Accepted Papers:

Tangible interventions: materiality, circulation and the lived landscapes of contemporary archaeology  


Marisa Lazzari (University of Exeter)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper discusses cultural struggles and their resolutions as practices of connectedness. Theoretical and experiential links are explored to point in the direction of new methodologies that may dissolve the customary separation between past and present life-worlds

Paper long abstract:

This paper attempts to understand cultural struggles and their resolutions as practices of connectedness, focusing on their representational and non-representational aspects. I draw connections between past and present circulating cultural products (of various kinds) and projects in order to point at the relevance of archaeological frameworks to illuminate the ways in which we understand the present. Archaeology's acknowledged influence over anthropological studies is often limited to the impact findings have, and rarely in terms of conceptual schemes. Yet the investigation of past social interaction reveals that social significance is intimately linked to the trajectories of people and objects that create real and imagined spaces. The cumulative effect of circulation -and the practices that stop it- shapes landscapes as deep-time regionalities. Such landscapes constitute a people's history as a unique blend of fact, fetish, imagination, and inhabitation.

There are links between materiality, circulation, and landscape that tend to manifest at the intersection of archaeology and indigenous claims over cultural heritage. The paper discusses the theoretical and experiential links that point in the direction of new methodologies, dissolving the customary separation between past and present life-worlds in contemporary research agendas. The paper interrogates past and present cultural formations looking at the social efficacy of objects and their concrete presence in particular social projects. An adequate understanding of social action requires the exploration of the political, social and aesthetic fields as structured by the circulation of cultural products—from concepts to artefacts—and the mediating "work" of particular material devices

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Imagining past and present landscapes