Archaeological Resources and Cultural Policy: On the Ground in Chicago

May 15, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Harris School of Public Policy Studies
1155 East 60th St.
Room 289B

Rebecca S. Graff, Earl S. Johnson Instructor, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago

How do cultural policy makers in American cities understand their archaeological resources, and why does Chicago diverge from this pattern? After briefly looking at the results of recent archaeological excavations at Chicago's Jackson Park, the former site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and excavations at the Charnely-Persky House, a 19th-century home designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright on Chicago's Gold Coast, this talk will focus on the ways that Chicago's rich archaeological heritage can be integrated more effectively into cultural policy initiatives and into the public sphere.

Rebecca S. Graff obtained her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2011. She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Graff is a historical archaeologist, who completed her dissertation, The Vanishing City: Time, Tourism, and the Archaeology of Event in Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and currently teaches as an Earl S. Johnson Instructor in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences Program (MAPSS). She has directed several archaeological excavations in Chicago, most recently at the Louis Sullivan-designed Charnley-Persky House. Her recent article, "Being Toured While Digging Tourism: Excavating the Familiar at Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition," appears in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology. Graff's areas of specialization include 19th- and 20th-century urban archaeology, memory and material culture, and the relationship between temporality and modernity.

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