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Zoë Crossland


Associate Professor at Columbia University, Department of Anthropology

About Zoë Crossland

Zoe Crossland is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University. She writes on the archaeology of Madagascar, and on evidence and forensic practice. She published 'Ancestral Encounters in Highland Madagascar. Material Signs and Traces of the Dead' in 2014 (Cambridge University Press) and is currently working on a book about the evidence of the dead body as imagined in mass-market texts written by forensic anthropologists.

Research focus

Zoë’s research focuses on the historical archaeology of Madagascar, and on forensic archaeology and evidential practices around human remains. Her approach to historical inquiry is informed by a Peircean ‘semeiotic’ approach, which provides a means to explore how human lives are articulated through and within particular material conditions. She draws upon semeiotic approaches to theorize forensic evidence and to investigate the archaeological production of the past and of the dead body. She explores the tension between the archaeological ability to bring the past into view on the one hand, and the work of inference and practical activity by which archaeology conjures and evaluates competing claims about the past on the other. Zoë’s research on the production of the forensic corpse asks how the forensic evidence of the dead is conceived and composed in the US and UK, and what are the social, political, and material effects of such evidential discourse and practice? She is presently working on a book, entitled The Speaking Corpse, which explores the evidence of the forensic corpse, the ways in which it is explained and delineated for popular consumption, and the history that lies behind the treatment of the dead as evidence.


Gastón Gordillo


Professor at The University of British Columbia, Department of Anthropology

About Gastón Gordillo

Professor Gastón Gordillo was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (1990) and completed his PhD at the University of Toronto (1999). He is a Guggenheim Scholar, was a visiting scholar at Harvard and Yale and a visiting professor at Cornell. He was also a Resident Fellow at the Bellagio Study Center (Bellagio, Italy) and Acting Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC. His research has been funded (among others) by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and three large grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). His book Landscapes of Devils: Tensions of Place and Memory in the Argentinean Chaco (2004, Duke University Press) won the American Ethnological Society Sharon Stephens Book Prize. His most recent book is Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (2014, Duke University Press).

Research focus

Gastón has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Gran Chaco region and the foothills of the Andes in northern Argentina. His previous research examined how experiences of violence shaped the senses of place of indigenous and non-indigenous residents and, more recently, the ways in which these people engage with the palimpsests of ruins that dot the landscape as markers of rupture and negativity with ongoing affective power. His current ethnographic research is analyzing how agribusinesses generating soybeans for Asian markets are redefining the terrain of the Gran Chaco, as well as the experiences and responses by locals negatively affected by evictions and deforestation. He examines these disruptions as the result of the subsumption of rural areas to the urbanized rhythms of the planetary Metropolis, which he conceives of as the infrastructure of the globalized system of capitalist sovereignty that Hardt and Negri called Empire. This project is part of a more conceptual and comparative investigation about the affective materiality of space as terrain, a concept that in evoking material forms, volume, and texture is key to examining the tangible and bodily dimensions of human spatiality and, in this case, the physicality of the expansion of industrialized agriculture into the heart of South America.

Rodney Harrison


Professor of Heritage Studies, UCL Institute of Archaeology, University College London

About Rodney Harrison

Rodney joined the UCL Institute of Archaeology in 2012 after working as a Lecturer in Heritage Studies at the Open University from 2007-2012. He has previously held teaching and research positions in the Centre for Cross Cultural Research at the Australian National University, the Centre for Archaeology at the University of Western Australia, and as an honorary visiting research fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London. Rodney has also previously worked as Historical Archaeologist and Regional Aboriginal Heritage Studies Coordinator in the Cultural Heritage Research Unit of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service in Sydney. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology and a founding executive committee member of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies.

