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Reclaiming Archaeology

Beyond the Tropes of Modernity

Edited by: Alfredo González-Ruibal

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415673921
eBook ISBN: 9780203068632
Adobe ISBN: 9781135083533

10.4324/9780203068632
 Cite  Marc Record

Book description

Archaeology has been an important source of metaphors for some of the key intellectuals of the 20th century: Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Alois Riegl and Michel Foucault, amongst many others. However, this power has also turned against archaeology, because the discipline has been dealt with perfunctorily as a mere provider of metaphors that other intellectuals have exploited. Scholars from different fields continue to explore areas in which archaeologists have been working for over two centuries, with little or no reference to the discipline. It seems that excavation, stratigraphy or ruins only become important at a trans-disciplinary level when people from outside archaeology pay attention to them and somehow dematerialize them. Meanwhile, archaeologists have been usually more interested in borrowing theories from other fields, rather than in developing the theoretical potential of the same concepts that other thinkers find so useful.

The time is ripe for archaeologists to address a wider audience and engage in theoretical debates from a position of equality, not of subalternity. Reclaiming Archaeology explores how archaeology can be useful to rethink modernity’s big issues, and more specifically late modernity (broadly understood as the 20th and 21st centuries). The book contains a series of original essays, not necessarily following the conventional academic rules of archaeological writing or thinking, allowing rhetoric to have its place in disclosing the archaeological. In each of the four sections that constitute this book (method, time, heritage and materiality), the contributors deal with different archaeological tropes, such as excavation, surface/depth, genealogy, ruins, fragments, repressed memories and traces. They criticize their modernist implications and rework them in creative ways, in order to show the power of archaeology not just to understand the past, but also the present.

Reclaiming Archaeology includes essays from a diverse array of archaeologists who have dealt in one way or another with modernity, including scholars from non-Anglophone countries who have approached the issue in original ways during recent years, as well as contributors from other fields who engage in a creative dialogue with archaeology and the work of archaeologists. 

  

Table of contents

Prelims Download PDF
Chapter  1:  Reclaiming archaeology Download PDF
Chapter  2:  The clearing Download PDF
Chapter  3:  Scratching the surface Download PDF
Chapter  4:  From excavation to archaeological X-Files Download PDF
Chapter  5:  Digging alternative archaeologies Download PDF
Chapter  6:  Evestigation, nomethodology and deictics Download PDF
Chapter  7:  Archaeology and photography Download PDF
Chapter  8:  New cultural landscapes Download PDF
Chapter  9:  The business of archaeology is the present Download PDF
Chapter  10:  Which archaeology? Download PDF
Chapter  11:  The politics of periodization Download PDF
Chapter  12:  Change, individuality and reason, or how archaeology has legitimized a patriarchal modernity Download PDF
Chapter  13:  Indigeneity and time Download PDF
Chapter  14:  Enacted multi-temporality Download PDF
Chapter  15:  The New Heritage and re-shapings of the past Download PDF
Chapter  16:  The archaeological gaze Download PDF
Chapter  17:  In the shade of Frederick Douglass Download PDF
Chapter  18:  Ruin memory Download PDF
Chapter  19:  A thoroughly modern park Download PDF
Chapter  20:  Days in Hong Kong, May 2011 Download PDF
Chapter  21:  The charter’d Thames Download PDF
Chapter  22:  The return of what? Download PDF
Chapter  23:  Inside is out Download PDF
Chapter  24:  Fragments as something more Download PDF
Chapter  25:  Bringing a place in ruins back to life Download PDF
Chapter  26:  Cutting the earth/cutting the body Download PDF
Chapter  27:  Archaeological remains of oil-based urbanity Download PDF
Chapter  28:  Milieux de mémoire Download PDF
Index Download PDF
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