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Opening Table - Current Challenges of Archaeological Research
Since the last edition of the International Week of Archeology (SIA) in 2017, the academic milieu has received several news about cuts in public investments in science. By the end of 2016, in the Proposal for Constitutional Amendment (PEC) 241/55, an investment ceiling had already been announced in the area of education for up to 20 years. Subsequently in 2017, a budget cut of 2.2 billion reais (44%) of the 5 billion destined for investment to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC) is reported. At the beginning of 2018, CAPES, no. 245/2018-GAB / PR / CAPES, addressed to the Ministry of Education (MEC), warned of possible cuts in scholarships, projects and other fundings for the year 2019, to nearly 200 thousand fellows. Then, the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP) announce a reduction forecast in the transfer of resources to 2019. In CNPq the budget is expected to be reduced from R$ 1.2 billion, to 800 million, a decrease of approximately 33% over the previous year. At FINEP, however, the approved projects are budgeted at around R$ 1.6 billion, but the estimated budget is 746 million, less than half the amount required.
With this scenario, the panel proposes to discuss, from different perspectives, the investment in science as a whole, but also the impact on the training of professionals in archeology. In view of the changes by election year and beginning of state management during the event, it will be able to take stock and show future perspectives from the point of view of the university. Prof. Dr. Eduardo Neves is a professor at the University of São Paulo and current deputy director of the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. Prof. Marcia Bezerra, current Adjunct Coordinator of Academic Programs of CAPES in the area of Anthropology / Archeology and Prof. Antônio Carlos de Souza Lima (UFRJ), current coordinator of the Anthropology / Archeology area of CAPES, will be able to contextualize our field of knowledge in the eyes of government administrative bodies, and how the current austerity scenario may affect the distribution and evaluation of Archeology Programs . Flávia Calé, president of the National Association of post-graduate students, would be invited to speak about the place of student representation, by the association that maintains chairs in councils of CAPES and CNPq. It is proposed that the impacts on the reductions of postgraduate researchers, the permanency aids, but also the organizations and manifestations found by the Association through meetings and events of post-graduate students be addressed. Finally, we propose that Profa. Elaine Veloso Hirata, should be the mediator of the debate, bringing the demands that MAE has to tie the debate.
Round Table 1 - Archeology of repression and resistance: Materiality and Heritage in conflict areas
In recent years, we have experienced a series of attacks against human rights. Political persecution, disrespect for social and labor rights, and disappearance and murder are some of the violence committed, especially against marginalized groups. Shattered memories lining the corridors of history, material and immaterial patrimonies catching fire, and the sadism of oligarchic governments taking over this movement. It is within this obscure framework that archeological studies on repression contexts (system policies) and resistance (non-passivity of the subjects) form a line of study with great potential to develop a critical view of the recent past, highlighting the naturalized inequalities of political systems, especially those located in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
The proposal of a panel dedicated to the Archeology of repression and resistance aims to bring forward dialogues of different theoretical and methodological approaches that allow participants to deepen discussions regarding the political, epistemological and experiential points of view related to memory, heritage, expectations and temporalities experienced by civil society. In this way, the aim is to demonstrate the potential of Archeology as a political, dialogical tool for the construction / reconstruction of memories, with the capacity to assist in the constitution of more democratic and just societies.
Round Table 2 - Why a Queer Archeology?
Archeology in the last decades has unfolded in many practices and created a rich array of approaches, potentializing the interpretations about the past, mainly from its political turn. It is in this sense that a series of voices disrupting the standard and the norm (white, western, heterosexual, middle class, among other markers) has found and gained space for enunciation within the field of sciences. In this view, the dialogue with queer theory, which seeks to overcome sexual and gender binarism, while proposing to deconstruct and subvert it has been extremely stimulating to the area.
Queer Archeology has challenged normative interpretations, making it possible to construct new and different ways of interpreting the past, the essentialism of identities, the stability of gender and sexuality orders, prejudice in archeological practice, thus defying not only sexism, but also the heteronormativity and the anachronisms associated with the archaeological interpretations. This queer approach is still timid and incipient in Brazil, but has been gaining strength and visibility.
To relate archeology and sexuality seems impossible for our context, however the deconstruction of the look through queer theory can open new flanks of research, as well as make possible more pluralistic readings of the world, while approaching the archaeological practice of the latent debates of society . According to the Gay Group of Bahia, every 19 hours an LGBTQI + (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersexual and others) person is is murdered in the country, therefore engaging this discussion in science is fundamental to give visibility to these people, a step in which it is argued that the heteronormative model, in force today, was not always, or is, the norm. The archaeological production seeks to evidence and discuss diversity over time and space, so it has much to contribute with the activation of other social markers such as sexuality and gender.
