La Salle, Marina

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 14
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    Escape into nature: The ideology of Pacific Spirit Regional Park
    (University of British Columbia, 2014-07) La Salle, Marina
    This dissertation investigates the ideology of Pacific Spirit Regional Park, an urban forest adjacent to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Using the tools of archaeology and anthropology, I analyse the history, landscape, performance, and discourse of the park to understand Pacific Spirit as a culturally-constructed place that embodies an ideology of imperialism. Central in this dynamic is the carefully crafted illusion of Pacific Spirit as a site of "nature," placed in opposition to "culture," which naturalizes the values that created and are communicated through the park and thereby neutralizes their politics. They remain, however, very political. The park as nature erases the history and heritage of the Indigenous peoples of this region, transforming Pacific Spirit into a new terra nullius-a site to be discovered and explored, militaristic themes that consistently underlie park programs and propaganda. These cultural tropes connect to produce a nationalistic settler narrative wherein class ideals of nature and community are evoked in the celebration of Canada’s history of colonialism and capitalist expansion-paradoxically, the very processes that have caused the fragmentation of communities and ecosystems. The park as nature also feeds into the portrayal of this space as having been saved from development and, as such, an environmental triumph. In this context, the park is viewed as escape from the psychological trauma and alienation of city living and is celebrated and revered as a sacred place. This portrayal enables the forgetting of injustice and promotes a collective amnesia through the creation of a fairy-tale version of reality. The result is to disperse emotion and energy that otherwise could be mobilized against capitalism to prevent ongoing global ecological devastation. The ideology of the Pacific Spirit as nature therefore constitutes social violence by rewriting both the past and present of this land and its peoples, thereby hindering recognition of and rebellion against power. Pacific Spirit is thus a hegemonic space that reproduces colonial relationships and naturalizes capitalism. Exposing the park as a cultural place and illuminating the ideology that it perpetuates may be a crucial first step towards disrupting power through the creation of counter-narratives.
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    Beyond lip service: An analysis of labrets and their social context on the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia
    (University of British Columbia, 2008-08) La Salle, Marina
    This thesis provides an analysis of the history and social context of the labret (lip plug) on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia over the last 5,000 years. Although labrets have typically been characterized as markers of 'status' with connotations of gender, the variability in observations made by early explorers and ethnographers suggests that this simplistic depiction belies a complexity in what aspect of social identity this form of personal communicated. Therefore, this research has sought to explore the relationship between labrets and social identity by conducting a comprehensive typological analysis by which to examine patterning in materiality through time and space. Although hindered by a lack of temporal data and contextual information on gender association, the results of this research demonstrate that there is geographical patterning at multiple scales-regional, sub-regional and even on the village or site level-which supports the hypothesis that the labret has been an exclusionary tradition conveying both individual and group social identity that varies through time and space in this region. The social meaning of labrets is further explored through research on contemporary labret use, which highlights a tension between individual expression and group acceptance that is expressed materially, contrasting the physical permanence of the labret and the mutability in social meaning conveyed. Finally, interviews with First Nations artists who include labrets in their art has shown that cultural identity both informs and is informed by a concept of shared heritage; thus, the labret is a symbol and expression of social identity that continues to hold significant meaning for the descendants of this heritage. Therefore, while simple correlations of the labret with 'status' and 'gender' are not wrong, nonetheless they betray the complexity of body ornamentation which, though manifested materially, is highly contextual. This research contributes to the ongoing anthropological discussion of materiality and identity, considering the ways that structured style is negotiated through practice, and asking whether this recursive, dynamic and dialectical relationship can be accessed archaeologically-a task that ultimately requires a commitment to reflexivity, multivocality, and critical examination of the research process itself.
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    The 2010 B.C. Archaeology Forum reviewed
    (Archaeological Society of British Columbia, 2010) La Salle, Marina
    Review of the 2010 B.C. Archaeology Forum co-hosted by the Musqueam Indian Band and the Laboratory of Archaeology of the University of British Columbia.
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    Editorial: The Archaeologist's Report
    (Archaeological Society of British Columbia, 2011) La Salle, Marina
    Editorial article in which the author reflects on a cartoon entitled "The Archaeologist's Report" and its message about archaeology in British Columbia.
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    Arqueologia como capitalismo do desastre
    (Sociedade de Arqueologia Brasileira, 2015) Hutchings, Richard; La Salle, Marina
    Archaeology is a form of disaster capitalism, characterized by specialist managers whose function is the "clearance" of Indigenous heritage from the landscape, making way for economic development. When presented with this critique, archaeologists respond strongly and emotionally, denying and defending the commercial archaeology industry. Their anger emanates from and revolves around the assertion that archaeologists are not just complicit in but integral to the destruction of the very heritage they claim to protect. In what we believe is an act of philosophical and economic self-preservation, mainstream archaeologists actively "forget" the relationship between archaeology, violence and the global heritage crisis. Securely defended by its practitioners, archaeology therefore remains an imperial force grounded in the ideology of growth, development and progress.