Unearthing the Native Past: Citizen Archaeology and Modern (Non)Belonging at the Pueblo Grande Museum

Roberta Chevrette, Aaron Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Portrayals of the US Southwest's Native American inhabitants as “primitive” relics have been shaped by the intertwining practices of archaeological collection and museum display. Focusing on the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, this essay analyzes the interpellation of museum visitors as citizen archaeologists, a process that re/produces racialized discourses through rhetorics of science and time. It is argued that as visitors excavate remnants of the past they engage an archaeological vision that reinforces dominant constructions of “modern” citizenship. This vision maintains colonial histories by disallowing Native peoples both authorship of the past and belonging in the present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication and Critical/ Cultural Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


  • Citizen Archaeology
  • Native American Other
  • Primitivism
  • Pueblo Grande Museum
  • US Southwest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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