Decolonizing Colonial Desire
Past Lecture

Decolonizing Colonial Desire

Decolonizing Colonial Desire
April 16, 2021 | 5 pm CEST | with Uzma Rizvi, anthropological archaeologist, cultural archaeologist, and curator


The act of decolonization requires active steps to redress past injustices related to colonialism. It is complicated to decolonize museums because of the deep and intimate relationships colonial states have to their collections as monuments to nation-building and authorized heritage. These relationships held by majority populations and governance are locally specific; however, what unites the various geographies is the history of colonization, and the continued violence on othered bodies in those locales. This presentation will address these local and transnational histories in relation to the contemporary time, and offer possible pathways to decolonize colonial desires of collection.

Uzma Z. Rizvi is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, and a Visiting Professor at Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Pakistan. Rizvi’s research interests include decolonizing archaeology, ancient urbanism, critical heritage studies, new materialism, and the postcolonial critique. A primary focus of her work contends with archaeological epistemologies and methodologies, and changed praxis based on decolonized principles and participatory ethics. Rizvi has intentionally interwoven archaeology with cultural criticism, philosophy, critical theory, art and design. Her recent monograph, The Affect of Crafting: Third Millennium BCE Copper Arrowheads from Rajasthan, India (2018) follows other publications including volumes such as Archaeology and the Postcolonial Critique (2008), Handbook on Postcolonial Archaeology (2010), and Connections and Complexity: New Approaches to the Archaeology of South Asia (2013). Most recently, her article, Archaeological Encounters: The Role of the Speculative in Decolonial Archaeology (2019) was published in a special issue on Archaeology and Futurity, in the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology. Rizvi specializes in studying third millennium BCE communities in the MENASA region, and she is a critical voice for global issues related to issues around equity and justice.

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This lecture is part of the Against the Grain Online Course:

April 16 | 5 pm CEST
Decolonizing Colonial Desire
with Uzma Rizvi

April 23 | 5 pm CEST
Deforestation as Epistemicide
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April 30 | 5 pm CEST
Imperial Fevers, Invisible Lives
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May 7 | 5 pm CEST
The Frame of History
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May 14 | 5 pm CEST
Finding Louise E. Jefferson
with Tasheka Arceneux-Sutton

May 21 | 5 pm CEST
Ladies of Letters
with Bahia Shehab

May 28 | 5 pm CEST
Salted Waters in the Whorls of Time
with Luiza Prado de O. Martins

June 4 | 5 pm CEST
Visualising the Invisible
with Sria Chatterjee