In this way, we intend with this table to foment a discussion on the implications of what is to make queer archeology, and to inspire new generations of archaeologists and archeologists that this type of practice is possible and viable. As the researcher Guacira Lopes Louro informs us, "Queer theory allows us to think about the ambiguity, multiplicity and fluidity of sexual and gender identities, but also suggests new ways of thinking about culture, knowledge, power and education ".
Round Table 3 - Quilombola Archeology
Since the 1960s, when historical archeology emerged in the United States, slavery in America was the subject of research. In the following decades, archaeological studies carried out in the USA plantations began to recognize the spaces with traces associated with the history of Africans and Afrodescendants in the context of the diaspora. Among the archaeological researches of African slavery and diaspora in the Americas, quilombo studies have always stood out in the quest to understand the strategies of resistance employed against the slave system.
One of the central challenges of archaeological studies on ancient quilombos is to identify these sites formed by a group of people who did not want to be found. Even when there is an indication of the places of these sites, it is still a challenge to recognize the material culture corresponding to this social category deprived of rights, in an attempt to distinguish the behavior and aspects of their identity in relation to the dominant white society.
In some Latin American countries, such as Brazil, work on quilombos has acquired new configurations since the last decade of the 20th century, with the recognition of quilombola communities. The new challenge for Archeology is to account for the complexity of the multifaceted processes that these communities have experienced since the end of slavery. Between the past and the present, the concepts of quilombo and quilombola community are assumed by history and anthropology in different ways. Navigating the interdisciplinary nature of his field of research, the archaeologist assumes the new attempt to re-signify the term quilombo and to understand the formation process of quilombola communities.
In this sense, thinking about the factors that involve the task of identifying the quilombola archaeological heritage in America and the means by which they are being explored in the different contexts is the main subject of discussion of this table.
Round Table 4 – Indigenous Archeologies
Even though they are diverse and plural, varying regarding context and reasons for its practice, indigenous archeologies refer to oral traditions, ancestry and memory of indigenous peoples, being able to be defined as archeologies from, with, for and by indigenous communities(Atalay, 2012; Silva, 2012; Silliman, 2015).
With the potential of conflict in its core, confronting distinct opinions on heritage, putting at stake who has the right to control and build the past and who has the right to define research agendas, the indigenous archeologies seek to reposition indigenous histories within their dominant colonies, highlighting their points of view in academic perspectives, such as positioning indigenous people in regard to the professional and disciplinary enterprise that colonized and appropriated their histories (Smith; Wobst, 2005; Silliman, 2015). Furthermore, they are crucial to remove the archaeological practice from its “comfort zone”, a needed situation for the reinvention and survival of Archeology in dark times and budget cuts in scientific funding in Brazil, for the future of this field depends on its relevance, audience and benefits it can bring to the most diverse peoples and communities (Atalay, 2012). Seeking to articulate several view points and experiences, the table in question is an invite to face new archaeological perspectives.
Closing lecture: Prof. Dr. Chip Colwell
To close the event we proposed the participation of and archaeologist that is currently the curator from the Denver Museum of Anthropology, and has a vast production in the areas of heritage, culture and conflict zones, exploring the political role of Archeology and its practitioners in these contexts. Some of his most cited papers in Archeology highlight the role that people and living communities have with material culture and regarding the ethic of professionals involved with the archeological practice.
In this fashion, we propose a lecture that may approach and tie together the discussions brought up throughout the event, such as future perspectives towards science, the role and importance of museological institutions for Archeology, as the importance of the professionals, preservation of heritage, their research and extroversion, among other topics.
In light of the recent destruction of the Museu Nacional by the fire in September, we reinforce the importance that is to talk about the formation of museums, in Brazil and worldwide, and how much it is possible to change regarding approaches and new perspectives.
What is heritage, and what is a Museum for? Discussing what the Museu Nacional represents, and the collection it had, makes itself necessary since there are so many other museums throughout the country, and they are responsible for the formation of many professionals in Archaeology. So, Chip Colwell, as a current leading reference on this subject, may contribute to the debate bringing the importance of an ethical and political archaeology.
May 20 - 24, 2019 - FFLCH/USP - Cidade Universitária - São Paulo - SP - Brazil