About the Project

This project seeks to establish an international research network to discuss the processes of indigenous re-emergence around cultural heritage that are currently underway in South America and beyond.

The main objective is to explore the interfaces between the many academic disciplines concerned with this topic, in order to develop innovative concepts to meet the expectations of this rapidly evolving socio-political environment.

The network will be built through two interdisciplinary workshops exploring conceptual and methodological issues, looking at how scholarly frameworks affect, as much as they are affected by, the politics and the lived experience of cultural heritage. The project will last for 14 months.

The workshops will gather specialists in a variety of disciplines (archaeology, socio-cultural anthropology, history, cultural and linguistic studies), whose expertise includes research settings as different as the UK, South America, USA, and Australia. The participants share a common research interest in identity, material culture, and the socio-politics of academic practice, maximising the potential for mutually beneficial synergies. The wide range of empirical and theoretical vantage points will foster novel creative thinking and analysis.

While broad in scope and potentially relevant for a variety of contexts, this exploration will be tied to very practical matters. Many of the Argentinean participants collaborate with local indigenous communities of Tucumán, some of which have recently regained full management of their iconic archaeological sites.

While the project aims first at providing an academic space for discussion and knowledge development, it does so recognising that these communities are the main interlocutors of the local partner institution. The project will therefore also be a platform to catalyse a sustainable future collaboration, based on community needs and priorities identified through the duration of the project. The insight gained through the interactions with world experts will be invaluable for this purpose.

Suggested Discussion Themes

  • Networks of attachments: identity-making through and with materials, artefacts and locations
  • Spaces of/for collective imaginaries; academic, indigenous, and in-between?
  • Disciplinary formations and interdisciplinary dialogues: indigenous re-emergence as object of study and experience across expertise
  • Indigenous historical consciousness and academic practice: performance, representation & lived experience
  • Historicising-emergent identities: how to write about past societies in ways that are as committed to the past as responsive to the present?
  • Past and present cultural re-emergence: is a long-durée approach to current indigenous re-emergence possible/desirable?
  • Legality and territorialiy: measuring, categorising and constituting domains and subjects


AHRC Research networking scheme

Partner Institution

Instituto de Arqueología y Museo, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina