Session: #196

Theme & Session Format

Global change and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Gender and Other Barriers: Archaeological Perspectives
Gender archaeology emerged in the 1980s associated with the third wave of feminism, which led to the incorporation of poststructuralist theories. The aim was to make women visible in the archaeological record and to denounce the hegemonic androcentrism that had been framing archaeological studies.
In the 1990s there were some changes in the theoretical framework, namely with the introduction of queer theories and transsexual feminism, with the radical rejection of biological determinism and patriarchal society, has become a widespread phenomenon that crosscuts several social sciences, such as anthropology and archaeology.
The archaeological focus on the male/female barrier of social inequality (the binary gender) brings to light the social commitment and political relevance of our discipline. The multi-temporality and pluralism of archaeological approaches can give valuable contributions to the current debates and to the key set of ideas on the following subjects:
- Deconstruction of sexual versus gender relations in different times and places based on the empirical record (domestic contexts, funerary spaces, shrines and rock-engraved art);
- Engendering the Past: Women and figurative representations, power and ideology in non-literate societies.
- New insights into theoretical issues, methodologies and high tech archaeological science tools (materials science, ecological analysis, DNA and isotope analyses, organic residue analyses of prehistoric pottery) that can bring to the fore crucial situations of social inequality.
gender archaeology, feminism, long therm archaeological approaches, social archaeology, queer theories
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
Joaquina Soares (Portugal) 1,2
Ana Catarina Sousa (Portugal) 2
Trinidad Escoriza Mateu (Spain) 3
1. MAEDS - Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography of the District of Setúbal/AMRS
2. UNIARQ - Centre of Archaeology of the University of Lisbon
3. Universidad de Almería