Do You Follow? Rethinking Causality in Archaeology

Govier, Eloise (2019) Do You Follow? Rethinking Causality in Archaeology. Archaeological Dialogues, 26 (1). ISSN 1380-2038 (Print), 1478-2294 (Online) (In Press)

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Philosopher and Physicist Karen Barad (2003, 2007, 2012) has brought a new understanding of causality to the academic discourse (agential realism theory). Inspired by this new take on causality, I problematise the argument that archaeologists ‘follow’ materials. I begin by challenging the act of ‘following’ on two counts (causality and universalism), and then consider the work of Malafouris–a thinker whose ideas have the potential to remediate this issue through his examination of the ‘in between’ humans and matter (2008c). I argue that, despite offering an inspirational approach to mind-matter relationships, the dialectical relationship he evokes remains problematic from a Baradian perspective as it is still rooted in ‘following’. I suggest that Barad’s agential realism offers a valuable conceptual framework for researchers who are weary of ‘unilateral’ (Barad 2007, 214) linear causality and keen to move beyond dialectical thinking

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Causality Archaeology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Eloise Govier
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 12:03
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2023 15:31

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