Countering dominant narratives of conflict through attention to memory and trauma
“Critically engages with the many faceted legacies of conflict and its memorialization, exemplifying the value of multiple perspectives through an ethical commitment to inclusive practice.”—Audrey Horning, author of Ireland in the Virginian Sea: Colonialism in the British Atlantic
“Embraces archaeology’s most fundamental role: to expose the histories of those under-represented or invisible in history’s dominant narratives, and to challenge the veracity of historical narratives to develop a more inclusive and honest history.”—Thomas J. Connolly, coauthor of Oregon Archaeology
“Significant in its holistic approach to the topic of conflict. The authors combine insights gained from the application of new technologies and theoretical approaches with considered and inclusive narratives of trauma in colonial contexts. An important resource for those who read and teach about best practices in conducting battlefield archaeology projects.”—Mary Elizabeth Fitts, author of Fit for War: Sustenance and Order in the Mid-Eighteenth-Century Catawba Nation
This volume presents approaches to the archaeology of war that move beyond the forensic analysis of battlefields, fortifications, and other sites of conflict to consider the historical memory, commemoration, and social experience of war. Leading scholars offer critical insights that challenge the dominant narratives about landscapes of war from throughout the history of North American settler colonialism.
Grounded in the empirical study of fields of conflict, these essays extend their scope to include a commitment to engaging local Indigenous and other descendant communities and to illustrating how public memories of war are actively and politically constructed. Contributors examine conflicts including the battle of Chikasha, King Philip’s War, the 1694 battle at Guadalupe Mesa, the Rogue River War, the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862, and a World War II battle on the island of Saipan. Studies also investigate the site of the Schenectady Massacre of 1690 and colonial posts staffed by Black soldiers.
Chapters discuss how prevailing narratives often minimized the complexity of these conflicts, smoothed over the contradictions and genocidal violence of colonialism, and erased the diversity of the participants. This volume demonstrates that the collaborative practice of conflict archaeology has the potential to reveal the larger meanings, erased voices, and lingering traumas of war.
Mark Axel Tveskov is professor of anthropology at Southern Oregon University. Ashley Ann Bissonnette is assistant professor of public health at Eastern Connecticut State University.
A volume in the series Cultural Heritage Studies, edited by Paul A. Shackel