National Geographic Called-out as Colonial

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Story at The Guardian: “More than two dozen archaeologists and anthropologists have written an open letter of protest against the “sensationalisation” of their fields, with one accusing National Geographic of reverting to “a colonialist discourse” in announcing researchers had found two city-like sites in the deep jungles of Honduras.”

Should be interesting to see how this unfolds: “Open letter says announcement ignores decades of research and says of indigenous peoples there: ‘It is colonialist discourse which disrespects them’” (in the context of some recent discussion about coloniality and decoloniality on the blog).

Might be a good case study in the intersection of public understanding of science, media, and scientists (as the letter was written by archaeologists.

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About Nicholas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Penn State, Nicholas mainly writes about understanding the scientific study of states and, thus, it is namely about state theory. Given his training in sociology and STS, he takes a decidedly STS-oriented approach to state theory and issues of governance.

4 thoughts on “National Geographic Called-out as Colonial

  1. Pretty interesting… apparently National Geographic should no longer make their discoveries sound interesting or exciting ;- ) Based on the archaeologists letter, they would have prefered a headline that said something like “A team looking for something else in the jungle, stumble upon a place where others, no better or worse than those alive today, used to live.”

    Riviting!

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    • Totally — I would imagine that to some readers, the notion of academics interfering with NG will be nonsensical (given that NG might be some of the most academic stuff the average person might read).

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