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Nicholas, George P., , Alison Wylie. ‘Do Not Do Unto Others…’ Cultural Misrecognition and the Harms of Appropriation in an Open-Source World
2012, In Geoffrey Scarre & Robin Coningham (eds.), Appropriating the Past: Philosophical Perspectives on the Practice of Archaeology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 195-221.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this chapter we explore two important questions that we believe should be central to any discussion of the ethics and politics of cultural heritage: What are the harms associated with appropriation and commodification, specifically where the heritage of Indigenous peoples is concerned? And how can these harms best be avoided? Archaeological concerns animate this discussion; we are ultimately concerned with fostering postcolonial archaeological practices. But we situate these questions in a broader context, addressing them as they arise in connection with the appropriation of Indigenous cultural heritage, both past and present.

Comment: The text offers a wide-ranging discussion of cultural appropriation, and an interresting focus on commodification, display, and community engagement. A collaboration between a philosopher (Wylie) and an archaeologist (Nicholas), it’s a great fit for instructors who are looking for a case-driven text that includes theoretical context. It includes four specific case studies that range over multiple cultural contexts.

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