The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-12-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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It has been clear for many years that the ways in which archaeology is practiced have been a direct product of a particular set of social, cultural, and historical circumstances--archaeology is always carried out in the present. More recently, however, many have begun to consider how archaeological techniques might be used to reflect more directly on the contemporary world itself: how we might undertake archaeologies of, as well as in the present. This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of an exciting and rapidly expanding sub-field and provides an authoritative overview of the newly emerging focus on the archaeology of the present and recent past. In addition to detailed archaeological case studies, it includes essays by scholars working on the relationships of different disciplines to the archaeology of the contemporary world, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, historical geography, science and technology studies, communications and media, ethnoarchaeology, forensic archaeology, sociology, film, performance, and contemporary art. This volume seeks to explore the boundaries of an emerging sub-discipline, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods which are applicable to this new field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research. It makes a significant intervention by drawing together scholars working on a broad range of themes, approaches, methods, and case studies from diverse contexts in different parts of the world, which have not previously been considered collectively.

Author Biography

Paul Graves-Brown is an independent scholar living in Wales. In addition to the edited volume Matter, Materiality and Modern Culture (2000), he has published widely on topics as diverse as the Sex Pistols and the Kalashnikov AK47.

Rodney Harrison is a Lecturer in Museum and Heritage Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is currently Chair of the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) Group. He is the author (with John Schofield) of After Modernity: Archaeological Approaches to the Contemporary Past (OUP, 2010).

Angela Piccini is a Senior Lecturer in Screen Media at the School of Arts, University of Bristol. She co-founded the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) Group with Dan Hicks, and sits on the Committee for Audio-Visual Scholarship and Practice in Archaeology (CASPAR). She publishes on place, materiality, and screen media.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
List of Figures
Paul Graves-Brown, Rodney Harrison and Angela Piccini
Part 1: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives
2. The relationship between ethnoarchaeology and archaeologies of the contemporary past: a historical investigation, Kathryn Fewster
3. Forensic archaeology, Natasha Powers and Lucy Sibun
4. Anthropological approaches to contemporary material worlds, Penny Harvey
5. The place of things in contemporary history, Tim Cole
6. The things that things are for: psychology and contemporary material culture, Alan Costall and Ann Richards
7. To the things themselves again: philosophical observations on what things are and why they matter, James Gordon Finlayson
8. Symmetry, STS and the archaeology of the contemporary world, Timothy Webmoor
9. Actor-Network Theory and the archaeology of buildings as architectural machines, Albena Yaneva
10. Global media and archaeologies of network technologies, Sean Cubitt
11. Performance and the stratigraphy of place: Everything You Need to Build a Town is Here, Wrights & Sites (Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti, Phil Smith and Cathy Turner)
Part 2: Recurrent Themes
12. Time, Laurent Olivier
13. Absence, Severin Fowles and Kaet Heupel
14. Ruins, Gavin Lucas
15. Memory, Bjornar Olsen
16. Authenticity, Paul Graves-Brown
17. Sectarianism, Laura McAtackney
18. Afterlives, Michael Brian Schiffer
19. Waste, Joshua Reno
20. Heritage, Rodney Harrison
21. Difference, Denis Byrne
22. Modernism, Alfredo Gonzalez-Ruibal
23. Protest, Anna Badcock and Robert Johnston
24. Homelessness, Larry J. Zimmerman
25. Conflict, Gabriel Moshenska
26. Disaster, Richard A. Gould
27. Scale, Matt Edgeworth
Part 3: Mobilities, Space, Place
28. Aluminology: An Archaeology of Mobile Modernity, Mimi Sheller
29. The Archaeology of Space Exploration, A.C. Gorman and Beth Laura O Leary
30. Contemporary Archaeology in the Postcolony: Disciplinary Entrapments, Subaltern Epistemologies, Nick Shepherd
31. Archaeologies of Automobility, Peter Merriman
32. Archaeology of Modern American Death: Grave Goods and Blithe Mementos, Shannon Lee Dawdy
33. A Dirtier Realitya Archaeological Methods and the Urban Project, John Schofield
34. Heritage and Modernism in New York, Laurie A. Wilkie
35. Checkpoints as Gendered Spaces: An autoarchaeology of War, Heritage and the City, Uzma Z. Rizvi
36. Race and Prosaic Materiality: The Archaeology of Contemporary Urban Space and the Invisible Color Line, Paul R. Mullins
Photoessay: Institutional Spaces, Peter Metelerkamp
Part 4: Media and Mutabilities
37. Between the Lines: Drawing Archaeology, Helen Wickstead
38. Two riots: The importance of civil unrest in contemporary archaeology, James R. Dixon
39. The Materiality of Film, Liz Watkins
40. The Burning Man Festival and the Archaeology of Ephemeral and Temporary Gatherings, Carolyn L. White
41. Olympic City Screens: Media, Matter and Making Place, Angela Piccini
42. Material Animals: An Archaeology of Contemporary Zoo Experiences, Cornelius Holtorf
Photoessay: On Salvage Photography, Caitlin DeSilvey, with photographs by Steven Bond and Caitlin DeSilvey
Part 5: Things and Connectivities
43. Silicon Valley, Christine Finn
44. Building Thought into Things, David de Leon
45. Archaeologies of the Postindustrial Body, Sefryn Penrose
46. The Material Cellphone, Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller
47. The contemporary material culture of the cult of the infant: constructing children as desiring subjects, Sarah May
48. VHS: A Posthumanist Aesthetics of Recording and Distribution, Jem Noble
49. Auto-anthropology, modernity and automobiles, Pierre Lemonnier
Photoessay: The Other Acropolises: Multi-temporality and the Persistence of the Past, Yannis Hamilakis and Fotis Ifantidis

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