I'd be grateful if you could circulate this reminder that the deadline for paper submissions
to CHAT 2009 in Oxford is 31 May 09. CHAT 09 is being organised by Brent Fortenberry
(Boston) and Dr Laura McAtackney (Oxford).
Nick Shepherd (UCT) is confirmed as keynote speaker, and Hedley Swain (MLA) will be
providing concluding comments. The full list of discussants will be confirmed shortly.
KEBLE COLLEGE, OXFORD UNIVERSITY
the archaeology of things from the early modern, modern and contemporary world
Friday 16-Sunday 18 October 2009
How does the study of material things contribute to our understanding of the early
modern, modern and contemporary world? What is the distinctive contribution of
archaeology in these studies?
CHAT 2009 focuses on the archaeological study of ‘Modern Materials’ – from ‘small things
forgotten’ to large and complex technological artefacts; and from discrete, single objects
to large, disparate assemblages.
The study of material things is a central element of all archaeology. But some have
argued that a concentration on materials fetishizes things, focusing too much attention on
the empirical detail of materials or manufacture. Equally, others have suggested that
material culture studies are too often strangely dematerialised – focused only on social
relationships and not on the physicality of objects. Responding to both these arguments,
CHAT 2009 considers and celebrates the diversity of archaeological studies of ‘modern
materials’, and their interdisciplinary contribution.
Papers are invited that focus on the study of particular ‘modern materials,’ broadly
interpreted: the many material dimensions of the early modern and modern periods and
the contemporary world (c. AD 1600 to present).
Questions addressed by the conference will include, but are not limited to:
Is it helpful to define the archaeology of the modern world according to its focus upon
How can contemporary and historical archaeology relate to anthropological material
How can we rethink archaeology’s distinctive approaches to studying things as important
tools and resources, rather than simply methods for dry empiricism?
Registration: £40 (including tea and coffee, wine reception, excluding accommodation)
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to the conference committee at
[log in to unmask] by 31 May 2009 at the latest. Any queries should be sent to the
same email address.
Keynote Speaker: Prof Nick Shepherd (University of Cape Town)
Concluding remarks: Hedley Swain (MLA)
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