Archaeology and social justice in island worlds

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleCommunication


Ongoing discussions about the problems of white supremacy and colonialism in archaeology are useful but have not, thus far, fully considered the exacerbated effects of these issues on small islands. In this opinion piece, we, two white women academics from the Global North with extensive experience working in the Dutch Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands, observe these exacerbated effects in governance, academic hegemony, and community relations, and call for more consideration of the effects of our discipline in small island contexts. Ultimately, in line with the observations of local, descendant, and Indigenous scholars, we argue that archaeologists must invest in de-colonial, antiracist, and social justice efforts in heritage fields and industries by foregrounding the wishes and needs of island communities. This may involve modifying or altogether abandoning current motivations and practices to build a discipline that can be a positive rather than a negative in island worlds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Archaeology
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Social Justice, island archaeology, neo-colonialism, ethical practice, community consultation, extractive capitalism

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ID: 340697234