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Materials of Empire

Rethinking material legacies of colonialism and imperialism

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Published on Thursday, November 17, 2022


The conference aims at rethinking and reassesing the materials and the tangible memories of ancient and modern empires, which are often still nowdays entangled in the continuous definition of national belongings. Colonial heritage, museum collections and archeology in colonial and post-colonial context are therefore considered in all their aspects in a two day conference at University of L’Aquila.



24 November

9:30 Welcoming speech

Introductory remarks by convenors Simona Troilo and Beatrice Falcucci

Ethnographic objects: from appropriation to restitution

Session 1 - 10:00 - 13:00

Chair: Giuseppe Di Natale (Università dell’Aquila)

  • Maarten Couttenier (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren) From Evolutionism over Diffusionism to Nazism.Jospeh Maes and the Central African Lebensraum
  • Beatrice Falcucci (Università dell’Aquila) Tra Big Game hunting e cultura del safari: esibirela natura coloniale nei musei italiani

Break 11:00 - 11:20

  • João Figueiredo (NOVA University of Lisbon) Restitution’ and the colonial propaganda of the Portuguese New State – The case of the Dundo Museum (1954 – 1974)
  • Marie Hoffmann (University of Lille/CNRS) Alphonse Pinart, collecting practices of a colonial traveler

Discussion 12:20 - 13:00

Session 2 - 15:00 - 18:00

Chair: Valeria Pica (GSSI, L’Aquila)

  • Richard Tsogang Fossi (Technical University Berlin) Exhibiting Colonial Ethnografic Removals in Germany: Constructing Decolonizing Knowledge or Perpetuating Amnesia?
  • Andrea Viliani (Museo delle Civiltà, Roma) Per un museo antropologico e contemporaneo. I nuovi percorsi di ricerca del Museo delle Civiltà di Roma

Break 16:00 - 16:20

  • Paolo Del Vesco (Museo Egizio, Torino) To display or not to display, that is one of the questions. Human remains in Egyptological collections
  • Robin Boast (Amsterdam University) Institutional Colonialism: Can we escape the museumism of our museums?

Discussion 17:20 - 18:00

Keynote speech 18:00 Nélia Dias (ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) Stories making trouble for each other in museums. Object biographies and entangled provenances

25 November

Space and ruins: decolonising heritage

Session 1 - 10:00 - 13:00

Chair: Francesco Maria Cifarelli (Università dell’Aquila)

  • Mathilde Sigalas (Université de Genève) The Antiquities of Ur: Circulations, Imperialisms and Appropriations during the interwar period (1922-1934)
  • Stefano Anastasio (Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti ePaesaggio, Firenze) La spedizione archeologica italiana in Transgiordania, 1927-1938. Archeologia e politicaestera in Italia durante il regime fascista

Break 11:00 - 11:20

  • Simona Troilo (Università dell’Aquila) Romanità e bianchezza: cultura visuale eimmaginario archeologico nel colonialismo italiano
  • Valentina Porcheddu (Independent researcher) Memorie coloniali. Il patrimonio archeologicodell’Algeria tra revanscismo identitario e cancelculture

Discussion 12:20 - 13:00

Session 2 - 15:00 - 16:30

Chair: Simone Sisani (Università dell’Aquila)

  • William Carruthers (University of East Anglia) Making Sudan Archaeological: UNESCO’s Nubian Campaign and the Re-Colonization of Archaeology
  • Nora Shalaby (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) The Abydos Paper Archive: Exploring Early 20th Century Egyptian Antiquities Service Ledgers

Discussion 16:00 - 16:30

Keynote speech 16:30 Christian Greco (Museo Egizio, Torino) Decolonise Egyptology

18:00 - 19:00 Musei italiani e patrimonio conteso. Incontroon-line riservato, a cura del Gruppo di lavoroper lo studio delle tematiche relative alle collezioni coloniali italiane (MIC)


Università dell’Aquila, Dipartimento di Scienze Umane, Viale Nizza 14, Room 2A.



  • Viale Nizza 14 Dipartimento di Scienze Umane
    L’Aquila, Italian Republic

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


  • Thursday, November 24, 2022
  • Friday, November 25, 2022

Attached files


  • colonialism, archeology, museum studies


  • Beatrice Falcucci
    courriel : Beatrice [dot] falcucci [at] univaq [dot] it

Information source

  • Beatrice Falcucci
    courriel : Beatrice [dot] falcucci [at] univaq [dot] it


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Materials of Empire », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Thursday, November 17, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/19z7

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