • 3.
    Holtorf, Cornelius
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    The need and potential for an archaeology orientated towards the present2013In: Archaeological Dialogues, ISSN 1380-2038, E-ISSN 1478-2294, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 12-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The question ‘Can an archaeologist be a public intellectual?’ appears to express both an unfulfilled desire and a secret hope of an entire professional corps to count among them at least a few public intellectuals. I suggest that the state of the discipline of archaeology makes it harder, compared with other disciplines, for its professional representatives to address present-day issues and relate to public debates. I also suggest that maybe the most significant effect of the fact that society’s public intellectuals generally do not have degrees in archaeology is that participants in public debates and policy makers are unaware of how various applications of archaeology and cultural heritage can benefit contemporary society. This potential will therefore have to be realized in different ways.

  • 4.
    Högberg, Anders
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    To renegotiate heritage and citizenship beyond essentialism2016In: Archaeological Dialogues, ISSN 1380-2038, E-ISSN 1478-2294, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 39-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The heritage sector all through Europe and beyond is historically linked to the task of providing nations with glorious myths of origin within a metaphysical framework of essentialism. This is now shifting. With ambitions to pluralize the past, archaeology and the heritage sector are transforming within the nation state. Heritage in present-day societies has increasingly come to serve citizens with a range of cultural identities to chose from. But what is actually new in the way archaeology and the heritage sector address issues of heritage and citizenship? This text discusses how the heritage sector tends to renegotiate the essentialism of the nation state in theory, but at the same time maintain essentialism as the driving force in professional practices and interpretative frameworks. I suggest a new way for archaeology to work within another framework than essentialism. This suggestion does not go beyond the nation state, but inspires archaeology to rethink its narratives on how heritage links to citizenship.

  • 5.
    Tarlow, Sarah
    et al.
    Leicester University, UK.
    Nilsson Stutz, Liv
    Emory University, USA.
    Can an Archaeologist be a Public Intellectual?2013In: Archaeological Dialogues, ISSN 1380-2038, E-ISSN 1478-2294, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 1-5Article in journal (Other academic)
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