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Making Alternative Histories

The Practice of Archaeology and History in Non-Western Settings

Edited by Peter R. Schmidt and Thomas C. Patterson

Making Alternative Histories1995. 332 pp., 8 black-and-white illustrations, notes, references, index, 6 x 91995. 332 pp., 8 black-and-white illustrations, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

After working in Third World contexts for more than a century, many archaeologists from the West have yet to hear and understand the voices of their colleagues in non-Western cultural settings. In Making Alternative Histories, eleven scholars from Africa, India, Latin America, North America, and Europe debate and discuss how to respond to the erasures of local histories by colonialism, neocolonial influences, and the practice of archaeology and history as we know them today in North America and much of the Western world. Making Alternative Histories presents a profound challenge to traditional Western modes of scholarship and will be required reading for Western archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians.

IMPORTANT NOTICE || August 1, 2015

This volume is available. SAR Press is moving our order fulfillment to UNM Press and new orders will be delayed by several weeks. Until they are up and running, new book orders can be emailed to press[at]sarsf.org or faxed to (505) 954-7241. We will forward your orders to UNMP. Thank you for your patience.

Contributors: Bassey W. Andah, Iraida Vargas Arenas, Jalil Sued Badillo, Michael L. Blakey, Partha Chatterjee, Russell G. Handsman, Augustin F. C. Holl, Thomas C. Patterson, Trudie Lamb Richmond, Peter R. Schmidt, Alison Wylie

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Download an excerpt (PDF, 4 MB).

Read Reviews

  • “[T]he volume is both challenging and useful. It provides a good introduction to the work of postcolonial writers from all over the world and is a useful antidote to the narrowness of perspective in much archaeological writing. It includes concrete examples of ways that archaeologists and others can begin to write histories that reveal the lives of people who do not appear in 'official,' state, or most nationalist histories. Making Alternative Histories would be useful for all archaeologists and historians who hope to be a part of a discipline that is meaningful and relevant.”
    Carol McDavid, Historical Archaeology Vol. 32, no. 4 (1998)
  • “In 1992 a School for Advanced Research seminar brought together 11 scholars from Africa, India, Latin America, North America, and Europe to consider how archaeology and other historical research may be used 'to recuperate the histories of peoples that have been erased, marginalized, or misrepresented.... [T]his collection … will make excellent, albeit challenging fodder for graduate student seminars and provocative reading for any practitioner confronting his or her own participation in the politics of writing the past.”
    Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, American Anthropologist 99, no. 3 (September 1997)
  • “In sum, this volume is an important contribution to the growing library of works that seek to demystify the production of historical and scientific knowledge... Undertaken as a collaborative endeavor that involved scholars of different backgrounds in the production of knowledge, the book is a signpost to the future.”
    Tamara L. Bray, Anthropological Quarterly Vol. 71, no. 1 (January 1998)
  • “This volume, the product of an advanced seminar at Santa Fe, provides a partisan view for the making of histories that are locally relevant and unencumbered by colonial and neo-colonial bias. It contains papers on Caribbean, Latin American, Native American, Indian and African archaeologies and histories… This volume ... should be read by everyone working in the Third World today.”
    Mark Horton, Antiquity (1998)
  • “A very solid contribution to our understanding of what doing archaeology in society can (and should) entail.”
    Bulletin of the History of Archaeology

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