Perceptions of Repatriation in Anthropological Literature




Kroeger, Suzanne

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Over the last three decades the topic of repatriation has become widely, and at times intensely, debated. Anthropologists, members of Indigenous communities, and governments have varying opinions and agendas regarding this issue. As such, this subject often appears within academic literature. As repatriation emerges as a best practice for the building and maintaining of relationships between institutions with legacies in the settler colonial state and Indigenous communities, the subject of repatriation in academic literature has been framed in several different ways. This paper addresses how repatriation has been framed within the anthropological journals Museum Anthropology and American Antiquity over the last three decades. Specifically, it asks what are the common trends and rationales pertaining to the repatriation debate? Has there been a shift over time in how repatriation has been discussed in each journal? How are these articles framed in relation to religious freedom, scientific inquiry, calls for collaboration or executing bureaucratic obligations? Ultimately, this research seeks to identify trends in the discourse surrounding the topic of repatriation over time.



Repatriation, Discourse analysis, Framing, Collaboration