Session: #171

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Critical Ideas – Reflexive Archaeologies
In our eyes over the last decades archaeology turned into a rather a-political mode and lost sight of questions of power, inequality and exclusion. Also sessions at the EAA have more and more turned into the empiricist and positivist branch of the archaeological discourse. We are convinced that this development is a fundamental threat to the discipline of archaeology. With an (assumed?) loss of political aspiration it turns irrelevant for society and becomes prone to abuse by groups from the political fringes. With this session we want to counter this development and revive the experimental societal playground the EAA has been in its early years.
For this session we invite papers presenting novel approaches, interpretations and theories – also at an early stage of development – which question, counter and negate the disciplinary mainstream, provoke questions and contradictions and – most of all – raise controversial questions of power, politics and society. The ideas of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, the critical theory of the Frankfurter Schule or Hayden White may form one, but surely not the sole source for rethinking the potential social/political charge of the discipline. There are no limits to region or period and papers on novel interpretations of past societies are as welcome as critical investigations in the conduct and discourse of the discipline. But we definitely require a firm theoretical stand and a considerable level of reflexive criticism!
power inequality and exclusion, politics, reflexivity, critical theory
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
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Main organiser:
Thomas Meier (Germany) 1
Staša Babić (Serbia) 2
Ilona Bausch (Japan) 3
1. Heidelberg University
2. University of Belgrade
3. Kokugakuin University