History, Capitalism, and Postcolonial Identities

Notes on Archaeologies of the Future


  • O. Hugo Benavides Fordham University




capitalism, postcolonial archaeology, science fiction


In the last four decades there have been critical interventions in archaeology that have engaged the issues of politics, class, and colonialism within the production of the past. A concern in this endeavor has been the role that time has played in the chronological ordering of historical narratives. This article contributes to these debates by assessing narratives of archaeologies of the future, particularly as they have been expressed in Western science-fiction and dystopic texts, focusing in particular on Christopher Priest’s The Affirmation (1981) and Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 (2004, English translation 2009). It assesses how one accounts for such a pernicious system of exploitation as capitalism to have been historicized into a global paradigm, and the complicit role that archaeology plays in this narrative production.


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Author Biography

O. Hugo Benavides, Fordham University

O. Hugo Benavides is Professor of Anthropology (at Rose Hill) and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Fordham University. Address for correspondence: Sociology and Anthropology Department, Fordham University, 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458, USA.


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How to Cite

Benavides, O. H. (2019). History, Capitalism, and Postcolonial Identities: Notes on Archaeologies of the Future. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 6(1), 32–46. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.36749