Research focus

Rodney is currently Principal Investigator of Heritage Futures (, a large international collaborative research programme funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and supported additionally by its four host universities, its team of thirteen academic researchers, and its twenty-two affiliated partner organisations. It promotes ambitious interdisciplinary research to explore the potential for innovation and creative exchange across a broad range of (natural and cultural) heritage and related fields, in partnership with a number of academic and non-academic institutions and interest groups. It is distinctive in its comparative approach, which aims to bring heritage conservation practices of various forms into closer dialogue with the management of other material and virtual legacies such as nuclear waste, and in its exploration of different forms of heritage as discrete future-making practices. He is the (co-)author or (co-)editor of more than a dozen books and edited volumes and over 60 refereed journal articles and book chapters on a range of topics, with particular foci on archaeologies of the present and recent past, historical archaeologies of colonialism, critical heritage studies and the histories of museums, archaeology and anthropology. His books include Collecting, Ordering, Governing: Anthropology, Museums and Liberal Government (written with Tony Bennett, Fiona Cameron, Ben Dibley, Ira Jacknis and Conal McCarthy, Duke, 2016), Heritage: Critical Approaches (Routledge, 2013), The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World (edited with Paul Graves-Brown and Angela Piccini, OUP, 2013), and After Modernity: Archaeological Approaches to the Contemporary Past (written with John Schofield, OUP, 2010).


Legacies: Rethinking Heritage and Waste

Rodney Harrison

Heritage is a term which has generally been understood to denote that which is both rare (or endangered) and positively valued. But what happens when we bring heritage into comparative perspective with other more abject forms of remnants, traces, redundant objects and practices, or material and discursive residues? Kevin Hetherington (2004) has previously drawn attention to heritage as a category of spatial and discursive placing which relates to broader, often cyclical practices of consumption and management of redundancy. In this paper I aim to retheorise heritage and waste as forms of material and discursive legacy, and to reconsider the ontological implications of living with, caring for, and assembling futures out of both more and less persistent forms of legacies in the present.


Anna Storm


Associate professor at Södertörn University, The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and The Institute of Contemporary History (SHI)!/p3/ext/content.nsf/aget?openagent&key=sh_personal_profil_en_168147

About Anna Storm

Anna holds a PhD in History of Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology/KTH in Stockholm (2008) and became Associate professor (Docent) in Human Geography at Stockholm University in 2016. Since 2015, she is project researcher at Södertörn University and leads the multidisciplinary project Nuclear legacies: Negotiating radioactivity in France, Russia and Sweden [] involving four scholars. She has previously had postdoctoral positions at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies at Södertörn University and at the Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University. Her work has been awarded several prizes, as nominee for the Turku Book Award 2015 for the monograph Post-Industrial Landscape Scars, the ICOHTEC Publication Prize for Young Scholars in 2009, and the Joan Cahalin Robinson Prize in 2006.

Research focus

Anna is trained as an historian with a multidisciplinary profile. Her interests are centred on contemporary situations in relation to past events, with key inspiration from scholars in history of technology, environmental history, human geography and critical heritage studies. Important concepts in her work are landscape (in both physical and imaginary sense, and comprising both cultural and “natural” environments), memory, heritage and change. In her 2014 monograph Post-Industrial Landscape Scars (Palgrave Macmillan), she explores industrially devastated or otherwise hurt landscapes. These landscapes not only trigger perspectives of power relations but also challenge our understandings of ecology, aesthetics, memory and heritage. In the book, she proposes the metaphor of post-industrial landscape scars as a useful concept to grasp complex temporalities as well as components of injustice, conflict, narration, beauty, commodification and reconciliation. Her current research project deals with legacies of civil nuclear power. The project investigates different arenas where radioactive landscapes are negotiated: in museums, in relation to waste storage facilities, in processes of closing down nuclear power plants, and in what she terms “post-nuclear natures”.


Scars: Tracing important markers in physical and mental landscapes

A scar is a reminder, the trace of a wound. It is often ugly and stands for the pains of the past. Spontaneously, a scar is always understood as negative. However, some bodily wounds and scars are chosen, self-inflicted or at least positively laden. Caesarian section operation scars, Mensur scars, or body ornamentation through so-called scarification, carry different meanings and connotations, but they all have one thing in common—they are physical reminders of something of at least personal significance. A scar can be a hallmark for the veteran or the fictional hero. In a similar manner, scars in the landscape – be it contaminated ground, abandoned buildings or heavily transformed natural environments – often conveys ambiguous and complex pasts about injustice and fear, along with survival, resilience, and courage. The story of a scar never concerns indifference; the narrative potential of the scar is a possibility and a promise. In this paper, I will elaborate upon ways in which scars might be used as an analytical concept. I will examine scars in relation to notions of heritage, in relation to understandings of landscape and in relation to ideas about nature as a ”healer” or ”concealer” of significant experiences.