Race and Prosaic Materiality

Paul R. Mullins

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World

Published in print October 2013 | ISBN: 9780199602001
Published online December 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191755859 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Race and Prosaic Materiality

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  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology


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Race has long been rendered invisible in everyday materiality or remade to mask the relationship between material things and the colour line. This chapter focuses on a public sculpture project in Indianapolis, Indiana and reveals how racist privileges are at the heart of American experience even as the racial dimensions of seemingly mundane materiality are unseen or concealed. The Indianapolis experience reflects the ways many communities struggle to simultaneously remember, displace, memorialize, and efface colour line heritage in cities where there appear to be no contemporary material traces of the colour line.

Keywords: race; African America; monuments; Indianapolis

Article.  6483 words. 

Subjects: Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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