“Managing Difficult Heritage through an Augmented Reality Archive” with Dr. Joshua Samuels

March 29, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Byron Auditorium – 205 Columbus School of Law

Abstract: Recent conceptions of “difficult heritage” emphasize the complex ways that people engage sites or events associated with violence, trauma, conflict, or embarrassment. In these contexts, the preservationist drive to curate sites, objects, texts, and memories may become morally and ethically charged, and countered by competing arguments to allow them to be ignored or forgotten. Recent developments in augmented reality, specifically those enabled through smart phone apps, may offer a solution. This talk will explore this potential management strategy in the context of Fascist-period villages built in Sicily in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Biographical sketch: Dr. Samuels is an historical archaeologist and cultural anthropologist with expertise in “difficult” heritage, landscape archaeology, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His primary research focuses on small villages and farmhouses constructed under Italy’s Fascist regime in the 1930s and 1940s, and how various groups of people relate to their material remains today. He has also conducted fieldwork in Crete, the mid-Atlantic States, Arizona, and California, in time periods ranging from the Iron Age to the present day.

Josh received his Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Department of Anthropology in 2013, and an MSc in Archaeomaterials from the University of Sheffield in 2004. Before coming to CUA, he taught anthropology and archaeology courses at Stanford University and North Dakota State University, and worked as a GIS Specialist in Cultural Resource Management (CRM). His research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Barbieri Endowment at Trinity College.

Resources: 2017 Spring Colloquium flyer (pdf)

Please contact us at cua-lis@cua.edu at least one week prior to the event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.

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