Colonial Institutions: Uses, Subversions and Material Afterlives

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Archaeologically based explorations of colonialism or institutions are common case-studies in global historical archaeology, but the “colonial institution”—the role of institutions as operatives of colonialism—has often been neglected. In this thematic edition we argue that in order to fully understand the interconnected, global world one must explicitly dissect the colonial institution as an entwined, dual manifestation that is central to understanding both power and power relations in the modern world. Following Ann Laura Stoler, we have selected case studies from the Australia, Europe, UK and the USA which reveal that the study of colonial institutions should not be limited to the functional life of these institutions—or solely those that take the form of monumental architecture—but should include the long shadow of “imperial debris” (Stoler 2008) and immaterial institutions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 2016

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