Re-Imagining Colonial Pasts, Influencing Colonial Futures
This chapter introduces the major themes and coherent aims of the volume, arguing that colonialism is a subject of concern not simply as a condition of the past but also evolving and having impacts in the present and future. Archaeologies of colonialism, which encompass these perspectives, must grapple with the pitfalls and potentials of comparative approaches, most clearly evident when the voices of descendant communities are part of the study. Authors in this volume converge on two broad themes that are highlighted here: critical temporalities (conflicting concepts of past, future, and historical memory) and critical geographies (conflicting notions of local/global, native/immigrant, mainstream/marginal). Archaeologies of colonialism in this volume also seek to demonstrate that both the violence of colonial oppression and the agency and creativity of indigenous and marginalized peoples can and should be part of interpretation and representation, acknowledging that in some instances these perspectives are subject to contemporary conflict and tension.
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