Landscapes of Inequality

Lecture | February 12 | 12-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 Annie Danis, Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

 Archaeological Research Facility

In this talk I compare how two community-based research projects I led created archaeological knowledge and became part of contemporary land-use politics. The first, the Albany Bulb Archaeology project, documented self-built homes at a public park on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay after the encampment’s eviction in 2014. The second, the ongoing Berkeley-Abiquiu Collaborative Archaeology (BACA) project, surveyed and interpreted the historic acequia irrigation ditches that traverse the 18th century Land Grant community of el Pueblo de Abiquiú in northern New Mexico. Both came into being in partnership with communities interested in spatial-temporal materialities forged by colonialism and capitalism in the last 400 years. My research explores how art and collaborative scholarly practice can enable the study of landscapes forged by large-scale social phenomena of inequality. Investigating landscapes of inequality requires an expanded toolkit of collaborative and representational practices in order for anthropological archaeology not to reify, produce, and reproduce the very inequality at question.

About the speaker: Annie Danis is a community-based anthropologist and artist who studies material histories of inequality in North America. Her work explores the intersection of art and archaeology through a sensory approach to historic landscapes of colonialism. Working with indigenous, descendant, and stakeholder communities demonstrates how archaeology can use new and alternative forms of mediation to engage contemporary communities. With these community partners she makes art that uses an archaeological sensibility to deepen our understandings of the materiality of history and place.