Preliminary Program


Decolonizing “Prehistory”: Deep Time and Topological Knowledge in the Americas

Rostock University

Venue: Schwerin, Hotel Speicher am Ziegelsee, 21-23 June, 2018


Download Program (PDF)


Thursday, 21 June

5:30 pm Welcome by Mayor of Schwerin Rico Badenschier & Introduction by Gesa Mackenthun

6:30 pm Dinner

Chair: Gesa Mackenthun

8 pm Keynote (via skype): Competing Narratives of Ancestry in Donald Trump’s America: Personal DNA Testing, the “Ethno-State,” Native American Land Rights, and the Imperative for Scholarly Intervention

Annette Kolodny, University of Arizona, Tucson


Friday, 22 June

Chair: Alexander Bräuer

9 am - 9:45 am Yucatec “Maya” Historicity and Identity Constructions: The Case of Coba

Jessica Christie, East Carolina University, Greenville

9:50 am - 10:35 am ‘Scientific’ vs. Local Narratives About Pre-Hispanic Sites: Tulum as a Case Study

Mathieu Picas, University of Barcelona & Margarita Díaz-Andreu, University of Barcelona/ICREA

10:35 am - 10:50 am Coffee break

Chair: Daniel L. Smail

11 am - 11:45 am “Born of the Soil": Demography's Roots and the Refusal of Oral Tradition

Christen Mucher, Smith College, Northampton, MA

11:50 am - 12:35 pm Mammoth Cave, Poe, and Speculative (Pre)Histories

Melissa Gniadek, University of Toronto

12:45 pm - 2 pm Lunch break

2 pm - 7 pm Bus Transfer to Gross Raden: Presentation of Slavic Ceremonial Center & Archaeological Museum


Saturday, 23 June

Chair: Hartmut Lutz

9 am - 9:45 amRed Earth, White Lies, Sapiens, and the Deep Politics of Knowledge.

Phil Deloria, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

9:45 am - 10:35 am Reversing the Terminal Narrative: The Mythology of Conquest and Extinction on the Borders of the Spanish Empire

Michael Wilcox, Stanford University, CA

10:35 am - 10:50 am Coffee break

Chair: John Munro

10:50 am -11:35 am Witnessing catastrophe: Correlations between catastrophic paleoenvironmental events and First Nations oral traditions in the Pacific Northwest

Rick Budhwa, Crossroads Cultural Resource Management, Simon Fraser University, BC

11:40 am - 12:25 pm Remembering Gi’was: Indigenous Landmark Legends and the Politics of American Antiquity

Gesa Mackenthun, Rostock

1 pm - 2:30 pm Lunch break

Chair: Stefan Krause

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm A historiography of indigenous archaeology in British Columbia

Jeff Oliver, University of Aberdeen

3:20 pm - 4:05 pm Prairies, Ice, and Oil: Settler Colonialism and Deep Time around the Southern Salish Sea

Coll Thrush, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

4:05 pm - 4:20 pm Coffee break

Chair: Susanne Lachenicht

4:20 pm - 5:05 pm Myth Making and Unmaking: Erasing and Creating the Sacred in Settler Colonial Strategies of Displacement.

Keith Carlson, University of Sasketchewan, Saskatoon

5:05 pm - 5:50 pm (via skype) Indigenous Peoples and the New Doctrine of ‘Discovery’: Bioarchaeology, Archaeogenomics, and the Narrative of “American Pre-History”

Rebecca Tsosie, University of Arizona, Tucson

6 pm Final Discussion

8 pm Dinner


Discussants: Susanne Lachenicht, Bayreuth; Hartmut Lutz, Greifswald; John Munro, St. Mary’s University, Halifax/Rostock; Daniel L. Smail, Harvard; Astrid Windus, Hamburg


Student Assistants: Kathleen Aldinger; Lone Killeh; Kristina Weber


Organizer: DFG Project “Constructions of American Antiquity”, Rostock University

Prof. Dr. Gesa Mackenthun; Stefan Krause; Alexander Bräuer

Universität Rostock, Institut für Anglistik/Amerikanistik

August Bebel-Str. 28, 18055 Rostock, Germany