Archaeology and the New Materialisms

Steel, Louise (2023) Archaeology and the New Materialisms. In: Encyclopedia of Archaeology, 2nd edition. Elseiver. (In Press)

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The New Materialisms are part of a wider turn to matter in the humanities and social sciences. This theoretical approach draws attention to matter, exploring the materiality of the world and specifically challenging anthropocentric approaches that prioritize humans over other nonhuman beings and entities. New materialists question dualistic ontologies that separate humans and nonhumans and problematize representationalism as another means of distancing humans from the rest of material world. Key to the New Materialisms is the understanding the matter is not inert and passive, but has agency, distinct from humanist notions of rationality and intentionality. The relationality of the material world, examining how the materials of the world are in relationship, is a key concept in the New Materialisms, although new materialists diverge in how they approach this. Assemblages explore how (im)material entities are continual in flux as the move into and out of relationship, while agential realism argues that the world is not made up of separate bounded entities. Instead, things-in-phenomena emerge from intra-actions and the agency of matter.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: agencement, agency, agential realism, assemblage, becoming, entanglement, intra-action, materiality, matter, ontology, phenomena, relationality, thing, vibrant matter
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Louise Steel
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2023 11:32
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 09:51

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