Department of Anthropology

Maria Wade: Ojo - The Eye on the Archive

Mon, March 25, 2013 | SAC 5.118

12:00 PM

"Ojo - The Eye on the Archive"

A talk by Mariah Wade, Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin

The eye takes in (on) the archive – shapes, forms and filters.  Textual archives lead the eye to follow the thought of the scribe, attentive to structure, penmanship, idiosyncrasies, margin notations, the ojo. What about archaeological archives of stone, clay, metal? How does one read them? What is the context of the material/textual culture? The House-Museum (casa-museu) selects, arranges and displays threads of memories of the ‘owner.’ If the owner was an archaeologist his (her) memories are enmeshed with the objects, but the latter have a different past. Shapes and forms of a remote past decontextualized and manipulated into a staged life story – a distressed eye searching for a frame.

Mariah Wade is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin. An archaeologist and ethnohistorian, her work is concentrated on the colonial and post-colonial periods in Texas, Northern Mexico and the Greater Southwest. She is the author of Native Americans in the Texas Edwards Plateau, 1582-1799 (University of Texas Press, 2003), and Missions, Missionaries and Native Americans, Long-Term Processes and Daily Practices (University Press of Florida, 2008). She has spent most of her research life with the eye on the archives, documenting how colonialism impacted Native Americans in North America. Since 2008, she is also engaged in an archaeological research project in the north of Portugal, where she and UT graduate and undergraduate students are excavating a Late Bronze Age/Iron Age/Roman Period fortified hilltop settlement. Although she continues to do research in colonial archives, the work in Iberia has provoked a new look at the nature and formation of archives, particularly those composed of material culture.

For further information please contact Adriana Dingman at

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