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Second Annual Meeting on Community Archaeology & Heritage, Penn Cultural Heritage Center

April 4, 2020

Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States

AIA Society: Philadelphia

Call for Papers Deadline: January 3, 2020

The Penn Cultural Heritage Center, University of Pennsylvania, invites proposals for papers from graduate students and other researchers working in the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, cultural heritage and related fields for the Center’s Second Annual Meeting on Community Archaeology and Heritage. The topic for our 2020 conference is “Owning (up to) the Past.”

The question of ownership has been central to recent heritage studies and community archaeology projects. Who truly “owns” the past? Moreover, what does it mean to own up to the past? Museums globally have grappled with questions of authority over and control of objects taken in colonial contexts. Public and community archaeology projects have similarly struggled with determining which narratives of the past will be privileged for the future, and who should be involved in such decisions.

This year’s conference takes the conversation around ownership as a point of departure, seeking to address some of the important questions it raises. What does it mean to own colonial history, and what does it mean to own up to it? What are ways to “return” justice – both including, and beyond, repatriation? Is there a way to ethically display objects without reproducing the prevailing narratives of colonial power? What does it mean to “belong” to a particular time or space even after borders change? How might technology intersect with and complicate ways of sharing and returning history?

The Penn CHC seeks scholars who are engaging in innovative theoretical and practical strategies for grappling with questions of ownership where they pertain to museum collections, narratives, land, or policy and governance.
Presenters should draw from their own research experiences in community archaeology, public heritage, museums, or related areas, grounding their discussions in how ownership is defined and negotiated in theory and in practice.
Proposals should include a title and an abstract of no more than 200 words, as well as a short author bio. Presenters should prepare for a 20 minute-long presentation (15 minutes for presenting, 5 minutes for questions and discussion). Early career graduate students and researchers are encouraged to apply.

Submit all material at:

Abstract Submission – 5 pm, January 3, 2020
Abstract Acceptance – February 3, 2020
Conference Date – April 4, 2020

*Please note accommodation or travel for participants will not be covered.

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April 4, 2020
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Grace Golden
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Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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