Through their Ashes.

From Archaeologization to Autoethnography

 

Abstract:

 

Hernán Vidal posed questions about the power relations and the processes of subalternization produced by Anthropology, which he refers to as a Western cultural institution that comprises several subfields, in two of which he stood out: Archeology and Social Anthropology. His Master's degree thesis —Through Their Ashes. Ethnographic Images and Regional Identity in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina) (FLACSO-Ecuador, 1993)— operated as a hinge in a journey that would lead him to discuss the principles on which his research was based. His concerns about the political aspects of academic research took him away from the explicitly scientific formulation proposed by the New Archeology. In this way, he took distance from the explanatory models developed by Population Ecology studies. Appealing to reflexivity, he drew attention to the complicity of the early ethnographers, local historians, and archaeologists in the production of the discursive “extinction” of the indigenous peoples that made their appropriation possible —through their material fragments and even through their dead— by means of dispositifs of patrimonialization, musealization, and archaeologization. He maintained that “focused on our role as experts in the prehistoric past, we were unable to see the obvious cultural processes of the present.” In this way, starting from a situated knowledge, crossed by the effects of hegemony and ideology, he questioned the system of inter-ethnic subordination that excluded migrant workers from the local history narratives, he also questioned the institutionalization of archaeological knowledge in the State’s apparatus and the production of theories disconnected from the cases. Positioned as a subject of his own ethnography, he analyzed social relations in daily life, the uses of the past, selective memories, the denial of coevalness, and the imbrications between science, State, and nationalism. Wondering about the audience for which we write, he called us to face the political and ethical consequences of our representations. In this panel, we invite colleagues to discuss the issues raised by Vidal twenty-five years ago and to reflect on their relevance in the present.

key words:

Patrimonialization, Musealization, Archaeologization, Subalternization, Auto-ethnography.

 

COORDINAtors: 

 

Mariela Eva Rodríguez, Investigadora Adjunta del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de Argentina (CONICET), en la Sección Etnología del Instituto de Ciencias Antropológicas (ICA), Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). Profesora Adjunta de la licenciatura en Ciencias Antropológicas de la UBA. Profesora de la Maestría en Antropología Social y Política de la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), sede Argentina. Correo electrónico: marielaeva@gmail.com

Magdalena Vidal, Estudiante de la Licenciatura en Ciencias Antropológicas, de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). magusvidal@hotmail.com

Ana Cecilia Gerrard, Becaria doctoral del Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Instituto de Cultura, Sociedad y Estado (ICSE), Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego (UNTDF). Docente- Investigadora ICSE- UNTDF. Correo electrónico: cgerrard@untdf.edu.ar.

Alejandro Haber, Investigador Principal del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de Argentina (CONICET). Profesor Titular de la Universidad Nacional de Catamarca en dicha Universidad. Correo electrónico: afhaber@gmail.com

 

symposium commentato:

Alejandro Haber, Investigador Principal del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de Argentina (CONICET). Profesor Titular de la Universidad Nacional de Catamarca en dicha Universidad. Correo electrónico: afhaber@gmail.com