In Rwanda, the field of heritage production is dominated by the central government. National museums and memorials are part of the government’s efforts to establish a usable history for the country, where politicized divisions between ethnic groups, reinforced and reified during colonialism, resulted in a devastating genocide in 1994. Establishing a singular narrative and identity—along with the life-or-death stakes—means that the democratizing practices advocated within heritage scholarship circles are unlikely to gain traction.
The Undocumented Migration Project (UMP) is a long-term anthropological study of undocumented migration between Mexico and the United States that uses ethnography, archaeology, and forensic science to better understand this clandestine social process. Children are often set aside when talking or thinking about such an “adult” issue, yet they are still subjected to the same socio-political forces as adults. Part of Nicole Smith’s research project, involves the voices of those who migrated when they were children.
Archaeologists have the potential to contribute to collective black history and memory, and to help black folks reconstruct their histories from a more politically aware viewpoint. I am a member of a historically disempowered and marginalized group with access to forms of elite knowledge, utilizing social theory and producing knowledge within a field that has traditionally been dominated by white men. From my position, I am able to rearticulate the stories of the black women in this collection and lend my own critical insights into the history of oppression.
Many enslaved African-Americans made their way to Southwestern Ontario, Canada, through the Underground Railroad network, in the hopes of gaining freedom from enslavement, only to be met with further prejudice upon their arrival. Despite the important role enslaved African-Americans played, there is little documentary information about them and their impact in shaping the history of Canada and the province of Ontario.
Another momentous and violently suppressed protest occurred ten days before the opening of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The world, however, has hardly any memories of what happened during the brutal and cowardly massacre of an unknown number of students at Tlatelolco, the open market where Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado massacred Aztecs in 1521.
For attendees of the AAA Annual Meeting in San José, the reference to smoke is apropos. We all saw and felt the cloud of nearby disaster. Smoke is a cloud, dimming vision and making it hard to breathe deeply. How was it possible to pass from venue to venue, and session to business meeting to roundtable with that cloud hanging over us all?
The Archaeology Division of the AAA received a Community Engagement grant from the AAA Section Assembly Executive Committee to help support a two-part event that will take place at the Annual Meeting and at the adjacent Tech Museum of Innovation.