Dr Alison Klevnäs is co-organizing a session at the 20th Annual Meeting of European Association of Archaeologists in Istanbul in September 2014, with Dr Isabelle Vella Gregory and Dr Sheila Kohring from the University of Cambridge.
Session T03S017: The material agent in technological processes
‘The embeddedness of technology in society is, by now, well established. However, what of materials themselves? Traditionally, materials were considered the defining features of technologies and even of human epochs. Yet paradoxically, they were seen only as passively manipulated within the technological process, with the ‘product’ or ‘artefact’ as the conceptualized outcome. Recent cross-disciplinary approaches renewing our interest in technologies have demonstrated its inextricable social role and it is time to take a closer look at the ways in which materials themselves facilitate and shape technological practices, processes, and social relations. This session explores the social relations of technologies by forefronting materials as active agents in shaping the objects, ideas, and organizing principles of the communities which use them. Questions of procurement, materializing practices, re-use, contact, creativity, and social boundaries are all areas to be explored. We welcome papers on a broad range of materials and periods.’
We’re looking forward to hearing lots of great papers from a wide variety of periods and places!
Alison’s paper develops of some of the ideas which came out of her research into early medieval grave disturbance: ‘Inalienable materials and ephemeral forms in early medieval craft production‘.