Annie Christina Caruso

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Oregon, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9587

Approve Date

April 13, 2018

Project Title

Caruso, Annie C., U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid 'An Ethnocritical Analysis of the Carriacou Archaeology Field Project,' supervised by Dr. Philip Scher

Preliminary abstract: My research in archaeological decolonization ethnographically explores a Euro-American archaeological project set in a small Caribbean community. The Carriacou Archaeology Field Project (CAFP) is an American-, English-, and Dutch-sponsored investigation of Amerindian culture in Carriacou, Grenada. The CAFP is branded as public archaeology due to its many outreach campaigns over the years, yet Carriacouans have not regularly participated in the project despite these efforts. Put simply, the directors have concluded that Carriacouans are a) largely not interested in their work because b) Amerindian culture is not their heritage. However, interviews with local stakeholders reveal that many residents do regard Amerindian culture as part of their national patrimony, and that there are some who view the CAFP as exclusionary. Certain community feedback to the CAFP further reveal larger debates over who has the right to write Carriacou’s history and control its cultural resources, which are foundational questions of archaeological decolonization. The objective of the proposed research is to ethnographically contextualize and explicate such disjunctures, which is vital for the CAFP to sustainably operate as a public archaeology project in Carriacou. While attempting to account for the lack of public participation from a community perspective, this project also aims to identify how externally-operated research projects may better align with host community objectives, further empower Carriacouan stakeholders, and serve to strengthen local heritage management efforts. This ethnography is the first of its kind in the region, and has broader implications for understanding how archaeologists operate and affect local communities throughout the Caribbean.