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P336


Valuing nature, valuing science: shifting ‘appreciations’ of colonial matter 
Convenors:
Lisette Jong (University of Amsterdam)
Amade Aouatef M'charek (University of Amsterdam)
Paul Wolff Mitchell (University of Amsterdam)
Laurens de Rooy (Amsterdam University Medical Centre)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The panel queries multiple modes of valuing colonial objects, including care and active neglect. We engage with what colonial matters can teach us about past and present practices of knowledge production in institutional contexts as well as reflect on STS research practices around colonial matters.

Long Abstract:

Many institutions of knowledge production, such as museums and universities, are confronted with the haunting presence of colonial matters. These include human remains, objects of art, material culture and natural history. But the same in fact holds for academic curricula and research methods, for example in the disciplines of anthropology and archeology. Demands for change in how we relate, exhibit, or teach about such objects, as well as demands for restitution or reparations have shifted the registers of valuation (Heuts & Mol 2013) around colonial matters.

In this panel we query multiple modes of valuing colonial objects within different contexts. Crucially, the practices of valuing we examine do not only entail care in the collecting, categorizing, storing, maintaining and display of objects. Given the perpetual violence involved in holding these objects, we also want to attend to active neglect as a form of valuation. Meanwhile, new modes of engagement, such as provenance research, artistic practice and novel scientific methods, spur transformations of colonial matters.

We invite papers that engage with what colonial matters can teach us about past and present practices of knowledge production in institutional contexts, as well as papers that reflect on STS research practices of studying colonial matters. In this panel we aim for a conversation about how we can work with colonial matters in anticolonial ways (Liboiron 2021) that do not reproduce the patterns of (epistemic) violence from the past.

Accepted papers: