BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: Archaeology... are we lackeys of the capitalist state?
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Just has this in from WAC. I have my repy here:
Quote:An interesting concept. and sweeping away the marxist / socialist speak, then what is being asked?

is CRM bad?

is archaeology part of the capitalist imperative. the answer is duh.. yeah!

I would ask that they look back to a time before commercial archaeology... it goes from a capitalist base to an elitist enclave which excludes the 'masses'

We become as complicit as we want to.

I will pass this about... fascinating!

here follows the email:

WAC INTER-CONGRESS
DISENTANGLING CONTRACT ARCHAEOLOGY
Porto Alegre, Brazil, June 3-4, 2013

Description: Contract archaeology (CA, from hereafter) —variously known as CRM, urgent, and rescue archaeology— can be defined as the way the discipline engages capitalist expansion, sacrificing its critical stance. Its impact is so pervasive that a significant number of archaeologists work for that growing market. By doing so, they have abandoned any possible intervention in contemporary issues in order to dance to the rhythm of money.

Archaeologists create products that get used in a variety of ways by many publics. Rarely consider is their role as producers of historical commodities and the uses to which their products are put. Do they have responsibilities beyond production? Are archaeologists conscious about their complicity with the market and capitalist mandates? If so, how do they accommodate a practice that calls for social justice and accountability while at the same time working with and for capitalist projects that bypass social demands? Is it possible to practice a decolonizing archaeology in a CA program? The non-reflexive complicity of most archaeologists with CA has created a public space in which capitalism demands archaeological expertise —as a means of appeasing the vigilance of heritage protectors (themselves providers of capitalist/humanistic products)— and archaeology happily provides it. Thus the relationship between archaeology and capitalist expansion appears as an innocent instrumentality, as a mere technical service that avoids probing the conditions under which such a relationship unfolds, the principles (if any) that are at stake, and possible scenarios in which complicity is replaced by critical engagement.

Purpose: This I-C aims to bring together people to critically discuss various aspects of contract archaeology, such as but not limited to: (a) how has impacted curricular transformations (something achieved by no other event in the history of the discipline): new undergraduate programs —characterized by their short length (normally no more than three years) and their technical emphasis— are being created to mass-produce archaeologists to fulfill the contractual needs arising from aggressive capitalist expansions (transport infrastructure and mining are the most salient); in the process the ties between archaeology and anthropology, already weak, have been severed; (b) how has abated the critical stance of archaeology towards the global order —the struggle for social justice, including engaging alternative social/historical worldviews— by an overt complicity with market mandates; © how has turned the past into a commodity and local communities as its consumers; and (d) how has diminished the possibility for the discipline to re-build its metaphysical and ontological apparatus, already clearly hierarchical and neocolonial.

Organizers: Cristóbal Gnecco (Universidad del Cauca, Colombia/CNPq, Brazil) and Adriana Schmidt Dias (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil).



Dates: June 3-4, 2013.

Venue: Auditorium of the Law School, Central Campus of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil (Av. João Pessoa, nº 80).

Registration: desvelandoarqueologiacontrato@gmail.com
Registration cost: U$ 15.
:face-approve:...abso-F.in-lootly
I think my brain hurts now, though how much of that is due to their own experiences of archaeological contract work in a particular area and how mush is a truly worldwide phenomena I couldn't say. Wonder if I offer to pay the $15 entry fee my employer would be willing to pay my travel expenses?
seems to be agreeing with much that is said on this forum - apart from a couple of delusionals on another thread
BAJR Wrote:(a) how has impacted curricular transformations (something achieved by no other event in the history of the discipline): new undergraduate programs —characterized by their short length (normally no more than three years) and their technical emphasis— are being created to mass-produce archaeologists to fulfill the contractual needs arising from aggressive capitalist expansions (transport infrastructure and mining are the most salient)

I'm just trying to reconcile that question with the repeated discussion here of how undergarduate courses (in Britain at least) teach almost nothing of practical use to the would-be commercial archaeologist.
Oh dear.

Sith I was thinking the same.

I wonder why the email couldn't have been written in plain English?

'how has impacted curricular transformations'........my brain hurts too

Though I'd love to get my hands on some metaphysical apparatus......is that like a PKE meter or a proton pack
Some plainer language would probably encourage more people to read that!

Don't disagree with much of it though
Sorry jack, you beat me to it
I may be unfashionable in my world view but what exactly is wrong with capitalism? As long as people get a fair wage for their fare days work?
Wise not putting that in amongst the socialist ranting on the other thread!... didn't this web site use to have some archaeology on it? :face-stir:

Anyway, time to go spend some of those capitalist pieces of silver down the pub after a long week's lackeyism :face-approve:
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