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To the Commons and Back? Voicing Reclamation at the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office

Friday, February 28, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room: D216
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Speaker:  Hannah McElgunn, PhD Candidate Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Chicago

Research Talk Title:  To the Commons and Back? Voicing Reclamation at the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office

In 1913, the Field Columbian Museum of Chicago conducted its last collecting expedition to Hopi, an Indigenous homeland in what is currently Arizona. A narrative of linear decline motivated the urgency of this expedition; the Hopi way of life was soon to disappear, the curators thought. This narrative, and the hegemony it stabilizes, have become increasingly challenged in the U.S. through growing reclamation efforts springing from Indigenous communities. Against this backdrop, this talk considers how people with different epistemological commitments are drawn into relation in this era of reclamation. I focus on the way that advisors to the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office voice a distinctive mode of authority to speak back to an extractive history. In listening to these responses, I suggest that reclamation does not undo the transformations that have occurred, but that new modes of relating to knowledge and property ensue from these efforts.

Barbra Lalonde
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