Beyond the 'Thingification' of Worlds: Archaeology and the New Materialisms

Steel, Louise and Govier, Eloise (2020) Beyond the 'Thingification' of Worlds: Archaeology and the New Materialisms. Journal of Material Culture, 26. ISSN 1359-1835 (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper considers the application of the New Materialisms within archaeology, primarily in response to Witmore’s influential discussion paper: Archaeology and the New Materialisms (2014), specifically his emphasis on things. This we demonstrate is peripheral to the main thrust of the New Materialisms discourse. We unravel complexities in the terminology and consider the etymological and epistemological framework of concepts such as matter and thing. This leads us to consider some important issues that arise applying Deleuzian assemblages to the archaeological record and the potential of employing Barad’s agential realist theory instead. Barad’s concept of phenomena moves beyond the notion of things as separate, bounded entities, emphasizing entanglements of matter, and illustrates how matter (including humans) co-create the material world. Our aim is to demonstrate how engaging with matter rather than things, enables us to better make sense of the material world and our place within it.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: accepted for publication in the journal
Uncontrolled Keywords: New materialisms Archaeology Deleuzian assemblages
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities
Depositing User: Louise Steel
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2020 09:09
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 09:09
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1495

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