February 5-6, 2016: University of California, Los Angeles
Keynote Address by Michelle Hegmon (Arizona State University)
For the 6th Annual UCLA Interdisciplinary Archaeology Research Conference, we invite students to explore the complexity of identity and personhood of past individuals, groups, and communities. Identities can be expressed in a variety of ways, including through foodways, architecture, body modification, and differential use of space, and because there is often a material correlate to expressions of identity, archaeology provides a unique opportunity to investigate the identities of past peoples and to contribute to a recursive dialogue on the meaning of identity, past and present.
Changing conceptions of identity in the modern world—exemplified in popular media by figures like Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal—inform academic debates about the factors that contribute to the construction of identity in the past, rendering necessary frequent return to the theme for critical analysis. Topics for presentation include, but are not limited to:
- The differences between lived experiences of individuals in a community;
- The role of gender/age/disability/etc. in the perpetuation of social, economic, and familial structures;
- The relationship between community and ethnicity;
- Diachronic changes in identity conceptions; and
- Signaling social differentiation within and between communities.