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Working For Black Ancestors

The Tulsa community and TU students are invited to join Lambda Alpha to hear from Dr. Aja Lans, a bioarchaeologist from Johns Hopkins University, who will be presenting a talk about the use of Black bodies in anthropological skeletal curations, as well as the impact of her identity as a Black Anthropologist on her work.

Hear from Dr. Aja Lans:

“My identity as a Black anthropologist both influences and strengthens my work as a bioarchaeologist, but I have faced many obstacles in developing my scholarship. My research focuses on the histories of African descended peoples whose bodies have been curated in anthropological skeletal collections. Such studies require understanding the ethical implications of working with human remains and descendant communities in ways that are rarely sufficiently addressed in anthropology. I argue that the skeletal remains of Black people should only be studied in limited circumstances, including efforts to repatriate or lay Ancestors to rest, when burial sites are at risk, and when relevant questions posed by a descendant community can only be answered by considering the skeletal body. Therefore, I propose a liberatory bioarchaeological practice informed by Black feminism and critical race theory.”